Psalm 116:5
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 116:5-6. Gracious is the Lord — Therefore he will maintain my just cause against my unrighteous oppressors, will perform his promises, and save those who faithfully serve and trust in him. The Lord preserveth the simple — That is, those who are upright and sincere, and make use of no crafty arts or counsels, no indirect or unlawful means for their deliverance; who, as the original word implies, depend wholly upon God, as little children do upon their parents. I was brought low — Plunged into the depth of distress and misery; and he helped me — Patiently to bear what was laid upon me, and to hope for deliverance at the proper time.

116:1-9 We have many reasons for loving the Lord, but are most affected by his loving-kindness when relieved out of deep distress. When a poor sinner is awakened to a sense of his state, and fears that he must soon sink under the just wrath of God, then he finds trouble and sorrow. But let all such call upon the Lord to deliver their souls, and they will find him gracious and true to his promise. Neither ignorance nor guilt will hinder their salvation, when they put their trust in the Lord. Let us all speak of God as we have found him; and have we ever found him otherwise than just and good? It is of his mercies that we are not consumed. Let those who labour and are heavy laden come to him, that they may find rest to their souls; and if at all drawn from their rest, let them haste to return, remembering how bountifully the Lord has dealt with them. We should deem ourselves bound to walk as in his presence. It is a great mercy to be kept from being swallowed up with over-much sorrow. It is a great mercy for God to hold us by the right hand, so that we are not overcome and overthrown by a temptation. But when we enter the heavenly rest, deliverance from sin and sorrow will be complete; we shall behold the glory of the Lord, and walk in his presence with delight we cannot now conceive.Gracious is the Lord - This fact was his encouragement when he called on God. He believed that God was a gracious Being, and he found him to be so. Compare the notes at Hebrews 11:6.

And righteous ... - Just; true; faithful. This, too, is a proper foundation of appeal to God: not that we are righteous, and have a claim to his favor, but that he is a Being who will do what is right; that is, what is best to be done in the case. If he were an unjust Being; if he were one on whose stability of character, and whose regard for right, no reliance could be placed, we could never approach him with confidence or hope. In this sense we may rely on his justice - his justness of character - as a ground of hope. Compare the notes at 1 John 1:9 : "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us Our sins."

5-8. The relief which he asked is the result not of his merit, but of God's known pity and tenderness, which is acknowledged in assuring himself (his "soul," Ps 11:1; 16:10) of rest and peace. All calamities [Ps 116:8] are represented by death, tears, and falling of the feet (Ps 56:13). Gracious is the Lord: this he mentions either,

1. As that which he found by experience in answer to his prayers; or,

2. As the argument by which he encouraged himself to pray.

And righteous; therefore he will maintain me and my just cause against my unrighteous oppressors, and perform his promises, and save those who faithfully serve aim and put their trust in him.

Gracious is the Lord,.... So the psalmist found him, calling upon him; so he is in Christ, the author and giver of all grace, to help in time of need.

And righteous; faithful to his promises, just in every dispensation of his providence, even in afflictive ones; righteous in punishing the enemies of his people, and in saving, justifying, and pardoning them for Christ's sake.

Yea, our God is merciful; compassionate, tenderhearted, a heart full of pity, as a father to his child; and sympathizes with his people under all their afflictions, and saves them out of them; see Psalm 86:5.

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is {c} merciful.

(c) He shows forth the fruit of his love in calling on him, confessing him to be just and merciful and to help them who are destitute of aid and counsel.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. Cp. Psalm 111:4, and passages referred to there, all based on the fundamental passage, Exodus 34:6.

5, 6. The character of Jehovah, realised in the Psalmist’s experience.

Verse 5. - Gracious is the Lord, and righteous. God's answers to prayer show him to be both "gracious" and "righteous" - gracious, because it is of his mercy that he listens to men; righteous, because, having promised to hear prayer, he is bound to keep his promises. Yea, our God is merciful; or, "compassionate." Psalm 116:5With "gracious" and "compassionate" is here associated, as in Psalm 112:4, the term "righteous," which comprehends within itself everything that Jahve asserts concerning Himself in Exodus 34:6. from the words "and abundant in goodness and truth" onwards. His love is turned especially toward the simple (lxx τὰ νήπια, cf. Matthew 11:25), who stand in need of His protection and give themselves over to it. פּתאים, as in Proverbs 9:6, is a mode of writing blended out of פּתאים and פּתיים. The poet also has experienced this love in a time of impotent need. דּלּותי is accented on the ultima here, and not as in Psalm 142:7 on the penult. The accentuation is regulated by some phonetic or rhythmical law that has not yet been made clear (vid., on Job 19:17).

(Note: The national grammarians, so far as we are acquainted with them, furnish no explanation. De Balmis believes that these Milra forms דּלּותי, בּלּותי, and the like, must be regarded as infinitives, but at the same time confirms the difference of views existing on this point.)

יהושׁיע is a resolved Hiphil form, the use of which became common in the later period of the language, but is not alien to the earlier period, especially in poetry (Psalm 45:18, cf. Psalm 81:6; 1 Samuel 17:47; Isaiah 52:5). In Psalm 116:7 we hear the form of soliloquy which has become familiar to us from Psalm 42:1; Psalm 103. שׁוּבי is Milra here, as also in two other instances. The plural מנוּחים signifies full, complete rest, as it is found only in God; and the suffix in the address to the soul is ajchi for ajich, as in Psalm 103:3-5. The perfect גּמל states that which is a matter of actual experience, and is corroborated in Psalm 116:8 in retrospective perfects. In Psalm 116:8-9 we hear Psalm 56:14 again amplified; and if we add Psalm 27:13, then we see as it were to the bottom of the origin of the poet's thoughts. מן־דּמעה belongs still more decidedly than יהושׁיע to the resolved forms which multiply in the later period of the language. In Psalm 116:9 the poet declares the result of the divine deliverance. The Hithpa. אתהלּך denotes a free and contented going to and fro; and instead of "the land of the living," Psalm 27:13, the expression here is "the lands (ארצות), i.e., the broad land, of the living." There he walks forth, with nothing to hinder his feet or limit his view, in the presence of Jahve, i.e., having his Deliverer from death ever before his eyes.

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