World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
108. Psalm 108
O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.
2Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
3I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.
4For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.
5Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth;
6That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me.
7God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.
8Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
9Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph.
10Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
11Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts?
12Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
13Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
43. Whosoever is wise, so as to observe these things. We are now informed that men begin to be wise when they turn their whole attention to the contemplation of the works of God, and that all others besides are fools. For however much they may pique themselves upon their superior acuteness and subtilty, all this is of no avail so long as they shut their eyes against the light which is presented to them. In employing this interrogatory form of address, he indirectly adverts to that false persuasion which prevails in the world, at the very time when the most daring heaven-despiser esteems himself to be the wisest of men; as if he should say, that all those who do not properly observe the providence of God, will be found to be nothing but fools. This caution is the more necessary, since we find that some of the greatest of philosophers were so mischievous as to devote their talents to obscure and conceal the providence of God, and, entirely overlooking his agency, ascribed all to secondary causes. At the head of these was Aristotle, a man of genius and learning; but being a heathen, whose heart was perverse and depraved, it was his constant aim to entangle and perplex God’s overruling providence by a variety of wild speculations; so much so, that it may with too much truth be said, that he employed his naturally acute powers of mind to extinguish all light. Besides, the prophet not only condemns the insensate Epicureans, whose insensibility was of the basest character, but he also informs us that a blindness, still greater and more detestable, was to be found among these great philosophers themselves. By the term, observe, he informs us, that the bare apprehension of the works of God is not enough, — they must be carefully considered in order that the knowledge of them may be deliberately and maturely digested. And, therefore, that it may be engraven upon our hearts, we must make these works the theme of our attentive and constant meditation. When the prophet says, Whosoever is wise, even they shall understand, the change of the singular into the plural number is beautifully appropriate. By the one he tacitly complains of the fewness of those who observe the judgments of God; as if he should say, How seldom do we meet with a person who truly and attentively considers the works of God! Then he adverts to the fact of their being so visibly before all, that it is impossible that men could overlook them, were it not that their minds are perverted by their own wickedness. And if any person be disposed to inquire how it comes to pass that the prophet, after treating of the judgments and severity of God, now makes mention of his loving-kindness, I answer, that his loving-kindness shines most conspicuously, and occupies a very prominent place in all that he does; for he is naturally prone to loving-kindness, by which also he draws us to himself.