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In this Psalm the prophet introduces a person, most
probably an Israelite on his way to Jerusalem, expressing his trust and confidence in Jehovah, the Maker of heaven and earth, of whose favour and protection, at all times, and in all dangers, the prophet assures him. These promises, like those in xcist Psalm, were, in their full and spiritual sense, made good to Messiah, and are now daily accomplishing in the members of his mystical body, the Christian church. Bishop Lowth supposes the two first verses to be spoken by David, when going out to war, and the answer and encouragement to be made by the high priest from the Holy place. In this case, the idea of warfare is added to that of pilgrimage, and the Psalm rendered still more applicable to us, as well as to the true David our King.
1. I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
The true Israelite, amidst the dangers of his earthly pilgrimage and warfare, looks continually towards the heavenly city, whither he is travelling. Faith shows him afar off the everlasting hills, from whence comes the help, which must bring him in safety to them. He lifts up his eyes, in prayer to the Almighty, whose temple and habitation are thereon. He puts not his trust in any creature, but implores aid immediately of him who made heaven and earth, and who, consequently, has power over all things in both.
3. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
In the first two verses, we heard the believer declaring his resolution to trust in God. The prophet now commends that resolution, and encourages him to persevere in it. As if he had said, Thou dost well to expect help from Jehovah alone; to overlook the vanities here below; to place thy confidence, and set thy affections on him who dwells above. Know therefore assuredly, that he will be with thee in the way in which thou goest; he will preserve thee from falling, and defend thee from all dangers; for in him thou hast a guardian, who is not, like all others, liable to remit his care, by being subject to sleep or death. The eye of his providence is upon thee, and that is always open. « Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep."
5. The LORD is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. 6. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night..
The meaning is, that the good man, during his journey through life, shall be under God's protection at all seasons; as Israel in the wilderness was defended from the burning heat of the sun by the moist and refreshing shadow of the cloud; and secured against
the inclement influences of the nocturnal heavens, by the kindly warmth and splendour diffused from the pillar of fire. Be thou with us, thy servants, O Lord, in the world, as thou wast with Israel in the wilderness; suffer not our virtue to dissolve before the sultry gleams of prosperity; permit it not to be frozen by the chilling blasts of adversity.
7. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil : he shall preserve thy soul. 8. The LORD shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, from this time forth for evermore,
To dissipate our fears, and remove every ground of diffidence, Jehovah promises, by his holy prophet, to preserve us from all evil, which might befall us in the way; either by turning it aside, or turning it finally to our advantage, so that we shall not perish, but see our labours happily begun and ended in him : he shall preserve our going out, and our coming in, until, through all the vicissitudes of this mortal state, he shall have brought us into his holy temple, there to become pilla:""; and to go no more out. Rev. iji. 12.
: PSALM CXXII.
The author of this Psalm, as we are informed by its
title, was David. The subject of it is, that joy which the people were wont to express, upon their going up in companies to keep a feast at Jerusalem, when the divine services were regulated, and that city was appointed to be the place of public worship. Every thing which can be said upon this topic; must naturally hold good in its application to the Christian church, and the celebration of her feasts ; at which seasons the believer will as naturally extend his thoughts to the Jerusalem above, and to that festival which shall one day be there kept by all the people of God.
1. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
Great was the joy of an Israelite, when his brethren called upon him to accompany them, on some festive occasion, to the tabernacle, or temple, at Jerusalem ; great is the joy of a Christian, when he is invited, in like manner, to celebrate the feasts of the church, to commemorate the nativity, or the resurrection, and to eat and drink at the table of his Lord. Such, in kind, but far greater in degree, is that gladness, which the pious soul experiences, when she is called hence ;
when descending angels say unto her, Thy labour and sorrow are at an end, and the hour of thy enlargement is come; put off mortality and misery at once ; quit thy house of bondage, and the land of thy captivity ; fly forth, and « let us go together unto the house of the LORD, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
2. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, o Jerusalem!
Yes, O thou holy and happy city of peace, and love, and everlasting delight, our God will in time bring us to behold, and to enter thee; our feet, which now, with many a weary step, tread the earth, shall one day stand within thy gates, which are opened to all believers; we shall at length rest in thy celestial mansions, and converse for ever with thy blest inhabitants !
3. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together.
We see thee not, indeed, as yet, but we hear of thy stability, thy unity, thy beauty, and thy magnificence. Thy foundations are firm upon the holy hills; they are garnished with all manner of precious stones ; and in them are the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Thy gates are of pearl, twelve in number, and open to all quarters, for the tribes of the spiritual Israel to come in. Thy streets are of pure gold, as it were transparent glass; thou art crowned with the unfading brightness of eternal glory; and the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb, are the temple in the midst of thee. All these glorious things are spoken