Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
This Psalm is but short, though sweet. The heart is in heaviness in the opening of it, but finds comfort before it closeth. In using it with reference to Christ, it promiseth rich consolation.
To the chief musician upon Niginah, A Psalm of David.
Whither shall a soul in trouble go, but to the Lord? or to whom shall a soul cry, but to him that is able to save? It is blessed to be sometimes driven to straits, that we may know where our resources are alone to be found. The Reader will do well to observe the expression, from the end of the earth; meaning that no place is so remote, no distance so great, but what may find access to the mercy-seat of a God in Christ. And the sweetest and most encouraging of all thoughts is, that the Lamb is in the midst of the throne, open alike in every direction, and accessible to every comer. Revelation 7:17. But what a blessed view is here given of Christ as the Rock. This is plain from what the Holy Ghost instructed the apostle to tell the church, 1 Corinthians 10:3-4. Reader, do not overlook this in any overwhelmings you may meet with. There can be no safety for a poor buffetted, wave-beaten, and weather-beaten soul, until he is standing upon the Rock Christ Jesus. And do not overlook that blessed lesson also taught in this divine scripture; the poor overwhelmed sinner must be led there, for of himself he can never get there. Gracious God and Father, do thou put me in the clefts of this rock, that Jesus may say to me, O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs. Exodus 33:22; Song of Solomon 2:14.
Are not all these well known (and may I not add, Reader, well proved, in your soul's experience) characters of the Lord Jesus? Is not Jesus the hiding place, and the covert, and the strong tower, and security, of all his redeemed? Pray look at those sweet scriptures: Isaiah 32:2; Psalms 18:1-2, etc. And, Reader, while Jesus thus appears as the only sanctuary of his people, let you and I pause and ask each one his own heart, Can we adopt this language? Do I really abide in Jesus? and do I truly trust in him for the whole of my life and salvation? John 15:4.
We must wholly drop all thoughts of David king of Israel in this precious portion of the Psalm; for of none could the Holy Ghost speak in language like this, but of Jesus, who is Jehovah's King in Zion before God forever. Here we behold him, concerning whom the angel spake, when announcing his incarnation, the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:32-33. Hail! thou almighty King of kings, and Lord of lords! Oh! may the knee of my heart be always bent before thee. Philippians 2:10-11.
PRECIOUS Lord Jesus! let the reading of this sweet Psalm be so accompanied with thy grace, that it may incline my soul to be cleaving closer and closer to thee, my God, in all the exercises of my warfare. Surely, Lord, it is good to be brought low, nay, to be overwhelmed in myself and all surrounding circumstances, if, from the multitude of oppressions, my soul is constrained to see thy blessedness, and to have my heart more earnestly directed towards thee. And oh! thou holy, blessed Spirit, do thou, I beseech thee, most gracious God, lead me amidst all those waves which would overpower me; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Jesus is my Rock, where, among the inhabitants, I would forever sing. In him I would rest; on him I would forever dwell: to him would I daily perform my vows, and make mention of his righteousness, even his righteousness only. And as I would come to thee, thou ever full and ever gracious Saviour, as I came the first day, poor and needy, so let the continued supplies of thy grace only endear thee the more, and make me the more sensible of my wretchedness without thee. Be thou, indeed, all in all, and as thou art the all of everything that is blessed to thy people, so be thou all my blessedness and all my joy, and glory, now and forever. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 61 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-61.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent