Psalm 118:6
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do to me?
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(6) A reminiscence of Psalm 56:9-11.

118:1-18 The account the psalmist here gives of his troubles is very applicable to Christ: many hated him without a cause; nay, the Lord himself chastened him sorely, bruised him, and put him to grief, that by his stripes we might be healed. God is sometimes the strength of his people, when he is not their song; they have spiritual supports, though they want spiritual delights. Whether the believer traces back his comfort to the everlasting goodness and mercy of God, or whether he looks forward to the blessing secured to him, he will find abundant cause for joy and praise. Every answer to our prayers is an evidence that the Lord is on our side; and then we need not fear what man can do unto us; we should conscientiously do our duty to all, and trust in him alone to accept and bless us. Let us seek to live to declare the works of God, and to encourage others to serve him and trust in him. Such were the triumphs of the Son of David, in the assurance that the good pleasure of the Lord should prosper in his hand.The Lord is on my side - Margin, as in Hebrew," for me." The Lord is with me. He is my helper. He defends my cause.

I will not fear - I have nothing to be afraid of. God is more mighty than any or all of my foes, and he can deliver me from them all. Compare Psalm 56:4, Psalm 56:9,Psalm 56:11.

What can man do unto me? - Any person; all people. They can do no more than God permits. They cannot destroy me when he means to save me; they cannot defeat his gracious designs toward me. I am safe if God is my Friend. Compare the notes at Romans 8:31.

6, 7. Men are helpless to hurt him, if God be with him (Ps 56:9), and, if enemies, they will be vanquished (Ps 54:7). A frail and impotent creature in himself, and much more when he is opposed to the Almighty God. The Lord is on my side,.... Or "for me" (s); he was on the side of David, hence all his prosperity and victories, the wonderful things done by him, his exaltation to the throne, and the establishment of it; and so he was on the side of Christ, he was near unto him, at his right hand, to guide, direct, and assist him as man; and he is likewise on the side of his people, to fight their battles for them, to support them under all their afflictions, to supply all their wants, to deliver them from all evil, to carry on the work of grace in their souls, and to bring them to glory, The Targum is,

"the Word of the Lord is for my help.''

I will not fear: what can man do unto me? David did not; he was not afraid of ten thousands of men, no, not of a whole army that encamped against him, God being for him, the strength of his life, and his salvation, Psalm 3:6; nor did the Messiah; he was not afraid of Herod when he was told he would kill him; nor of the high priests, Scribes and Pharisees, though he knew he should fall into their hands, and they would deliver him to the Gentiles, to be scourged and crucified; nor of Judas and his band of men, who came to take him; nor of Pilate his judge, who had no power against him but what was given him. Nor have the saints any reason to fear what man can do unto them, when grace is in exercise; for what is man to God, who is but flesh, and that flesh grass? Nor can he do anything without a divine permission; is often frustrated in his attempt; and what he is suffered to do is overruled for good; and the utmost he can do is to kill the body; he cannot destroy the soul, or hinder the happiness of it; see Psalm 56:4.

(s) "pro me", Musculus, Michaelis.

The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can {c} man do unto me?

(c) Being exalted to this estate, he assured himself to have man ever to be his enemy. Yet he did not doubt that God would maintain him, because he had placed him.

6. From Psalm 56:9; Psalm 56:11. Cited in Hebrews 13:6.Verse 6. - The Lord is on my side. "At this point the speaker transfers his point of view into the past; he is once more fear less in the midst of foes" (Cheyne). I will not fear (comp. Psalm 23:4; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 56:4, etc.). What can man do unto me? Man is powerless against God. "If God be for us [i.e. on our side], who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). The thanksgiving Psalm ending in Hallelujah is followed by this shortest of all the Psalms, a Hallelujah addressed to the heathen world. In its very brevity it is one of the grandest witnesses of the might with which, in the midst of the Old Testament, the world-wide mission of the religion of revelation struck against or undermined the national limitation. It is stamped by the apostle in Romans 15:11 as a locus classicus for the fore-ordained (gnadenrathschlussmssig) participation of the heathen in the promised salvation of Israel.

Even this shortest Psalm has its peculiarities in point of language. אמּים (Aramaic אמיּא, Arabic umam) is otherwise alien to Old Testament Hebrew. The Old Testament Hebrew is acquainted only with אמּות as an appellation of Ismaelitish of Midianitish tribes. כּל־גּוים are, as in Psalm 72:11, Psalm 72:17, all peoples without distinction, and כּל־האמּים all nations without exception. The call is confirmed from the might of the mercy or loving-kindness of Jahve, which proves itself mighty over Israel, i.e., by its intensity and fulness superabundantly covering (גּבר as in Psalm 103:11; cf. ὑπερεπερίσσευσε, Romans 5:20, ὑπερεπλεόνασε, 1 Timothy 1:14) human sin and infirmity; and from His truth, by virtue of which history on into eternity ends in a verifying of His promises. Mercy and truth are the two divine powers which shall one day be perfectly developed and displayed in Israel, and going forth from Israel, shall conquer the world.

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