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knoweth that the foundation of God standeth sure; that the sacred edifice, raised thereon, will be incorruptible and eternal as "heaven" itself, where only mercy and truth are to have their perfect work, in the everlasting felicity of the redeemed. Of this felicity, which is to be the consummation of God's promises and our hopes, we behold some faint resemblance as often as we view the stability, the beauty, and the glory of the visible material "heavens."
3. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant : 4. Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.
The two former verses set forth a profession of faith in God's mercy: these two assign the ground of such faith ; namely, the covenant which God is here introduced as declaring that he had made with David, and which he did make with him by the prophet Nathan. 2 Sam. vii. 12, &c. The covenant relates to David's "seed," and to the “ establishment of his throne” in that seed ; literally, in Solomon for a time; spiritually, in Christ for ever. “When thy days shall be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son.” These last words are cited by the apostle, Heb. i. 5, as spoken of Christ, to evince his superiority over the angels. Yet, that the whole passage does, in the letter, relate to Solomon, can admit of no doubt, he being the “ seed” and immediate successor of David, and the person appointed to " build an house for God's name.” Here then we have an incontestable proof, that the covenant with David had Messiah for its object ; that Solomon was a figure of him; and that the Scripture hath sometimes a double sense. It is moreover to be observed, that the covenants made with Abraham, David, &c. all had their original and foundation in the covenant made with Messiah, who was the true Father of the faithful, the beloved and chosen of God; the great Prophet, Priest, and King; the only person qualified to be a sponsor, and to engage in a covenant with the Father for mankind. His sufferings were the price of our redemption : and because he suffered in the flesh, as the son of David,” therefore is he“ established for ever, and his throne built up to all generations.” Remarkable are the words of the angel to Mary. “ The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke i. 32.
5. And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord; thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints: or, The hearens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord;
and the saints thy faithfulness in the congregation. Did not "the heavens praise the wonders of Jehovah," when a choir of angels descended from above, to sing an anthem, at the birth of Christ ? And how must the celestial courts have resounded with the hallelujahs of those blessed spirits, when they again receive their King, returning in triumph from the conquest of his enemies ? Nor do “ the saints” omit to celebrate God's " faithfulness in the congregation” upon earth, while “with angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven, they laud and magnify his glorious name, evermore praising him, and saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord most high."
* “ Disposui testamentum:" percussi fædus cum electo meo: id est, Davide et Christo.-Bossuet.
6. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord ? 7. God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints; and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. 8. O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? or, and thy faithfulness is round about thee.
These verses proclaim that right and title which Jehovah hath to the praises of all his creatures in “heaven and earth.". No one of them, however excellent and glorious, bowever deified and adored by fond and foolish man, can enter the lists, and contest the superiority with its Maker. High over all is the throne of God: before him “angels” veil their faces, “saints” prostrate themselves with lowest reverence, and created nature trembles at his word : his "power" is almighty, and derived from none; and with “truth” he is on all sides invested as with a garment: the former enables him, the latter (if we may so express it) binds him, to perform those gracious promises, which mercy prompted him to make, concerning our eternal redemption.
9. Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.
The extent of the ocean, the multitude of its waves, and their fury when excited by a storm, render it, in that state, the most tremendous object in nature; nor doth any thing, which man beholds, give him so just an idea of human impotence, and of that divine power which can excite and calm so boisterous an element at plea
God himself therefore frequently appeals to this instance of his omnipotence ; see Job, xxviii. 11; Jer. v. 22; an attribute of which our Lord showed himself to have been possessed, when, being with his disciples in the ship, he arose and rebuked a tempestuous wind and a raging sea, and there was instantly a calm. In all oồr troubles and temptations, be thou, blessed Jesu, with us, and then they shall never finally overwhelm us.
10. Thou hast broken Rahab, i. e. Egypt, in pieces, as one that is slain : thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm.
The destruction of Pharaoh and the Egyptians is here mentioned as another instance of God's mighty power. And it is probable, that the foregoing verse was intended to allude more particularly to that miraculous exertion of God's sovereignty over the waters, the division of the Red Sea, which happened at the same time; as these two events are generally spoken of together. Thus Isaiah: “Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab," i. e. Egypt, “and wounded the dragon," i. e. Pharaoh ? " Art thou not it which hath dried the
sea, the waters of the great deep, that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?” li. 9. The same power which effected all this, hath since, in Christ Jesus, overcome the world, destroyed the works of the devil, and ransomed mankind from the depihs of the grave.
11. The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world, and the fulness thereof. thou hast founded them. 12. The north and the south, thou hast created them ; Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.
The “heavens," and all the glorious bodies there ranged in beautiful order; the earth,” with its rich furniture, and the unnumbered tribes of its inhabitants, through its whole extent, from “north to south," and from east to west; all these are so many evidences of that wisdom and power which at the beginning contrived and formed them; all, in their respective ways, declare the glory and speak the praises of their great Creator; but chiefly the holy land, and the fruitful hills which adorn it. "Tabor” in one part, and "Hermon" in another, formerly seemed, as it were, to “rejoice" and sing, for the abundant favours showered down upon them by the God of Israel, who hath since caused all nations no less to exult and triumph in his saving name.
13. Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
The Psalmist, having produced and meditated on some eminent instances of divine power, draws this general conclusion from the premises. Towards the Christian church “the arm of Jehovah " hath been revealed in a still more extraordinary manner.
