Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
This Psalm is remarkable as being the first of the seven which were known in the Jewish church under the title of the grand Hallelujah; probably so called because it begins with Hallelujah. It forms a devout hymn of praise; and the writer, while stirring up himself to praise God, calls upon others to join in the same delightful service.
Whether we are to consider these as the words of Christ, by the prophet, I will not presume to say; but one thing is certain, that it was Christ of whom the Royal Prophet spake, and to whom alone he referred, as speaking in similar words in another psalm. And as the apostle Paul, that the church might not overlook Jesus, had it in commission to explain that very passage in direct allusion to Christ, I think we cannot err in supposing that it is the Lord Jesus in this psalm also, who declares "he will praise Jehovah with his whole heart in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation." Let the Reader compare with diligence, Ps 22 with Hebrews 2:11-12, and then judge for himself. Nay, let him then put the further question to himself; and ask, who indeed but the ever blessed Jesus, could undertake to praise Jehovah with his whole heart? Who but Christ, the surety of sinners, had Jehovah in view, when he said their Governor shall proceed from the midst of them. And I wilt cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me, saith the Lord? Jeremiah 30:21. Reader! it is blessed to see Jesus going before in all our approaches, and to behold his lovely example: then in his name and in his righteousness, and not else, you and I may say or sing with faith this sweet verse, and determine to praise the Lord with our whole heart in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.
Everything which tends to display the grace and goodness of God, in nature and providence, is worthy to be well regarded. But what displays hath Jehovah made in Jesus, and his great salvation! And Reader! think what blessings open to the view of that redeemed soul, who is conscious of a personal interest in them. Oh! what pleasure, what joy unspeakable, will that soul find in the blessed study!
How truly delightful is it to consider these things in Christ! Here is a righteousness indeed forever. With this will his church be clothed to all eternity. Oh! how truly honourable, how truly glorious! How is it possible for a redeemed soul ever to forget such mercy, when he is himself a living monument of it from day to day? Reader, do observe how frequent in the scriptures is the allusion to God's mercy manifested to Moses in the mount. Was it not then, and is it not now, to remind us of Christ? Exodus 34:6-7.
There is somewhat very striking in the frequent memorandums the Lord makes in his word of his covenant, as if to show his faithfulness. Such was the command to Moses, Deuteronomy 7:9; Exodus 3:15. And Reader! how sweet is all this considered with reference to Christ, to whom all along that covenant referred, and with whom indeed it was originally made: Genesis 12:3; Psalms 72:17; Isaiah 42:16.
This is a blessed verse, full of divine things. Redemption is sent, given, free, full, everlasting. It is sent to his people, Exodus 3:9-10, explained by John 3:16-17; 1 John 4:14. It is all centered in his dear Son, Colossians 1:13-14; Col_1:19. It is forever unchangeable, and everlasting, Isaiah 51:8; Hebrews 13:8; Isaiah 54:10. And the whole is summed up and made sure in that distinguishing perfection of Jehovah, the holiness of his nature; as if God had pledged this divine attribute to his people in Christ, to convince them of his unalterable purposes. Psalms 89:34-35.
This verse comes in very properly after the former, to point out the leading principles in those who are the happy partakers of the unspeakable mercy of God in Christ; and this forms one of the Lord's marks and characters, whereby his people are known: I will make (saith the Lord) an everlasting covenant with them, that I WILL NOT turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that THEY SHALL NOT depart, from me. Jeremiah 32:40.
BEHOLD, my soul, how Jesus, going before thee in all the paths of duty, as well as fulfilling all righteousness, calls up thy love, thy praise, thy thankfulness, in his lovely example. And did Jesus, in his zeal for his Father's glory, thus delight to do his will, and to praise the Father for redemption; and shall not all thy affections be exerted to the same? Wilt thou not sing Hallelujah, and praise the Lord in the assembly of the upright?
Oh! holy Father! holy indeed and reverend is thy name. Thy covenant faithfulness, and love, and truth, to a thousand generations, may well call forth the song of every redeemed heart; for it is thou that hast sent redemption unto thy people, and sent it in the person of thy dear and ever-blessed Son; thereby making redemption infinitely more precious, and endearing it to our hearts by a thousand ties of affection, love, and duty.
Oh! Lord! give to me that holy fear, and put it in my heart, that I may never depart from thee; and cause me to take pleasure in the contemplation of all thy works. May it be my morning delight, my noon day rejoicing, and my evening song, to search out thy gracious dealings towards the children of men. And chiefly; Lord! let my thoughts be all engaged in contemplating the person, work, offices, character, and relation of Jesus. Here, blessed Jesus! may my whole soul centre as the bee upon the sweetest flower; for my meditation of thee shall be sweet.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 111 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-111.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent