Psalm 94:19
In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
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(19) Thoughts.—Properly, dividing—i.e., “perplexing” or “anxious” thoughts. (See Job 4:13; Job 20:2.) LXX. and Vulg., “griefs.”

We may compare the Virgilian “animum nunc huc celerem, nunc dividit illuc,” imitated by Tennyson:

This way and that dividing his swift mind,

In act to throw.”

Delight.—Literally, stroke, and so soothe. The Hebrew word is used in Isaiah 66:11 of a mother quieting her child with the breast, and in Jeremiah 16:7 of the cup of consolation given to mourners at funerals.

Psalm 94:19. In the multitude of my thoughts within me — While my heart is filled with various and perplexing thoughts, as the original word signifies, and tormented with cares and fears about my future state; thy comforts delight my soul — Thy promises, contained in thy word, and the remembrance of my former experience of thy care and kindness to me, afford me such consolation as revives my dejected mind.

94:12-23 That man is blessed, who, under the chastening of the Lord, is taught his will and his truths, from his holy word, and by the Holy Spirit. He should see mercy through his sufferings. There is a rest remaining for the people of God after the days of their adversity, which shall not last always. He that sends the trouble, will send the rest. The psalmist found succour and relief only in the Lord, when all earthly friends failed. We are beholden, not only to God's power, but to his pity, for spiritual supports; and if we have been kept from falling into sin, or shrinking from our duty, we should give him the glory, and encourage our brethren. The psalmist had many troubled thoughts concerning the case he was in, concerning the course he should take, and what was likely to be the end of it. The indulgence of such contrivances and fears, adds to care and distrust, and renders our views more gloomy and confused. Good men sometimes have perplexed and distressed thoughts concerning God. But let them look to the great and precious promises of the gospel. The world's comforts give little delight to the soul, when hurried with melancholy thoughts; but God's comforts bring that peace and pleasure which the smiles of the world cannot give, and which the frowns of the world cannot take away. God is his people's Refuge, to whom they may flee, in whom they are safe, and may be secure. And he will reckon with the wicked. A man cannot be more miserable than his own wickedness will make him, if the Lord visit it upon him.In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul - The Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate render this, "In the multitude of my griefs within me," etc. DeWette renders it, "Bei meinen vielen Sorgen," "in my many cares." The Hebrew word, however, properly means "thoughts;" and the idea seems to be that in the great number of thoughts which passed through his mind, so many of them perplexing, anxious, burdensome - so many of them vain and profitless - so many of them that seemed to come and go without any aim or object, there was one class that gave him comfort. They were those which pertained to God. In those thoughts he found calmness and peace. However much he might be disturbed by other thoughts, yet here he found rest and peace. In God - in his character, in his law, in his government - he had an unfailing source of consolation; and whatever trouble he might have from the cares of life, and from the evil imaginings in his own mind, yet here his soul found repose.

God was an unfailing refuge; and meditation on him and his perfections made the mind calm. How many thoughts pass through our minds in a single day or a single hour! Who can tell from where they come, or by what laws they are linked together! How many of them seem to have no connection with any that went before! How many of them seem to be thrown into our minds when we would avoid them! How many are vain and frivolous; how many are skeptical; how many are polluted and polluting! How many come into the mind which we would not for worlds disclose to our best friends! How few of us would walk abroad if we were conscious that all whom we meet could look into our bosoms, and see all that is passing there! What a consolation it is to us that they cannot see it! What a world of confusion and blushes would this be if, in the streets of a crowded city, or when man meets his fellow man anywhere, all that is in his bosom were known! And yet, in this multitude of thoughts - so empty, so foolish, so sinful, so vexing, so skeptical, so polluting - there are others - there are thoughts of God, of Christ, of heaven, of hope, of faith, of love, of benevolence; thoughts within us, when the divine promises come to the heart, and the prospect of heaven warms the soul. These give "comfort;" these fill the soul with "delight." Happy he who can find in his bosom, amidst the multitude of thoughts within him, those which pertain to God; to a higher life; to heaven!

19. my thoughts—or, anxious cares. In the multitude of my thoughts; whilst my heart was filled with various and perplexing thoughts, as this Hebrew word signifies, and tormented with cares and fears about my future state.

Thy comforts; thy promises contained in thy word, and set home by thy Spirit upon my soul, and the remembrance of my former experiences of thy care and kindness to me. Compare Psalm 119:50,76.

In the multitude of my thoughts within me,.... The word for thoughts is used of branches of trees, thick and entwined, and so denotes perplexed and distressing thoughts; such as good men sometimes have concerning God; his awful and tremendous majesty; the perfections of his nature, particularly his power, purity, and holiness; concerning their relation to him, his presence with them, and good will towards them, which, because of their sins, they are ready to doubt of: thoughts concerning sin; that there are no sins like theirs, attended with such aggravated circumstances; that they are such as will not be forgiven; or they fear their corruptions will be too many for them, and they shall perish by them; or that they shall so fall as to bring dishonour on the ways of God; and sometimes that they have sinned the sin against the Holy Ghost: thoughts concerning the law of God their sins are a violation of, of the holiness and spirituality of it; by comparing themselves with which, they find they are very deficient, and very carnal; and ready to fear that all the curses of it belong to them, and the condemnation of it will light upon them: thoughts concerning Christ, the Saviour; that he is the Saviour of others, but not of them; that he is able to save, but they cannot think he is willing to save such vile sinners as they are: thoughts concerning the work of the Spirit of God upon them; calling it in question, fearing it was never begun, because of the power and prevalence of sin and corruption in them: thoughts concerning their present and future state; how it is with them now, and how it will be with them hereafter; how they shall pass through the troubles and difficulties of this world, and pass over Jordan's river, or get through the valley of the shadow of death; and how they shall appear before the judgment seat of God; and how things will be with them to all eternity: these are some of the perplexing and distressing thoughts, a multitude of which rise up at times in the minds of God's people, who yet are favoured with the same gracious experience the psalmist was, expressed as follows:

thy comforts delight my soul; such as flow from the love of God, is shed abroad in the heart; from the presence of God enjoyed; from the exceeding great and precious promises of the Gospel; from Christ, and the things of Christ, shown, brought home, and applied by the Spirit; his person, offices, fulness, righteousness, blood, and sacrifice; all which are a fund of divine consolation to a distressed mind: these are the consolations of God, of which he is the provider, author, and giver, and therefore called "the God of all comfort"; they come from Christ, the "consolation of Israel", and by the Spirit the Comforter, who sheds abroad the love of God in the heart; reveals Christ, and the things of Christ; opens and applies the promises; wherefore these comforts are called the "comforts of the Holy Ghost"; and they are usually enjoyed by means of the word and ordinances, which are "breasts of consolation"; and these are not small, but strong, and even everlasting, and which "delight the soul"; worldly comforts may delight the animal part, and please the senses, but not delight the soul, especially a wounded spirit, a distressed mind; but these will satiate the weary soul, and replenish the sorrowful soul with a joy unspeakable, and full of glory: the psalmist may here represent the church in the latter day, when in the midst of her troubles, and having many distressing thoughts concerning the issue of things; the comforts of God, from his promises, will delight her; Psalm 94:14, that he will not cast off his people, nor forsake his inheritance; but judgment shall return to righteousness; that he will keep her in the hour of temptation, and avenge the blood of her slain.

In the multitude of my {m} thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

(m) In my trouble and distress I always found your present help.

19. thoughts] Or, as R.V. marg., doubts; distracting thoughts which divide and perplex the mind.

Verse 19. - In the multitude of my thoughts within me; rather, my various thoughts, "my busy thoughts." Sarappim (as Dr. Kay observes) "are anxious, perplexing, branchings of thoughts," such as continually vex faithful yet doubting souls. Thy comforts delight my soul. Internal comfort is given by God himself to the perplexed and troubled in spirit, whereby they are "delighted," or, rather, "soothed and solaced." Psalm 94:19In the fifth strophe the poet celebrates the praise of the Lord as his sole, but also trusty and most consolatory help. The meaning of the question in Psalm 94:16 is, that there is no man who would rise and succour him in the conflict with the evil-doers; ל as in Exodus 14:25; Judges 6:31, and עם (without נלחם or the like) in the sense of contra, as in Psalm 55:19, cf. 2 Chronicles 20:6. God alone is his help. He alone has rescued him from death. היה is to be supplied to לוּלי: if He had not been, or: if He were not; and the apodosis is: then very little would have been wanting, then it would soon have come to this, that his soul would have taken up its abode, etc.; cf. on the construction Psalm 119:92; Psalm 124:1-5; Isaiah 1:9, and on כּמעט with the praet. Psalm 73:2; Psalm 119:87; Genesis 26:10 (on the other hand with the fut. Psalm 81:15). דּוּמה is, as in Psalm 115:17, the silence of the grave and of Hades; here it is the object to שׁכנה, as in Psalm 37:3, Proverbs 8:12, and frequently. When he appears to himself already as one that has fallen, God's mercy holds him up. And when thoughts, viz., sad and fearful thoughts, are multiplied within him, God's comforts delight him, viz., the encouragement of His word and the inward utterances of His Spirit. שׁרעפּים, as in Psalm 139:23, is equivalent to שעפּים, from שׂעף, סעף, Arab. š‛b, to split, branch off (Psychology, S. 181; tr. p. 214). The plural form ישׁעשׁעוּ, like the plural of the imperative in Isaiah 29:9, has two Pathachs, the second of which is the "independentification" of the Chateph of ישׁעשׁע.
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