She reAlecteth on the wonders wrought by Jesus; a conquest over more formidable enemies than Pharaoh and his Egyptians; a redemption froin more cruel bondage ; salvation from sin and death; a new creation, new heavens, and new earth, a new Jerusalem, and a spiritual Sion. With additional conviction may she therefore exclaim, " Thou hast a mighty arm; strong is thy hand and high is thy right hand."
14. Justice and judgment are the habitation, Heb. the establishment, of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
Although the power of God be infinite, yet is it never exerted, but under the direction of his other attributes. When he goeth, as a judge, to his tribunal, "mercy and truth go before his face;" they are represented as preceding him, to give notice of his advent, and to prepare his way. "All the ways," or dispensations of the Lord,” as it is elsewhere observed, are mercy and truth;" Ps. xxv. 10; they are the substance of all his revelations, which either promise salvation, or relate the performance of such promises. By these is man warned and prepared for "judgment;" which is to be the last
and finishing scene. And when the great Judge of all the earth shall from his throne pronounce the irreversible sentence, not a creature then present shall be able to accuse that sentence of injustice. After this model should the thrones of princes, and the tribunals of earthly magistrates, be constituted in "justice and judgment," adorned with "mercy and truth.”
15. Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.
Next to the praises of Jehovah, is declared the happiness of those who have him for their God; who “know the joyful sound, or sound of the trumpet," by which the festivals of the Jewish church were proclaimed, and the people were called together to the offices of devotion ; who enjoy the “light” of truth, and through grace are enabled to “walk" therein. These blessings are now become our own : the evangelical trumpet hath sounded through the once heathen world ; the Sun of righteousness hath risen upon all nations. Let us attend to the "joyful sound;" let us “ walk” in the glorious “ light.”
16. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. 17. For thou art the glory of their strength : and in thy favour our horn shall be exalled. 18. For the Lord is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our King.
It is the duty of Christians, as it was that of Israelites, to ascribe all their strength, their success, and their glory, whether in matters temporal or spiritual, to Jehovah alone. Having heard the sound, and experienced the illuminating and reviving influences of the gospel, in the name and in the salvation of God we rejoice all the day, and in his righteousness only we trust to be exalted to heaven: to him we attribute the glory of that strength, with wbich, in time of temptation, we may find ourselves happily endued; and in his favour, or grace, our horn, or the efforts of our power, shall be exalted, and crowned with victory; our defence in all dangers is from Jehovah, who was ever the shield of his ancient people ; and the Holy One of Israel is our Redeemer and our King.
19. Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid, or, placed, help upon, or, in, one that is mighty, I have exalted one chosen out of the people.
The covenant made with David was mentioned in general terms above, at verses 4, 5. But a more particular account is now given of God's dispensations relative to the son of Jesse, and his posterity. We are presented with the substance of the revelation made upon this subject, “in vision,” to one of the prophets, perhaps Samuel, or Nathan, here styled an "holy one," or religious person, one favoured and accepted by God, who is introduced as manifesting to this bis prophet the divine counsels concerning David: "I have placed help upon, or in one, who shall become an eminent and mighty Saviour of Israel ; from among all the people I have chosen, and determined to exalt him, for that purpose, to the throne.” Thus was Messiah
foretold, in prophetical visions and revelations, as the person designed to be the mighty Redeemer of his church ; thus, in the fulness of time, was he chosen from among the children of men, and exalted, through sufferings, to an eternal throne.
20. I have found David my servant ; with my holy oil have I anointed him: 21. With whom my hand shall be established ; mine arm also shall strengthen him.
David was the servant of God; he was, by the prophet Samuel, anointed with oil; he was strengthened and established in his kingdom, by the hand and arm of Jehovah. But never let Christians fail, in this eminently figurative character, to contemplate that true David, or so he is called, Ezek. xxxiv. 23, xxxvii. 25,) the beloved Son of God; “ the servant and elect of Jehovah, in whom his soul delighted, and on whom he put his Spirit ;" Isa. xlii. 1; whom he "anointed with his holy oil
, with the oil of gladness, with the Holy Ghost and with power;" Ps. xiv. 7; Acts, x. 38; whom he strengthened, and established in his spiritual kingdom, with his hand and arm, and the might of his omnipotence.
22. The enemy shall not exact upon, or, deceive, him: nor the son of wickedness afflict, or, subdue, him. 23. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. 24. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him; and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
These promises were fulfilled to David, when God delivered him out of the hand of Saul, and of all his other adversaries. See 2 Sam. xxii. 1. And in what a full, perfect, and divine sense were they verified to Christ! That subtle enemy, " which deceiveth the whole world," was not able to deceive him; neither the sons nor the father of wickedness could overthrow and subdue him : all opposition fell before him, and they who hated him suffered unparalleled desolation; the promised faithfulness and mercy of Jehovah were ever with him, and his kingdom was exalted with glory and honour.
25. I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers.
The dominions of David and his son Solomon extended from the Mediterranean “sea" to the rivers" Euphrates, &c. : the empire of Christ is universal over Jews and Gentiles, throughout all the earth. See Ps. lxxii. 8, &c.
26. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. 27. Also I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.
All this, if in some respects true of David, is much more emphatically so of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Son of God” is one of his distinguished titles; of "the Father” he continually spoke, and to the Father he addressed his prayers and cries, in the days of his flesh; as man he was raised and exalted by the power and glory of the Divinity; he was "the first-born of every creature, the first begotten from the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.” Col. i. 15; Rev. i. 5. Make us, blessed Lord, the sons of God, and teach us to