Psalm 48:9
We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) Thy temple.—This verse seems to indicate a liturgic origin for the psalm.

48:8-14 We have here the improvement which the people of God are to make of his glorious and gracious appearances for them. Let our faith in the word of God be hereby confirmed. Let our hope of the stability of the church be encouraged. Let our minds be filled with good thoughts of God. All the streams of mercy that flow down to us, must be traced to the fountain of His loving-kindness. Let us give to God the glory of the great things he has done for us. Let all the members of the church take comfort from what the Lord does for his church. Let us observe the beauty, strength, and safety of the church. Consider its strength; see it founded on Christ the Rock, fortified by the Divine power, guarded by Him who neither slumbers nor sleeps. See what precious ordinances are its palaces, what precious promises are its bulwarks, that you may be encouraged to join yourselves to it: and tell this to others. This God, who has now done such great things for us, is unchangeable in his love to us, and his care for us. If he is our God, he will lead and keep us even to the last. He will so guide us, as to set us above the reach of death, so that it shall not do us any real hurt. He will lead us to a life in which there shall be no more death.We have thought of thy loving-kindness, O God - We have reflected on, or meditated on. The word used here literally means "to compare, to liken;" and this idea is perhaps always implied when it is used in the sense of thinking on, or meditating on. Perhaps the meaning here is, that they had "compared" in their own minds what they had heard from their fathers with what they had now seen; they had called all these things up to their remembrance, and had compared the one with the other.

In the midst of thy temple - See the notes at Psalm 5:7. The allusion here most probably is to the "temple," properly so called, as these transactions are supposed to have occurred after the building of the temple by Solomon. The expression here also would make it probable that the psalm was composed after the defeat and overthrow of the armies referred to, in order that it might be used in the temple in celebrating the deliverance.

9. thought of—literally, "compared," or considered, in respect of former dealings.

in the … temple—in acts of solemn worship (compare 2Ch 20:28).

9 We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.

10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.

11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.

Psalm 48:9

"We have thought." Holy men are thoughtful men; they do not suffer God's wonders to pass before their eyes and melt into forgetfulness, but they meditate deeply upon them. "Of thy lovingkindness, O God." What a delightful subject! Devout minds never tire of so divine a theme. It is well to think of past lovingkindness in times of trial, and equally profitable to remember it in seasons of prosperity. Grateful memories sweeten sorrows and sober joys. "In the midst of thy temple." Fit place for so devout a meditation. Where God is most seen he is best loved. The assembled saints constitute a living temple, and our deepest musings when so gathered together should have regard to the lovingkindness of the Lord, exhibited in the varied experiences of each of the living stones. Memories of mercy should be associated with continuance of praise. Hard by the table of shew-bread commemorating his bounty, should stand the altar of incense denoting our praise.

Psalm 48:10

"According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth." Great fame is due to his great name. The glory of Jehovah's exploits overleaps the boundaries of earth; angels behold with wonder, and from every star delighted intelligences proclaim his fame beyond the ends of the earth. What if men are silent, yet the woods, and seas, and mountains, with all their countless tribes, and all the unseen spirits that walk them, are full of the divine praise. As in a shell we listen to the murmurs of the sea, so in the convolutions of creation we hear the praises of God. "Thy right hand is full of righteousness." Thy sceptre and thy sword, thy government and thy vengeance, are altogether just. Thy hand is never empty, but full of energy, of bounty, and of equity. Neither saint nor sinner shall find the Lord to be an empty-handed God; he will in both cases deal out righteousness to the full: to the one, through Jesus, he will be just to forgive, to the other just to condemn.

Psalm 48:11

"Let mount Zion rejoice." As the first of the cities of Judah, and the main object of the enemies' attack, let her lead the song. "Let the daughters of Judah be glad," let the smaller towns join the chorus, for they join in the common victory. Let the women, who fare worst in the havoc of war, be among the gladdest of the glad, now that the spoilers have fled. All the church, and each individual member, should rejoice in the Lord, and magnify his name. "Because of thy judgments." The righteous acts of the Lord are legitimate subjects for joyful praise. However it may appear on earth, yet in heaven the eternal ruin of the wicked will be the theme of adoring song. Rev 19:1, Revelation 19:3 : "Alleluia; salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God. For true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great whore which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia, and her smoke rose up for ever and ever." Justice which to our poor optics now seems severe, will then be perceived to be perfectly consistent with God's name of love, and to be one of the brightest jewels of his crown.

It hath been the matter of our serious and deep meditation, when we have been worshipping there in thy temple. For when the priests were offering incense or sacrifice, the religious people exercised themselves in holy meditation or secret prayer to God, as may be gathered from Luke 1:10, and many other places of Scripture, and from the nature of the thing. Or, we have silently or patiently waited for, as some ancient and other interpreters render it.

We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God,.... Jarchi interprets it, "we have waited for thy lovingkindness"; to see thy salvation; and some, as Ben Melech observes, explain it of hope and expectation; as if the sense was, "we have hoped for thy lovingkindness"; so the Syriac version renders it, and the word used has the signification of tarrying, 1 Samuel 14:9. God has his set time to favour his Zion, and till that time comes it is right in them to be hoping, expecting, and waiting for it. The Chaldee paraphrase is, "we have esteemed thy goodness"; it being very excellent, exceeding valuable, and better than life itself; but other Jewish writers, as Menachem, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, render it as we do, "we have thought", &c. The lovingkindness of God towards his people in Christ is a very delightful and profitable subject to dwell in meditation upon, to consider the objects, instances, cause, and nature of it; and serves greatly to encourage faith and hope, to draw out love to God, and engage to a ready and cheerful obedience to his will; and this is sometimes done in public, as well as in private conversation, and in the closet; as follows;

in the midst of thy temple; the church of Christ, which is of his building, where he dwells, and grants his presence, and is often called the temple of God in the New Testament, in allusion to Solomon's temple; see 1 Corinthians 3:16; here the word of God is preached, his ordinances administered, and his presence granted; which are instances of his lovingkindness, and lead his people to think of it; and particularly when the faithful ministers of the Gospel make mention of it, and the ordinance of the supper is administering, which is intended to bring to remembrance the love of God and Christ: moreover, in the latter day, to which this psalm belongs, the temple of God will be opened, Revelation 11:19; that is, the true worship of God will be restored, and pure and undefiled religion freely exercised; the Gospel will be clearly and fully preached; and the ordinances administered as they were first delivered, which will lead the saints to think of the lovingkindness of God unto them; and particularly when they shall see the angels with the seven vials the executioners of God's wrath on the antichristian states, go forth from the temple to pour them out upon them, Revelation 15:6.

We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. We have thought on thy lovingkindness, O God, realised it to ourselves as manifested in this new deliverance, while we offered our thanksgivings in the Temple courts; for there, in the immediate presence of God, men learn the true significance of events (Psalm 73:17). It suits the context less well to render We thought on &c., and to understand the words to refer to prayers offered before the great deliverance, in which past mercies were recalled as a ground of confidence.

9–14. The lessons of deliverance.

Verse 9. - We have thought of thy loving-kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. Jehoshaphat, on his return to Jerusalem from the scene of his adversaries' slaughter, held a thanksgiving service in the temple, "with psalteries, and harps, and trumpets," because the Lord had made the people to rejoice over their enemies (2 Chronicles 20:27, 28). Psalm 48:9(Heb.: 48:10-12) Now follows grateful praise to God, who hears prayer and executes justice, to the joy of His city and of His people. By דּמּינוּ the poet refers back to the service held in the temple before the army set out, as narrated in 2 Chronicles 20, to the prayers offered in the time of their impending danger, and to the remembrance of the favour hitherto shown towards Jerusalem, from which source they drew the comfort of hope for the present time. דּמּה, to compare, to hold one thing over against another, in this instance by causing the history of the past to pass before one's mind. To God's mighty deeds of old is now added a new one. The Name of God, i.e., the sum of His self-attestations hitherto, was the subject of the דמינו in the temple, and more particularly of the Korahitic songs (2 Chronicles 20:19); and this name has gloriously verified itself by a new deed of righteousness. His fame extends even to the ends of the earth (2 Chronicles 20:29). He has proved Himself to be One whose right hand is full of righteousness, and who practises righteousness or justice where it is necessary. Let, then, the Holy City, let the country cities of Judah (Isaiah 40:9, cf. Psalm 16:2) rejoice. The whole inheritance of Israel was threatened. Now it is most gloriously delivered.
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