Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
We have here the earnest longings and devout aspirations of the soul for personal communion with God in Christ. The blessedness of that man is sublimely set forth who hath a God in Christ for his portion.
To the chief musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.
Though the latter part of this rapturous Psalm evidently belongs to the church, and is the language of the church concerning Christ; yet I do not see wherefore the former part may not be supposed to be the language of Christ. It is well known that our Lord spent whole nights in prayer to God; and the holy nature of the man Christ Jesus, we may well suppose, longed for the everlasting and uninterrupted enjoyment of God above. I beg the Reader to mark the vehemency of expression in these verses. Oh! for such holy longings of soul! Oh! for more of the spirit of Jesus!
I cannot sufficiently admire the beauty of these expressions. The happiness of a bird freed from all fears, and taking her quiet repose in a nest, out of the reach of every enemy, in one of the upper apartments of the altar, is a fine image to represent the security and tranquility of a soul resting on the bosom of Christ in God. Well might he add, All are blessed that are thus housed, and fed, and nourished, and secured.
It is from the very striking manner in which this verse is introduced, and the singular manner adopted in the words of it, that I ventured to make the observations I did make in the opening of this Psalm. Let the Reader mark it, and while he finds it written, Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; let him ask of whom can this be fully said, without the shadow of a change, but of the blessed Jesus? In whose heart but his are the ways of his people. Sweet thought, to see Christ in all things having the pre-eminence!
What though the people of God have a wilderness to go through, Baca, a weeping place, and are themselves as Bochim, weepers, Judges 2:5; nevertheless, while coming up out of it, leaning upon, looking to, and rejoicing in the Lord Jesus Christ, they must go on from strength to strength: for Jehovah himself hath promised to strengthen them in the Lord, and to cause them to walk up and down in his name; Zechariah 10:12; and by and by they shall in person appear in Zion, as their angels do now behold the face of their Father which is in heaven. Matthew 18:10.
A new subject is evidently opened at this verse: Here is a soul calling upon God as a covenant God, the God of Jacob; and in his name prays to be heard.
No one can be at a loss to explain this verse, which contains an immediate address to God in the name of Christ. For who is God's anointed but Jesus? Here is a verse all over gospel. No New Testament believer can put up a more faithful petition with reference to Jesus, than is here put up by the church of the Old Testament saints. Oh! for grace to be in the daily use of it. And while God the Father proclaims, as he doth from heaven concerning Jesus, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him; do thou, my soul, carry back with thee God's own words, in God's own authority, and say, Behold, O God, our shield, and look upon the face of thine Anointed!
How doth, or how ought, the reading of this verse make a truly awakened soul long for the everlasting sabbath of heaven; yea, even for Jesus, the very sabbath of the soul. Observe, Reader! the door of a house is the place of the porter, a menial servant; and there it was Jesus had his ear digged, as it may be read, Psalms 40:6, alluding to the custom of a servant in the house of Israel, that had his ears bored at the door of the house, when, out of love of his master, he would not go out free. Exodus 21:5-6. Oh! thou supreme Pattern of everything that is lovely and gracious; thou precious Jesus! didst thou take upon thee the form of a servant, that we might be free forever? John 8:36; Lord, may I love the doors of thine house, and there dwell forever!
A precious view, this, in the double sense of it; and which plainly shows to whom it peculiarly belongs. Jehovah Elohim, in his threefold character of person, is all this abundantly. What signifies our darkness when Jesus is the light and the life of the soul? What power have enemies when Jesus becomes a shield? And if he give grace, he will also give glory; for grace is the Spirit's earnest and pledge of glory. It is the token of divine assurance. Grace here is to glory hereafter, as the bud is to the flower.
How beautifully and divinely the Psalm closeth! Oh Reader! may your heart and mine join issue with it! Blessed is the nation, blessed the family, blessed the man, who trusteth to a God in Christ!
HAIL! thou holy, thou blessed, thou anointed of God! Oh! let thy name be ever to my soul as ointment poured forth. For while any God and Father looks upon the face of his anointed, Jesus is my sun and shield, And looking up to him whom the Father beholds, always apprehending and laying hold of him by faith, oh! how will thy person, thou blessed Jesus! thy love, thy grace, thy mercy to me, a poor sinner, be then considered! How shall I delight in thy name, thy sabbaths, thine ordinances, thy word, thine house of prayer! Surely, one day in thy courts, will be better than a thousand elsewhere. And will not Jesus grant me, by his blessed Spirit, these soul-satisfying, soul-strengthening enjoyments? Shall the sparrow, the bird of the air, be indulged with a resting place; and shall a child of thine be kept from thee? Art not thou my resting-place, my Noah, whither, like the dove, I may return when I can find no place for the sole of my foot to light upon? Lord Jesus! be thou all in all to my soul! and while gratifying my faith with making every day a sabbath-day here below, oh! for grace to long for the everlasting sabbaths of heaven, where the unceasing love and adoration of God and the Lamb will be my perpetual and eternal joy forevermore. Haste, my beloved! and until this day of heaven without a shade break in upon my longing soul, and the shadows of earth forever flee away, be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 84 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-84.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent