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* For thou hast 'maintained my right and my cause; Thou satest in the throne judging 'right. 5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, Thou hast destroyed the wicked, Thou hast “put out their name for ever and ever. " 'O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: And thou hast destroyed cities; Their memorial is perished with them. 7 But "the LoRD shall endure for ever: He hath prepared his throne for judgment. * And “he shall judge the world in righteousness, He shall minister judgment to the people in uprightIleSS. * The fLoRD also will be “a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. 10 And they that s know thy name will put their trust in thee: For thou, LoRD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. 11 Sing praises to the LoRD, which dwelleth in Zion: Declare "among the people his doings. 1° When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: He forgetteth not the cry of the ‘humble. 18 Have mercy upon me, O Lord! Consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death, 14 That I may show forth all thy praise In the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will "rejoice in thy salvation.
1 Heb. made my judgment. c Deut. 9. 14. Prov. 10. 7. g Psa. 91. 14. * Heb. in righteousness. d Psa. 102. 12, 26. Heb. 1. 11. h Psa. 107. 22. Or, the destructions of the en- e Psa. 96. 13. and 9.S. 9. i Gen. 9.5. emy are come to a perpet- f Psa. 32. 7. and 37. 39, and * Or, afflicted. wal end: and their cities 46. 1. and 91. 2. k Psa. 18, 5. and 20. 5
hast thou destroyed, doc. * Heb. a high place. and 85.9.
* The 'heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made; In the net which they hid is their own foot taken. 16 The LoRD is "known by the judgment which he executeth : The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. “Higgaion. Selah! * The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations "that forget God. * For "the needy shall not always be forgotten: The Pexpectation of the poor shall not perish forever. * Arise, O Lord! let not man prevail: Let the heathen be judged in thy sight. * Put them in fear, O Lord! That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah!
1 Psa. 7. 15, 16, and 85.8 and m Exod. 7.5. and 14. 4, 10, 31. n Job 8.18. Psa. 50. 22,
57. 6. and 94. 23. Prov. * That is, meditation. o Psa. 12. 5. 5, 22. and 22, 8, and 26, 27. Psa. 19. 14. and 92, 8. P Prov. 28. 18, and 24, 14.
ON DAVID'S RETURN FROM THE SECOND SYRLAN WAR.
The people bless the king, and pray for his acceptance and prosperity, 1–4; they triumph only in the Lord, 4–6; in God alone will both the king and people trust, 7; because of the signal deliverance which he has wrought, 8; and to him alone they
pray, 9. -
* The LoRD hear thee in the day of trouble; The "name of the God of Jacob 'defend thee.
* Send othee help from "the sanctuary, And 'strengthen thee out of Zion.
a Prov. 18. 10. * Heb. thy help. b 1 Kings 6.16. 2 Chron. 20.8. * Heb. set thee on a high place. • Heb. support thee. Psa. 78. 17.
* Remember all thy offerings, And “accept thy burnt-sacrifice. Selah! 4 Grant "thee according to thine own heart, And fulfil all thy counsel. * We will "rejoice in thy salvation, And “in the name of our God we will set up our banners: The LoRD fulfil all thy petitions. 6 Now know I that the LoRD saveth "his anointed; He will hear him ‘from his holy heaven, “With the saving strength of his right hand. 7 Some strust in chariots, and some in horses: But h we will remember the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought down and fallen: But we are risen, and stand upright. 9 Save, LoRD ! Let the king hear us when we call.
* Heb, turn to ashes; or, f Psa. 2. 2. g Psa. 38.16, 17. Prov. 21.81. make fat. * Heb. from the heaven of his Isa. 81.1.
c Psa. 21. 2. holiness. h 2 Chron. 82, 8.
d Psa. 19. 4. * Heb. by the strength of the sal
e Exod. 17. 15. Psa. 60. 4. vation of his right hand.
INTRODUCTION TO PSALM LI.
PSALM OF DAVID.
The defeat of the Syrian allies, already mentioned, had left the Ammonites to their own resources for carrying on the war with Israel. Early in the ensuing season, David opened the campaign with a numerous army, under the command of Joab, while he himself remained in his capital. The veteran army moved with alacrity under the conduct of their brave general, everywhere foiling the enemy, and sweeping his country with desolation, until at length the Ammonites were completely shut up within the walls of their far-famed capital Rabbah, or Rabbath-ammon. The Hebrew army, unable to take the city by storm, now sit down around its walls, to wait the tardy fortunes of a regular siege.
It was during the siege of Rabbah, when the last blow was about to fall upon the enemies of David, and his kingdom to be established forever, that in an evil hour he fell from the favour of God, brought a public scandalupon religion, and drew down upon himself, his house, and his kingdom, a series of the most appalling judgments. He who had subjugated kingdoms, destroyed cities, and defeated the most formidable armies that had hitherto been raised in Western Asia, now falls from the height of his regal dignity, and from his integrity as a servant of Jehovah, by a foolish and insidious temptation. From this point we are called to trace the reverses of his history. From the disastrous consequences of his sin he never fully recovered, nor is its image ever fully erased from his mind. The monarch for a while lays aside his robes for sackcloth, and the voice of music is hushed into the silence of the house of penitential mourning.
The details of this dishonourable and tragic affair need not be here rehearsed. They are recorded by the faithful pen of inspiration, for the admonition of mankind, and the vindication of the purity and righteousness of Heaven. One fact, however, ought not to be overlooked, as it illustrates the danger of the first act of sin. David had no previous intention or conception of the train of sins into which, by degrees, he was drawn along. But having become involved in the first act of the series, the exposure of which would bring dishonour upon himself, and, by the law of Moses, death upon Bathsheba, and being thwarted in all his efforts at concealment, he vainly hopes to cover it by plunging deeper into crime. Hence follows the bloody mandate to Joab, to “put Uriah into the forefront of the hottest battle, and to retire from him, that he may be smitten and die.” Hence, also, upon the death of the brave and generous Uriah, made inevitable by his exposure, the heartless reply of David to that general, that “the sword devoureth one as well as another.” In all this we find David acting an insincere part, totally unlike his former self; and his example illustrates the dreadful perversion which sin, when once admitted, works upon the human mind and conscience.
Upon his marriage with Bathsheba, the king evidently flattered himself with the hope that the whole matter was now hushed in voiceless silence. Thus it slumbered for nearly a year, when he was aroused from his delusion by the keen rebukes of the prophet Nathan. David now opened his eyes to his real condition. He saw the fearful descent he had made, and the enormous gulf and “horrible pit” into which he had fallen. Two of the most solemn commandments of the decalogue had been violated. The prophet's words penetrated his soul. He had robbed the innocent of virtue, and the blood of the faithful Uriah haunted him like the grim spectres of Sheol. In his agony he cried aloud:
“Deliver me from blood-guiltiness,
He had committed crimes for the expiation of which the law of Moses prescribed no sacrifices—upon which it denounced death without mercy. David deeply felt this. Nothing could be done by way of atonement in this form. No animal sacrifice could be of any value. He had gone too far for this. Penitence might, perhaps, be accepted; God might, perhaps, yet regard a broken heart.
“For thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it:
His ingratitude to God, his dissembled piety during all his backslidings, his just forfeiture of the Divine mercy, all rushed upon his mind. The lips of confession were unsealed; “and David said unto Nathan, “I have sinned against Jehovah.” Read 2 Samuel xi, xii, 1–14; 1 Chronicles xx, 1.