|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
89:38-52 Sometimes it is not easy to reconcile God's providences with his promises, yet we are sure that God's works fulfil his word. When the great Anointed One, Christ himself, was upon the cross, God seemed to have cast him off, yet did not make void his covenant, for that was established for ever. The honour of the house of David was lost. Thrones and crowns are often laid in the dust; but there is a crown of glory reserved for Christ's spiritual seed, which fadeth not away. From all this complaint learn what work sin makes with families, noble families, with families in which religion has appeared. They plead with God for mercy. God's unchangeableness and faithfulness assure us that He will not cast off those whom he has chosen and covenanted with. They were reproached for serving him. The scoffers of the latter days, in like manner, reproach the footsteps of the Messiah when they ask, Where is the promise of his coming? 2Pe 3:3,4. The records of the Lord's dealings with the family of David, show us his dealings with his church, and with believers. Their afflictions and distresses may be grievous, but he will not finally cast them off. Self-deceivers abuse this doctrine, and others by a careless walk bring themselves into darkness and distress; yet let the true believer rely on it for encouragement in the path of duty, and in bearing the cross. The psalm ends with praise, even after this sad complaint. Those who give God thanks for what he has done, may give him thanks for what he will do. God will follow those with his mercies, who follow him with praises.
Verse 43. - Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword; literally, the rock of his sword. It is not quite clear whether a "blunting of the sword," or a "turning to flight of those who drew the sword," is intended. In either ease the phrase implies military disaster. And hast not made him to stand in the battle; i.e. '" hast caused him to give way before his enemies." The words imply defeat in the open field.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword,.... Or the "sharpness" (a) of it blunted it, so that it could do no execution: the disciples of Christ were not allowed the use of the temporal sword to defend their master; and his house, his kingdom, not being of this world, Matthew 26:51, other weapons were put into their hands; the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; and the edge of this was blunted, with respect to the Jews, being of little or no efficacy among them; it was turned off by them, and put away from them; but then it was turned towards the Gentiles, and was powerful and effectual among them; Christ girt it on his thigh, and rode forth in his glory and majesty, conquering, and to conquer, and by it subdued many, who fell under him, and gave up themselves unto him; see Ephesians 6:17, and ere long, with the twoedged sword, which proceeds out of his mouth, will he smite the antichristian nations; and the remnant of those that escape at the battle of Armageddon shall be slain with it, Revelation 19:15,
and hast not made him to stand in the battle; but to fall in it, being delivered up into the hands of wicked men, of justice, and death; and yet, by dying, he put away sin, finished it, made an end of it, and destroyed it; he conquered Satan, and led him captive; overcame the world, the spite and malice of it, and its prince; and abolished death itself.
(a) "acumen", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
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