Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
The Psalmist is celebrating divine goodness through the whole of this Psalm, and from his experience calling upon the whole Church to engage in the same delightful employment.
A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.
If we read this Psalm with an eye to David King of Israel; we shalt find great light thrown upon it by turning to the history of David to which the title refers, 1 Samuel 21:10-15. If we read it with an eye to David's Lord, of whom David was a type, and to whom he ministered as a prophet, we must turn to the Evangelists, and behold the deliverance of Christ from the powers of darkness at his resurrection. And if we read it as applicable to every true believer in Christ, in all his escapes from sin, and his final triumph over death and the grave; we must still consider the believer in Christ as only conquering in his name, and triumphing in his salvation. What I would recommend the Reader therefore to do through the whole of this Psalm, in order that he may enter into the enjoyment of the precious things in it, is (what I desire grace to do myself,) to keep a steady eye on Jesus, and in his triumph s and victories to take part. This will be (as the Psalmist expresses at in another place) to rejoice in his salvation, and in the name of our God to set up our banners. Psalms 20:5.
It is a blessed way so lo praise God as to invite other's to the same practice by our example; and when we not only invite by action, but by winning words. And the best evidence produced by way of propelling others to the praise of the Lord, is, when a soul can say, I have found him gracious. But Reader! is not Christ here strongly featured? Did not Jesus seek to the Lord, when, in the days of his flesh, he cried, and was heard in that he feared? Here then we find Christ. And what inference doth the Apostle make from this view of Christ? Why (saith he) he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. And being called of God an High Priest, in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Hebrews 5:7-8; Heb_2:17-18.
Is not Christ emphatically here spoken of? Is he not the same poor man as Solomon high spoken of also? Ecclesiastes 9:14-15.
The ministry of angels is a very pleasing thought. Hebrews 1:14; Acts 12:6-11 But, Reader! let us ever keep in view the angel of the covenant, even He who is indeed both the covenant itself, and the messenger, administrator, and the whole of it.
All these verses are beautiful representations of the fulness; suitableness; completeness, and all-sufficiency of a God in Christ to answer all the wants of his people. And is there not a vast elegance in the comparison taken from the hunger and rapacity of the lion, even the impetuousness of the young lion, to that of the patience and silent waiting of the faithful believer? A life of faith will find food in everything, because it is all founded in Christ. The young lions may, and will lack, because nothing will supply their voracious appetites but that which is carnal.
How exceedingly to be desired is it, that those who set up for instructors of children would adopt David's plan, and instead of useless sciences, falsely so called, teach that happy science, the only one truly to be esteemed, so to know and to fear the Lord. These are all charming precepts, and when souls are brought under divine teachings, and feel the divine influence, it is blessed to have so learned Christ as to put off the old man which is corrupt, and to put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:20-24.
May we not, indeed ought we not to behold Christ as our Mediator, when reading, in this and similar passages of scripture, of the Lord's looking upon us, and his ears being open to our cry, and his countenance being upon us? I beg the Reader to observe, that I do not positively assert anything on subjects of this mysterious nature. But I speak with all possible reverence when I say, I venture to believe that it is of Christ as our Mediator, God and man in one person, that these scriptures treat, which thus ascribe to God human parts and human actions. Not of Jehovah, as Jehovah alone, but of Him who is both God and man, and our glorious, gracious, lovely, and all-loving Redeemer. And I must further add upon this subject, that thus read and accepted, the words, like similar ones in various parts of the Bible, open the most blessed views of our Jesus; and open also a door for seeking sweet communion and fellowship with Christ, from the several near and dear connections in which he hath condescended to put himself with our nature, as our Brother, Husband, Surety, and the like, over and above what Jehovah hath engaged for and promised, in the everlasting covenant of redemption.
These are all so many charming additions of the security and blessedness of the people of God, and so plain as to need no comment.
I detain the Reader at this verse to fix his eye upon Christ. It was never said of any other but the paschal Lamb; and this the apostles John and Paul declare to mean Christ, that not a bone of him should be broken. Many of God's dear children have gone to heaven with broken bones. So that it is Christ, and Christ alone, who is the righteous person, and God's Holy One here spoken of. Exodus 12:46; John 19:36; 1 Corinthians 5:7.
Mark, my soul, the striking contrast between the unreclaimed and the regenerate. The one must be slain by the sin unpardoned, unsubdued, and which will prey forever upon the vitals like a canker. The other must be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation, because Christ hath redeemed his people from the curse of the law, and from the evil of sin, by the sacrifice of himself. Galatians 3:13.
READER! think how gracious God the Holy Ghost is, in calling again and again upon the Church to view Christ in his ministry and in his triumphs, to prompt all, his redeemed to triumph in him and through him, when the Lord at any time gives new cause for praise. And shall not you and I, in Jesus's name and righteousness, take up the same language? Is there a day, or a portion of a day, but what we find cause to say, The praise of a God in Christ shall be continually in my mouth? And shall we not invite the humble and the exercised to come, and magnify the Lord with us, and that we may bless his name together?
Blessed Mediator! let thine eyes be upon thy people for good! Let thine ears be ever open to their prayers! Surely, Lord, thou hast never put thyself into those near and tender connections with our nature for nothing! Thou hast come down to us in the most endearing ties of relationship for this express purpose, that we might mile Unto thee, and that our eyes may be always up unto thee as the eyes of a servant unto the hand of his master, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress! And therefore, blessed Jesus, we would have our whole soul centered in thee, that our faces may never be ashamed.
O Holy Father! thou hast heard the cries of the poor man! thou hast delivered him out of all his troubles. And now, Lord, hear thy redeemed in Jesus. For his sake do thou redeem the souls of his servants, and let our souls never be ashamed nor confounded who trust in him, world without end. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 34 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-34.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent