Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
The Psalmist, still at the mercy seat, finds confidence and comfort. And from hence he gathers strength against his foes.
To the chief musician, Al-taschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.
We must not pass over the title of this Psalm, for every part of it seems interesting; and if we regard the writer, David, both as a type of Christ and as a prophet predicting Christ, nothing can be more worthy attention by way of throwing light upon it. If, as hath been before remarked, the dedication of it to the chief musician refers to Jesus, the Al-taschith, which signifies destroy not, is very important. Destroy not: David must not be destroyed, for Christ is of the seed of David after the flesh. And Michtam intimates that this is a golden Psalm, a precious Psalm: and so it is indeed, if read typically or prophetically. And how beautifully do the words of the supplication begin! The repetition is striking. And how did Christ, in the days of his flesh, send forth strong crying and tears! Hebrews 5:7. If the Reader wishes to consult the history of David, as the title of the Psalm refers to him, he will find the account, 1Sa 24.
These verses, read with an eye to Christ, and to all Christ's seed in him, contain some of the sweetest and most encouraging thoughts imaginable. God the Father promised to carry Jesus through the whole of his vast undertaking: Mine hand shall hold him fast (said Jehovah) mine arm also shall strengthen him; Psalms 89:21, etc. Hence, not only here but elsewhere, the Redeemer is represented as casting himself upon his Father; I was cast upon thee, saith Christ, from the womb; thou art my God, even from my mother's belly. Be not far from me, for trouble is near; Psalms 22:10-11. And God the Father is represented as acting in this blessed character: He shall cry, unto me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation; Psalms 89:26. Reader! never, I beseech you, lose sight of Christ and his people as one, in all this transaction. If we are Christ's, saith an apostle, then are we Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. And then we may humbly adopt the same words in all our exercises; I will cry unto God, most high, who performeth all things for me.
I beg the Reader to mark this verse, as throwing a light upon this whole Psalm, in proof that it is particularly thus said by the spirit of prophecy in relation to Christ. And if the Reader will turn to Psalms 22:16-21, which is notoriously known and allowed to be a prophecy of Christ, he will find the evidence irresistibly confirming.
Observe how Jesus breaks out in praise in the midst of prayer. Such, Reader, should be the conduct of all his people. The heaviest exercises in grace can never interrupt the song of praise: 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
How is this verified in all the church's history! Not only in this instance of Saul and David, but also in those of Haman and Mordecai, Pharaoh and Israel, and above all, Judas and the Jews and Christ. Esther 7:10; Exodus 15:9-10; Acts 1:16-18; Act_2:36-37.
Reader! do not fail to observe how the Psalm ends. It began in sorrow, and closeth in joy. Yes! whatever is founded in faith and prayer, must end in praise. This holds good to all the seed of Christ. And when like Jesus the Son of David, we stir up our souls to take hold on Jehovah's strength, we shall come off more than conquerors through his grace helping us. And as Christ arose from the dead, and awaked up in his glory; so, every morning, (and with yet more awakened joy the Lord's day morning, which celebrates at every return Jesus's triumph over the grave, as the first fruits of his body) should all his redeemed call upon themselves to awake, and bless the Lord of their salvation right early. And as Jesus declared his determination to praise Jehovah among his brethren, (see Psalms 22:22, etc.) so should his redeemed shout aloud in the churches, the salvation of God.
READER it is very improving and profitable to observe in the example of David, and other saints of God gone before, how their faith and patience have been exercised, and what grace hath been imparted to them to help them forward in all their seasons of need. And it is intended, no doubt, by the Holy Ghost, in recording the history of their contentions and the blessed issue of them, to animate our minds under our lesser difficulties, that we may be the followers of them, who now through faith and patience inherit the promises. But over and above all this, and infinitely more interesting than all, no doubt, the blessed Spirit intended by these Michtams of David, these Al-taschiths of inspiration, to glorify the Lord Jesus. Oh! how do all examples sink to nothing while we contemplate him. Oh! how precious to a poor believer under exercises is it to trace his blessed footsteps going before. And oh! how great the strength, the confidence, nay, the joy imparted in the deepest tribulation, when we not only look up and behold our Great Intercessor, who is now at the right hand of power, there appearing in the presence of God for us, as once a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, but now holding forth a suited grace to help us in all our exercises. Yes! blessed Redeemer! thy example is lovely, precious, and sweetly accommodating. Thou art everything, and in all things our glory and the lifter up of our bead. Be thou exalted, Lord, in the souls of thy people, as thou art above the heavens, and let thy glory be our joy as thou art glorified above all the earth.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 57 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-57.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent