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PS ALM VIII.
A CONTEMPLATION ON THE GREATNESS AND GOODNESS OF GOD IN HIS WORKS AND PROVIDENCE.
God's glory is manifested by his works, and by his love to man.
T To the chief Musician, upon Gittith, [i. e. won the harp of Gath, or in the Gathic style.] A Psalm of David.
1 O Lord our Lord, How excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens. ° Out" of the mouth of babes and sucklings Hast thou 'ordained strength because of thine enemies, That thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. * When I "consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; * What “is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? * For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, And hast crowned him with glory and honour. * Thou "madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; Thou “hast put all things under his feet: 7 'All sheep and oxen, Yea, and the beasts of the field; * The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, And whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. * O Lord our Lord, How excellent is thy name in all the earth!
* See Mat. 11.25; 21.16. b Psa. 111.2. See Gen. 1.1, 14, e1 Cor. 15. 27. Heb. 2, 8.
1 Cor. 1. 27. c See Job 7. 17. * Heb. flocks and oren all of * Heb. founded. d Gen. 1. 26, 28. them.
INTRODUCTION TO PSALM XIX.
PSALM OF DAVID.
This Psalm celebrates the glorious majesty and perfections of God in his works, and in his written word, or revelation. The former part is similar to Psalm viii, with this addition, that here the sun is mentioned, which is represented as having its tent pitched in the midst of the stars. Verse 4. The idea of verses 3 and 4 is better given in Mr. Noyes' translation. Speaking of the heavenly bodies the Psalmist says:
“They have no speech, nor language,
The transition from material nature to the moral law and government is very abrupt, (verses 6, 7,) according to the cus tom of the Hebrew poets, but the subjects are treated with great clearness and precision, and the allusions to the physical universe are majestic and beautiful. Verse 1 seems to be the basis of Paul's declaration, Romans i, 19–20, that God may be known by his works sufficiently to condemn and leave without excuse all polytheism. Verse 4 is quoted by Paul, Romans x, 18, and applied to the general promulgation of the Gospel throughout the world. Before this God of majesty and glory, and before his pure, spiritual, and just laws, sin can find no apology, or tolerance, or hope of impunity; hence, the last three verses of the Psalm form the key and moral application of the whole.
PS ALM XIX.
THE GLORY OF GOD MANIFESTED IN HIS WORKS AND IN HIS MORAL GOVERNMENT.
The works of God declare his glory, 1–6; the revelation of God, his grace and recti. tude, 7–11; David prayeth for inward purity, and acceptance with God, 12–14.
T To the chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 The "heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament showeth his handiwork. * Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night showeth knowledge. * There is no speech nor language, "Where their voice is not heard. * Their "line is gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, * Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And "rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. * His going forth is from the end of the heaven, And his circuit unto the ends of it; And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. 7 The ‘law of the LoRD is perfect, ‘converting the soul: The testimony of the LoRD is sure, making wise the simple. * The statutes of the LoRD are right, rejoicing the heart: The commandment of the LoRD is pure, enlightening the eyes. * The fear of the LoRD is clean, enduring forever: The judgments of the LoRD are ‘true and righteous 19 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, "than much fine gold: Sweeter also than honey and ‘the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned; And "in keeping of them there is great reward. 1° Who can understand his errors? Cleanse “Thou me from secret faults. * Keep f back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; Let & them not have dominion over me: Then shall I be upright, And I shall be innocent from 'the great transgression. * Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, Be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my 'strength, and my "redeemer.
altogether. * See Gen. 1. 6, 14. 2 Or, rule, or, direction. * Or, restoring. * Or, without these their coice Rom. 10. 18. * Heb. truth. is heard. Heb. without b Eccl. 1. 5.
their voice heard. * Or, doctrine. See Job 28. 28.
It is the opinion of some that David composed this beautiful Psalm while he was yet a shepherd boy, tending his father's flocks. The associations are purely pastoral, and the scene is evidently laid in the mountains and vales of the desert of Judah, where lofty, precipitous, barren hills, overshadow deep, narrow, verdant valleys; and thither the shepherds of Judah often repaired in the wet season, in quest of pasture. Here was solitude, and here was danger from robbers and wild animals, furnishing occasion for the various allusions in the Psalm.
But the Psalm before us was evidently written in David's maturer life, when he had experienced the bitterness of having violent enemies, (verse 5,) and when he had become inured to the cares of government. “He speaks the language of experience, and sings,” says Hengstenberg, “from the soul of every pious man.” There is in this Psalm an ineffable sweetness and simplicity of faith and hope, expressed in language and metaphors altogether inimitable.
PS ALM XXIII.
DAVID CELEBRATES THE EVER-WATCHFUL CARE AND PROVIDENCE OF GOD.
David's confidence in God's grace.
* The Lord is "my shepherd—I "shall not want. * He “maketh me to lie down in 'green pastures: He "leadeth me beside the 'still waters. * He restoreth my soul: He "leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. * Yea, though I walk through the valley of ‘the shadow of death, I will fear no evil—for 8 Thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. * Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou 'anointest my head with oil—my cup runneth OVer. *Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the Lord “forever.
a Isa. 40. 11. Jer. 23.4. Ezek. 1 Heb. pastures of tender f See Job 8, 5. 34. 11, 12, 23. John 10. 11. grass. - & Isa. 43. 2. 1 Peter 2. 25. Rev. 7. 17. d Rev. 7. 17. * Heb. makest fat.
b Phil. 4. 19. * Heb. waters of quietness. * Heb. to length of
• Ezek. 34. 14. e Proy. 8. 20. days.