Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
The Psalmist is here reproving unjust judges: he appeals to God against them. He closeth the Psalm with the certain conclusion that God will judge the world in righteousness, and minister true judgments unto the people.
To the chief musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.
I refer the Reader to what was offered under the title of the preceding Psalm, for the same will suit equally here. This is another of the Michtams. The Reader will do well to keep Jesus and his enemies in view while going over this Psalm. For what is here said, if considered as applicable to David, king of Israel, and his foes, will be found yet more strikingly suited to Christ and his. Indeed, how very opposite and pointed is this apostrophe and appeal, if referred to Pilate and his unjust sentence upon Christ! Compare Matthew 27:24 with Matthew 27:26.
Observe the iniquity is here said to be of the heart.
Here are several very striking similitudes made use of, by way of setting forth the awful depravity of the human heart: the perversity even from the womb; the poison of the serpent which is deadly, and the incurableness of it by any human means, under the figure of a deaf adder. The music of the gospel is lost on such characters. No charms in grace to them; no beauty in Jesus!
This appeal to God comes in very suitably after what was before observed. If we accept the expressions as prayers for grace, or the destruction of the irrecoverable foes of Christ, they are very strong and direct. Jesus on the cross graciously prayed for the forgiveness of his enemies. The heart must be broken for sin, before that it can be brought to be in love with Jesus.
Surely these expressions are eminently in allusion to the Lord Christ, both on account of his victories in grace, and his righteous decrees in the judgment that will follow. Washing the feet in the blood of the ungodly, is, in the language of the prophet, having all the Redeemer's raiment sprinkled with the blood of his conquest over sin, and death, and hell, and the grave. So that all must conclude that the Almighty Victor, who hath returned from the spoil, shall assuredly return to judgment, and follow up his triumphs with ultimately rewarding his people, and punishing all that despise a salvation so gloriously accomplished. Isaiah 63:3-4.
MY soul, pass over and forget all lesser considerations, while perusing this Psalm, to behold Jesus, thy almighty Saviour, beautifully set forth under these Michtams of David. It is true, thou mayest gather much instruction from beholding David's exercises under ungodly judgment, and similar exercises of the church in all ages upon like occasions, as are here represented. But how flat and uninteresting do all these appear, in comparison with the views afforded of Jesus, in his unequalled meekness under unjust judgment? Who that reads of the mockings and scourgings the Lamb of God went through, and at length hears Pilate's unjust sentence, can willingly take off his attention to look at the sufferings of others? Surely all, and every part of the oppressions which have taken place among men sink to nothing, when the judgment-hall of Pilate, and the mount of Calvary, arise in contemplation before us? Every heart feels constrained to take up the prophet's lamentation, and to say, Behold and see, was there ever any sorrow like unto thy sorrow, wherewith the Lord afflicted thee in the day of his fierce anger?
Precious Lamb of God! help me to be continually not only beholding thy sufferings, but connecting with them their blessed effects. Yes, holy Lord, I would behold thee on thy cross, and I would behold thee on thy throne: and in the united view and contemplation, I would desire grace to keep in mind, what the angels told the wondering disciples, that this same Jesus, who is gone into heaven, will come again to judgment, He will come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe. Oh! for grace to be always on the look-out, that when thou shalt, come, my soul may arise with joy unspeakable to hail thy coming, and in thy righteousness to be found waiting thy approach, that the Lord my righteous Judge may give me at that day the crown of glory, as well as all them that love thy appearing.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 58 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-58.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent