Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
This Psalm is without a title, which is not very usual. Perhaps, being intended for general use, it was on that account omitted. It hath much the same strain as the former, for it professeth sure confidence in God; and therefore concludes with an assurance of finally rejoicing in God.
If we are on the look-out for Christ while reading this precious Psalm, we shall not be long before we find him, if we are brought under the divine teaching. It is God the Holy Ghost who graciously exerciseth this province; and to him let our eyes be directed. John 16:14. And do we not discover Jesus in these verses? To whom but Jesus did the Father give commandment to save? And of whom did Jehovah speak but Christ, when holding forth those precious promises that he would deliver him, because he had set his love upon him; and that he should tread upon the lion, and the adder, and the young lion and dragon, to trample them under his feet? Reader; if there be a question arising in your mind concerning the certainty of this doctrine, read Ps 91 throughout, and see whether any but the sinner's Redeemer can be the theme of it.
Of all the subjects to arrest the tenderest affection of the true believer, Jesus's incarnation, and Jesus's condescension in the years of childhood, are among them. Here is an identical person spoken of peculiarly and specially to be regarded. See Psalms 62:8-10. Oh! Reader! it is blessed to behold Christ in his word. Every day, and all the day, would I so desire to see him. This, indeed, is the one only sight my faith desires in the present life. For this is giving credit to God's word. And where the Lord gives grace to a poor sinner to honour his word; the Lord will surely honour and reward that faith.
There is a beautiful correspondence in this verse between the experience of the believer and his glorious Head. If David was made an outlaw, and hunted as a partridge upon the mountain; if David's Lord was for a sign everywhere spoken against; so is the follower. The prophet had said that Joshua the high priest, the type of Christ, and his fellows that sat before the Lord, were men wondered at; and the apostle follows up the same doctrine, when, speaking of the faithful, he saith, the world think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you. 1 Samuel 26:20; Luke 2:34; Zechariah 3:8; 1 Peter 4:4.
The last of these verses serves as a clue to explain the others in reference to Christ. Recollect the taunts of the Jews, when the Lord hung on the cross, when they said, He trusted in God that he would deliver him; let him deliver him now, if he will have him; Matthew 27:43. And the burden of sorrow Jesus sustained had caused such a premature appearance of old age, that though but little more than thirty years old when he entered upon his ministry, the Jews spoke of him as near fifty, John 8:57.
I think it would be wrong to break the thread of this most beautiful address, and therefore I have preserved it entire. In any, and in every sense, whether we behold it as the words of Christ, or of David, or of any other follower of Jesus, the doctrine is the same; Christ and his righteousness, Christ and his salvation, are the righteousness and salvation of Jehovah. My righteousness (saith Jehovah) shall be forever, and my salvation from generation to generation; Isaiah 51:8. And elsewhere Christ is said to be Jehovah's salvation, unto the end of the earth; Isaiah 49:6. And what a blessed confirmation is this to the faith of the believer! Christ and his Father are one, in will, design, worship, salvation, and glory. Oh! Reader! may the Lord grant that you and I may feel truly interested in this divine truth, and manifest whose we are, agreeably to the words of the prophet: Surely shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength, even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. Isaiah 45:24-25.
LORD Jesus! may I always find grace, while beholding thee going before thy people in all the exercises to which our nature is called, to follow thee on, thou perfect pattern, in all that is amiable and lovely, until I arrive, in thy strength and righteousness, to dwell with thee and in thee forever. Blessed be thy name! I do behold thee in this sweet Psalm, while acting as our Representative and Surety, and fulfilling all righteousness for thy people, leaning upon the covenant-faithfulness of thy Father, and trusting in him for every suited support through all the periods of thy undertaking. And as God, thy God and Father, had given commandment to save thee, and given his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy way; so I see, blessed Lord, that to this promise as to thy rock and fortress, thou hadst recourse in every time of need. Precious Jesus! give me grace to learn from it to whom I am to look, and from whom I am to expect aid, whenever the enemies of my salvation encompass me around. And surely I shall find grace equal to my need, and as my day is, my strength will be. Tell me, O Lord, as thou didst thy servant the apostle, that thy grace is sufficient for me; and that thy strength is made perfect in my weakness. Yes! thou almighty Redeemer! I will humbly adopt thine own words, and in thy grace and strength say, But I will hope continually; yea, I will praise thee more and more. My mouth shall show forth thy righteousness, and thy salvation, all the day long; for I know not the numbers thereof. I will go in thy strength, O Lord God, and I will make mention of thy righteousness. even of thine only. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 71 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-71.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent