Morning Hymn of a Fugitive.
A psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah, very likely at the time when he left Jerusalem at the approach of Absalom, for it was then that he spent a few days in the wilderness on the west side of the Dead Sea, a prey of the troubled anxiety which sapped his strength, 2 Sam. 15-17. V. 1. O God, Thou art my God, the psalm opening with a mighty word of personal faith; early will I seek Thee, that is, earnestly , solicitously, at the rising of the dawn. My soul thirsteth for Thee, Ps. 42, 1, my flesh longeth for Thee, languishing with desire, in a dry and thirsty land, which made him weary, all his present circumstances filling him with a languid disgust, where no water is, for the desert aspect of the country increased his feeling of forsakenness, v. 2. to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the Sanctuary, literally, “Thus have I in the Sanctuary looked for Thee to see Thy power and Thy glory.” That had been the psalmist’s custom in the past; that is what he missed so greatly at the present time. V. 3. Because Thy loving-kindness is better than life, that explained his longing, that the grace of God exceeded all this earthly life could offer, my lips shall praise Thee, extolling the grace which he had experienced in his whole life. V. 4. Thus will I bless Thee while I live, with the true gratitude of a believing heart; I will lift up my hands in Thy name, in the gesture of earnest supplication. V. 5. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, an image borrowed from a rich and splendid banquet, to show the possession of the most wonderful spiritual riches, and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips, v. 6. when I remember Thee upon my bed, considering all the manifold evidences of God’s favor as they showed in his whole life, and meditate on Thee in the night-watches, in earnest and prayerful meditation during the entire night. V. 7. Because Thou hast been my Help, coming to his assistance and rescue time and again, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice, the remembrance of God’s mercy experienced in the past encouraging him to look with joy and confidence into the future. V. 8. My soul followeth hard after Thee, cleaving to Him as the one Helper in all the wide world; Thy right hand Upholdeth me, lending just the right assistance to the psalmist to keep him from falling. V. 9. But those that seek my soul to destroy it, rather, “they” (emphatically) “to their own destruction shall seek my soul,” that is, in trying to bring misfortune to David, they would fall a prey to their own designs, shall go into the lower parts of the earth, into the abysses of the earth, that is, to death and the grave. V. 10. They shall fall by the sword, whose hand or edge would dispose of them quickly; they shall be a portion for foxes, a prey of jackals, the wilderness scavengers of the Orient. V. 11. But the king, who was now being persecuted, shall rejoice in God, in the certain deliverance effected by Him; every one that sweareth by Him, with firm trust in His willingness and ability to help, shall glory, finally having occasion to boast of His deliverance; but the mouth of them that speak lies, the foes guilty of base treachery, shall be stopped, put to silence in death. Thus the trust of the believers is bound to be rewarded, since the God of their salvation has promised them the mighty deliverance of His arm. No matter what the present may offer, the future is safe, because it is in God’s hands.