A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death.
A psalm and song, literally, ďa psalm song,Ē a composition to be sung with musical accompaniment, at the dedication of the house of David, of his palace on the hill of Zion, this festivity taking place shortly after he had recovered from a severe illness. V. 1. I will extol Thee, O Lord, lifting up high the praises of Jehovah, exalting Him greatly; for Thou hast lifted me up, drawing him out of the deep well or pit of his illness and distress, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me, as they would have had occasion to do if he had succumbed to the disease and its attending troubles. V. 2. O Lord, my God, I cried unto Thee, with aloud and earnest call, and Thou hast healed me, given him back his health after he had been in peril of death. V. 3. O Lord, Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave, restoring him when his soul had almost reached the realms of the dead; Thou hast kept me alive that I should not go down to the pit, quickening him from among those who go down to the grave, so that it was his good fortune to be saved while many others had to die. V. 4. Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of His, in psalms of joy, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness, praising His holy memory by keeping His name before their hearts and minds always. V. 5. For His anger endureth but a moment, passing by very rapidly on account of the urging of His mercy; in His favor is life, His loving kindness lasts a lifetime. Weeping may endure for a night, that is, the night may be passed in weeping, but joy cometh in the morning, for His mercies are new every morning, and His compassions fail not. David, indeed, has a confession to make, v. 6. And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved, he had begun to trust in himself, as even believers will be in danger of doing if all things are in their favor. He even tried to explain his self-assurance to himself, v. 7. Lord, by Thy favor Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong, given him a safe and impregnable place. Being specially favored by the Lord, David had begun to feel fleshly security. However, he was soon brought back to his senses. Thou didst hide Thy face, and I was troubled; when it seemed that God had withdrawn His favor from him, David became frightened; he realized once more that it is necessary at all times to work out oneís own salvation with fear and trembling. He did not despair, however. V. 8. I cried to Thee, O Lord, as all believers should do in a similar position; and unto the Lord I made supplication, appealing to Him for mercy. Cp. Ps. 6, 5; 88, 10; 1s. 38, 18. V. 9. What profit is there in my blood when I go down to the pit? Of what use would he be to Jehovah in the grave? Shall the dust praise Thee? namely, himself, when turned to dust. Shall it declare Thy truth? This he considered the main purpose of his life, to sing praises to God, to make known His faithfulness. Of this praise God would deprive Himself if He would cut off his life at this time. V. 10. Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me, extending His grace to him: Lord, be Thou my Helper. That had been Davidís prayer in his great trouble, and the Lord had heard him. V. 11. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing, the reference being to the exultant joy of the lute-playing accompanying such leaping for happiness as done by the women celebrating a victory, Ex. 15, 20; Judg. 11, 34; 1 Sam. 18, 6; Thou hast put off my sackcloth, the garment of sorrow and penitence, and girded me with gladness, signifying both strength and rejoicing; v. 12. to the end that my glory, Davidís ransomed soul expressing its thanks through his tongue, as the organ of praise, may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give thanks unto Thee forever. Such is the joyful prayer of every believer, in grateful remembrance of the Lordís many mercies upon him during his whole life.