Psalm 3:8
Salvation belongs to the LORD: your blessing is on your people. Selah.
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(8) Thy blessing . . .—Rather, let thy blessing be upon thy people. It is not the statement of a fact, but an intercessory prayer. The true Shepherd of His people was a noble and generous man. This close, as Ewald says, “throws a bright light on the depth of his noble soul.”

Psalm 3:8. Salvation belongeth unto God — I expect not salvation from my counsels or forces, but from thy power and favour alone. Thy blessing is — Or rather, let it be; upon thy people — Either upon my friends and followers, who alone are thy people, the rest being rebels to thee as well as to me; or upon all thy people Israel, to preserve my friends, to convince and convert my enemies, and to save the body of the nation, which, without thy mercy, are likely, by this civil war, to be brought to utter ruin. 3:4-8 Care and grief do us good, when they engage us to pray to God, as in earnest. David had always found God ready to answer his prayers. Nothing can fix a gulf between the communications of God's grace towards us, and the working of his grace in us; between his favour and our faith. He had always been very safe under the Divine protection. This is applicable to the common mercies of every night, for which we ought to give thanks every morning. Many lie down, and cannot sleep, through pain of body, or anguish of mind, or the continual alarms of fear in the night. But it seems here rather to be meant of the calmness of David's spirit, in the midst of his dangers. The Lord, by his grace and the consolations of his Spirit, made him easy. It is a great mercy, when we are in trouble, to have our minds stayed upon God. Behold the Son of David composing himself to his rest upon the cross, that bed of sorrows; commending his Spirit into the Father's hands in full confidence of a joyful resurrection. Behold this, O Christian: let faith teach thee how to sleep, and how to die; while it assures thee that as sleep is a short death, so death is only a longer sleep; the same God watches over thee, in thy bed and in thy grave. David's faith became triumphant. He began the psalm with complaints of the strength and malice of his enemies; but concludes with rejoicing in the power and grace of his God, and now sees more with him than against him. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord; he has power to save, be the danger ever so great. All that have the Lord for their God, are sure of salvation; for he who is their God, is the God of Salvation.Salvation belongeth unto the Lord - That is, it pertains to God alone to save. The psalmist had no expectation of saving himself; he had no confidence in the unaided prowess of his own arm. If he was to be saved he felt that it was to be only by God, and the praise of this was to be given to Him. The particular reference here is to temporal deliverance, or deliverance from the dangers which surrounded him then; but the declaration is as true of spiritual deliverance - of the salvation of the soul - as it is of deliverance from temporal danger. In both cases it is true that God only saves, and that all the praise is due to him.

Thy blessing is upon thy people - Or perhaps, rather, "thy blessing be upon thy people," regarding this as a "prayer" rather than an "affirmation." It is true, indeed, as an affirmation (compare Psalm 2:12); but it accords better with the connection here, and is a more appropriate conclusion of the psalm to regard it as a petition, expressing an earnest desire that the blessing of God might ever rest upon his own people. Then the thoughts of the psalmist are turned away from his own perils to the condition of others; from his individual case to that of the Church at large; and he prays that all others may find the same favors from God which he had so richly enjoyed, and which he hoped still to enjoy. It is one of the characteristics of true piety thus to turn from our own condition to that of others, and to desire that what we enjoy may be partaken of by the people of God everywhere.

8. An ascription of praise to a delivering God, whose favor is an efficient benefit. 8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

This verse contains the sum and substance of Calvinistic doctrine. Search Scripture through, and you must, if you read it with a candid mind, be persuaded that the doctrine of salvation by grace alone is the great doctrine of the word of God: "Salvation belongeth unto the Lord." This is a point concerning which we are daily fighting. Our opponents say, "Salvation belongeth to the free will of man; if not to man's merit, yet at least to man's will;" but we hold and teach that salvation from first to last, in every iota of it, belongs to the Most High God. It is God that chooses his people. He calls them by his grace; he quickens them by his Spirit, and keeps them by his power. It is not of man, neither by man; "not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy." May we all learn this truth experimentally, for our proud flesh and blood will never permit us to learn it in any other way. In the last sentence the peculiarity and speciality of salvation are plainly stated: "Thy blessing is upon thy people." Neither upon Egypt, nor upon Tyre, nor upon Nineveh; thy blessing is upon thy chosen, thy blood-bought, thine everlastingly-beloved people. "Selah:" lift up your hearts, and pause, and meditate upon this doctrine. "Thy blessing is upon thy people." Divine, discriminating, distinguishing, eternal, infinite, immutable love, is a subject for constant adoration. Pause my soul, at this Selah, and consider thine own interest in the salvation of God; and if by humble faith thou art enabled to see Jesus as thine by his own free gift of himself to thee, if this greatest of all blessings-be upon thee, rise up and sing -

"Rise, my soul! adore and wonder!

Ask, 'O why such love to me?'

Grace hath put me in the number.

Of the Saviour's family:


Thanks, eternal thanks to thee."

I expect not salvation from my forces, but from thy power and favour alone.

Thy blessing is, or rather, let it be, (so he closeth with a prayer,)

upon thy people; either upon my friends and followers, who alone are thy people, the rest being rebels to thee as well as to me; or, upon all thy people Israel, to preserve my friends, to convince and convert mine enemies, and to save the body of the nation, which without thy mercy are likely by this civil war to be brought to utter ruin. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord,.... As the author of it; temporal salvation is of him; all the deliverances of the saints out of their troubles are from him; and to him is owing their spiritual and eternal salvation; this belongs to Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit: Jehovah the Father resolved upon it, chose men to it from everlasting, contrived the scheme of it in his infinite wisdom, made a covenant with his Son, in which he secured it, and appointed him to be the author of it, and sent him in the fulness of time to effect it; and Christ the Son of God, being qualified for it, being mighty to save, came into this world for that purpose, and is become the author of eternal salvation; his own arm has brought it to him, though there were many difficulties in the way; such as fulfilling the law, satisfying justice, making an end of sin, grappling with all the powers of darkness, and undergoing an accursed death: and the Spirit of God, he makes men sensible of their need of this salvation; he brings it near to them, and works faith in them to lay hold upon it, and shows them their interest in it; and in consequence of all this the glory of salvation belongs to the Lord, Father, Son, and Spirit, and should be given to the Father as the contriver of it, to the Son as the author of it, and to the Spirit as the applier of it; see Revelation 7:10;

thy blessing is upon thy people; or it may be considered prayer wise, let "thy blessing be upon thy people" (b); either upon those that were on the side of David, or on those, as others interpret it, who had imprudently joined themselves to Absalom; which latter sense, if right, shows in what a divine frame and disposition of mind the psalmist was, to pray for his enemies: or the words are an assertion, that the blessing of the Lord was come upon his covenant people, and does descend upon them as they are called by grace; even all spiritual blessings, the blessings of a justifying righteousness, of pardon of sin, of reconciliation and peace by the blood of Christ, of adoption, and of eternal life; the blessing of grace, and the blessing of glory.

Selah; on this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.

(b) "sit benedictio tua", Junius & Tremellius, Tarnovius, Gejerus, Michaelis.

{d} Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

(d) No matter how great or many the dangers may be, yet God always has ways to deliver his.

8. Salvation] R.V. marg. victory unduly limits the thought, though no doubt it is the particular form in which David desires to see Jehovah’s saving power manifested. ‘Save’ is the constant prayer, ‘salvation’ the constant desire, of the Psalmists. The Hebrew words thus rendered denote primarily enlargement, liberation from a state of confinement and distress, power to move freely and at will, and so deliverance generally. Such deliverance comes from Jehovah alone: it is eagerly sought as the proof of His favour. It is, mainly at least, temporal and material, and is looked for in this life; for in the O.T. this life is the sphere of God’s dealings with His people. But the word grows with the growth of revelation, till it gains an inexhaustible fulness of spiritual meaning in the N.T.

thy blessing is upon thy people] Rather as R.V., thy blessing be upon thy people. This prayer reveals the noble heart of the true king, to whom the welfare of his people is more than his own personal safety. Like Him of whom he was the type, he intercedes on behalf of the rebels, for ‘thy people’ cannot be limited to the loyal few. The whole nation is still Jehovah’s people, though they have been misled into revolt against His king. As the sequel shewed, the revolt was the work of a party, not of the nation (2 Samuel 19:9).Verse 8. - Salvation belongeth unto the Lord; or, salvation is the Lord's (Kay). "To him alone it belongs to save or to destroy. Therefore is my prayer addressed to him, and him only" (see ver. 7). Thy blessing is upon thy people; rather, let thy blessing be upon thy people. "Whatever becomes of me," i.e., "let thy people be blest" (Kay). David is not deterred, by the revolt of almost the whole people against him, from commending them to God, entreating God's blessing upon them, and desiring their welfare. He echoes Moses (Exodus 32:31, 32); he anticipates Christ (Luke 23:34).

(Heb.: 3:2-3) The first strophe contains the lament concerning the existing distress. From its combination with the exclamative מה, רבּוּ is accented on the ultima (and also in Psalm 104:24); the accentuation of the perf. of verbs עע very frequently (even without the Waw consec.) follows the example of the strong verb, Ges. ֗67 rem. 12. A declaration then takes the place of the summons and the רבּים implied in the predicate רבּוּ now becomes the subject of participial predicates, which more minutely describe the continuing condition of affairs. The ל of לנפשׁי signifies "in the direction of," followed by an address in Psalm 11:1 ( equals "to"), or, as here and frequently (e.g., Genesis 21:7) followed by narration ( equals "of," concerning). לנפשׁי instead of לי implies that the words of the adversaries pronounce a judgment upon his inmost life, or upon his personal relationship to God. ישׁוּעתה is an intensive form for ישׁוּעה, whether it be with a double feminine termination (Ges., Ew., Olsh.), or, with an original (accusative) ah of the direction: we regard this latter view, with Hupfeld, as more in accordance with the usage and analogy of the language (comp. Psalm 44:27 with Psalm 80:3, and לילה prop. νύκτα, then as common Greek ἡ νύκτα νύχθα). God is the ground of help; to have no more help in Him is equivalent to being rooted out of favour with God. Open enemies as well as disconcerted friends look upon him as one henceforth cast away. David had plunged himself into the deepest abyss of wretchedness by his adultery with Bathsheba, at the beginning of the very year in which, by the renewal of the Syro-Ammonitish war, he had reached the pinnacle of worldly power. The rebellion of Absolom belonged to the series of dire calamities which began to come upon him from that time. Plausible reasons were not wanting for such words as these which give up his cause as lost.
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