Psalm 147:11
The LORD takes pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
147:1-11 Praising God is work that is its own wages. It is comely; it becomes us as reasonable creatures, much more as people in covenant with God. He gathers outcast sinners by his grace, and will bring them into his holy habitation. To those whom God heals with the consolations of his Spirit, he speaks peace, assures them their sins are pardoned. And for this, let others praise him also. Man's knowledge is soon ended; but God's knowledge is a dept that can never be fathomed. And while he telleth the number of the stars, he condescends to hear the broken-hearted sinner. While he feeds the young ravens, he will not leave his praying people destitute. Clouds look dull and melancholy, yet without them we could have no rain, therefore no fruit. Thus afflictions look black and unpleasant; but from clouds of affliction come showers that make the soul to yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The psalmist delights not in things wherein sinners trust and glory; but a serious and suitable regard to God is, in his sight, of very great price. We are not to be in doubt between hope and fear, but to act under the gracious influences of hope and fear united.The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him - In those who truly worship him, however humble, poor, and unknown to people they may be; however unostentatious, retired, unnoticed may be their worship. Not in the "pride, pomp, and circumstance of war" is his pleasure; not in the march of armies; not in the valor of the battlefield; not in scenes where "the garments of the warrior are rolled in blood," but in the closet, when the devout child of God prays; in the family, when the group bend before Him in solemn devotion; in the assembly - quiet, serious, calm - when his friends are gathered together for prayer and praise; in the heart that truly loves, reverences, adores Him.

In those that hope in his mercy - It is a pleasure to him to have the guilty, the feeble, the undeserving hope in Him - trust in Him - seek Him.

10, 11. The advantages afforded, as in war by the strength of the horse or the agility of man, do not incline God to favor any; but those who fear and, of course, trust Him, will obtain His approbation and aid. That believingly and patiently expect and seek relief and happiness from God alone, and from his mere grace and mercy, and not from any creature, nor from their own merits. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him,.... With a filial and godly fear; that serve and worship him, privately and publicly, with reverence and love: as, appears by the goodness he lays up for them; the good things he communicates to them; the discoveries of his love, covenant, and grace, they have from him; the guard he sets about them; his eye of providence and grace over them; and his heart full of love, pity, and compassion to them; see Psalm 33:18;

in those that hope in his mercy; not general, but special; not in the absolute mercy of God, but as displayed in Christ; and great encouragement there is to hope in it, from the plenty of it in his heart, from the instances of it among men, and from the blessings of grace and salvation that spring from it: and in such the Lord takes pleasure; hope is his own grace, and mercy is his delight; and he is pleased with those that exercise hope upon it: not that the graces of fear and hope, and the exercise of them, are the cause and motives of God's delight in his people, which, as they were considered in Christ, was before the world was, or those graces were in them; but these describe and point out the persons who are openly and manifestly the objects of his delight and pleasure. Plutarch (r), an, Heathen writer, seems to have been acquainted with this and Psalm 147:10, and to refer to them, when he says,

"it is somewhere said, that God is not a lover of horses, nor of birds, but of men, and desires to dwell with those that are eminently good; nor does he refuse nor despise the familiar converse of a man divine and wise.''

(r) In Vita Numae, vol. 1. p. 62.

The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. those that hope in his mercy] Or, those that wait for his loving-kindness.Verse 11. - The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him (comp. Psalm 149:4). The "fear" intended is, of course, that which includes trust and love (see the next clause). In those that hope in his mercy; or, "that wait for his loving-kindness." The Hallelujah, as in Psalm 135:3, is based upon the fact, that to sing of our God, or to celebrate our God in song (זמּר with an accusative of the object, as in Psalm 30:13, and frequently), is a discharge of duty that reacts healthfully and beneficially upon ourselves: "comely is a hymn of praise" (taken from Psalm 33:1), both in respect of the worthiness of God to be praised, and of the gratitude that is due to Him. Instead of זמּר or לזמּר, Psalm 92:2, the expression is זמּרה, a form of the infin. Piel, which at least can still be proved to be possible by ליסּרה in Leviticus 26:18. The two כּי are co-ordinate, and כּי־נעים no more refers to God here than in Psalm 135:3, as Hitzig supposes when he alters Psalm 147:1 so that it reads: "Praise ye Jah because He is good, play unto our God because He is lovely." Psalm 92:2 shows that כּי־טוב can refer to God; but נעים said of God is contrary to the custom and spirit of the Old Testament, whereas טוב and נעים are also in Psalm 133:1 neuter predicates of a subject that is set forth in the infinitive form. In Psalm 147:2 the praise begins, and at the same time the confirmation of the delightful duty. Jahve is the builder up of Jerusalem, He brings together (כּנּס as in Ezekiel, the later wozd for אסף and קבּץ) the outcasts of Israel (as in Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 56:8); the building of Jerusalem is therefore intended of the rebuilding up, and to the dispersion of Israel corresponds the holy city laid in ruins. Jahve healeth the heart-broken, as He has shown in the case of the exiles, and bindeth up their pains (Psalm 16:4), i.e., smarting wounds; רפא, which is here followed by חבּשׁ, also takes to itself a dative object in other instances, both in an active and (Isaiah 6:10) an impersonal application; but for שׁבוּרי לב the older language says נשׁבּרי לב, Psalm 34:19, Isaiah 61:1. The connection of the thoughts, which the poet now brings to the stars, becomes clear from the primary passage, Isaiah 40:26, cf. Isaiah 40:27. To be acquainted with human woe and to relieve it is an easy and small matter to Him who allots a number to the stars, that are to man innumerable (Genesis 15:5), i.e., who has called them into being by His creative power in whatever number He has pleased, and yet a number known to Him (מנה, the part. praes., which occurs frequently in descriptions of the Creator), and calls to them all names, i.e., names them all by names which are the expression of their true nature, which is well known to Him, the Creator. What Isaiah says (Isaiah 40:26) with the words, "because of the greatness of might, and as being strong in power," and (Isaiah 40:28) "His understanding is unsearchable," is here asserted in Psalm 147:5 (cf. Psalm 145:3): great is our Lord, and capable of much (as in Job 37:23, שׂגּיא כּח), and to His understanding there is no number, i.e., in its depth and fulness it cannot be defined by any number. What a comfort for the church as it traverses its ways, that are often so labyrinthine and entangled! Its Lord is the Omniscient as well as the Almighty One. Its history, like the universe, is a work of God's infinitely profound and rich understanding. It is a mirror of gracious love and righteous anger. The patient sufferers (ענוים) He strengthens (מעודד as in Psalm 146:9); malevolent sinners (רשׁעים), on the other hand, He casts down to the earth (עדי־ארץ, cf. Isaiah 26:5), casting deep down to the ground those who exalt themselves to the skies.
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