Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
Here we have a song of praise, both for the public mercies of God to his church, and the private manifestations of the same to every individual of it.
To the chief musician, A
In every point of view the employment here enjoined is of universal concern. All lands, all nations, all kingdoms, the whole earth, every individual, can, and ought to find subject of praise. But when a nation, or people, or an individual; can sing the song of redemption, Jesus loved me, Jesus saved me, Jesus gave himself for me; what high notes of praise are then swelling the song. Reader, can you join in this chorus? Can you sing the song of Moses and the Lamb now? Do you hope ere long to sing that song among the glorified above, which no man could learn but the hundred and forty and four thousand redeemed from the earth? Revelation 14:3.
If we read these verses with reference to the great work of redemption wrought upon the heart of a sinner, how very decisive are they of the covenant promises made to the person of the Redeemer by the Father, concerning the certainty of his success: Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. See Ps 110 throughout; Ps 114 throughout: Psalms 45:3-5.
The Psalmist is here inviting the people to peruse the account of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. And evidently the Holy Ghost intends this ministry of his servant to be directed as a means, in his almighty hand, to consider in that history the spiritual deliverance of God's Israel from the Egypt of sin, and death, and hell, by the glorious victory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here, Reader, let us come and see the works of our covenant God. Here let us behold how the sea and floods of sin are dried up, and a passage opened for poor, redeemed, ransomed believers in the blood of Christ. Hebrews 10:19-21.
Well may every redeemed soul join issue in this service, and call upon everyone in union with Christ to bless a covenant God in him, and to make the voice of his praise to be made known. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, is peculiarly demanded when praise is made general; Psalms 107:1-2. But God's people are an exercised people and it is needful they should be so. The Lord said, (and all his redeemed find it to be so) I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. But, blessed be God, the event is certain, and not doubtful. Though they pass through the fire, and through the water, Jesus is with them. Many waters cannot quench his love, neither can all the floods drown it. They shall be brought forth into a wealthy place, even to the everlasting enjoyment of Jesus; and he will cause them to inherit substance, and will fill their treasures. A covenant God hath said, They shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, the Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9; Isaiah 43:2; Song of Solomon 8:7; Proverbs 8:21.
It is sweet and profitable to go up to God's house, under the leadings of God's Spirit, at all times, and upon all occasions; and it is doubly sweet when, after sickness or detention from God's ordinances, we are permitted once more to enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Reader, have you known what it is to be kept back by various causes; to have pined for the enjoyment of ordinances; and at length to have been blessed in the renewed privilege? Psalms 42:1-2. But how vast are our advantages, over our elder brethren in the old church. They went up with the burnt-offerings of the temple service, the legal sacrifices of the blood of rams and other beasts: and although , these were offered (when offered properly) by faith with reference to Christ; yet, blessed be our God! we draw nigh in the blood of Christ, as a Lamb without blemish and without spot. We have the substance; they had but the shadow. Precious Lord! thou art indeed become an High Priest, and by thine own blood thou hast entered, once for all, into the holy place, there to appear in the presence of God for us. Hebrews 9:11-12.
If we consider, in the first place, David's Lord as the preacher here, these verses will be very blessed to our view. How was Christ exercised in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, onto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared? Hebrews 5:7. And who so eminently as Christ could adopt this language? Who but Jesus could say, that iniquity had not been regarded in his heart? Of whom but Christ could it be said, the Lord hath heard, because there was no iniquity in him? And if we read the passage as referring to the church, or any individual of the church, we can only make application of it as considered in Jesus. Reader, can you invite the people that fear God, to come and hear what the Lord hath done for your soul? Can you tell them of Jesus, of his grace, his mercy, his love, his salvation, and your interest in him? If so, you will be able to close the Psalm in the same words as David. The Lord is indeed blessed when our prayers do not turn back unheard and unanswered; and when Jesus, the firstborn in the womb of mercy, nay, the whole sum and substance of mercy, even mercy itself, is looking upon us.
READER, while the Holy Ghost is here calling upon all lands to celebrate the praises of Jehovah, say what part can you, from a heart-felt satisfaction, bear in the song? Can you bless God for creation? So can the various characters of the earth. Can you bless God for providences? So can the Turk, the Jew, the infidel, the heretic: they can boast of their lands and vineyards, the fruitfulness of their soil, and the salubrity of their climate. Surely the Christian hath higher notes to sing besides these; and while he blesseth God as a God of creation and providence, he ought to bless him in louder strains of thanksgiving and love, as a God of redemption and grace.
Precious Jesus! let these be my notes: let my morning song, and evening hymn, while celebrating the nether springs of divine bounty, publish and proclaim the upper springs of grace and salvation; and all in thee! It is thou, Lord, that hast brought the glad tidings to thy people. It is thou alone that wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood. Let this be my song of rejoicing all the day; and may I have grace to sing forth the honor of thy name, and make thy praise to be glorious.
And oh! ye ransomed souls, ye who fear, and know, and love, my God! come hither, and hearken to my relation of his mercy. I was brought low, cast out, and ready to perish: Jesus saved me, Jesus loved me, and will love me! Oh! put your trust in him alway, ye people pour out your hearts before him; hang upon him; cleave to him; and never give over your humble suit until he hath heard and attended to the voice of your prayer, so that you can, and do cry out, as all the faithful gone before you have done, Blessed be God, who hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 66 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-66.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent