P S A L M S
This psalm seems to have been penned upon occasion
of some great victory obtained by the church over some threatening
enemy or other, and designed to grace the triumph. The LXX. calls
it, "A song upon the Assyrians," whence many good interpreters
conjecture that it was penned when Sennacherib's army, then
besieging Jerusalem, was entirely cut off by a destroying angel in
Hezekiah's time; and several passages in the psalm are very
applicable to that work of wonder: but there was a religious
triumph upon occasion of another victory, in Jehoshaphat's time,
which might as well be the subject of this psalm (2 Chron. xx. 28), and it might be
called "a song of Asaph" because always sung by the sons of Asaph.
Or it might be penned by Asaph who lived in David's time, upon
occasion of the many triumphs with which God delighted to honour
that reign. Upon occasion of this glorious victory, whatever it
was, I. The psalmist congratulates the happiness of the church in
having God so nigh, ver.
1-3. II. He celebrates the glory of God's power, which
this was an illustrious instance of, ver. 4-6. III. He infers hence what reason
all have to fear before him, ver.
7-9. And, IV. What reason his people have to trust in
him and to pay their vows to him, ver. 10-12. It is a psalm proper for a
thanksgiving day, upon the account of public successes, and not
improper at other times, because it is never out of season to
glorify God for the great things he has done for his church
formerly, especially for the victories of the Redeemer over the
powers of darkness, which all those Old-Testament victories were
types of, at least those that are celebrated in the psalms.