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The Steadfast Love of the Lord

1Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
2Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
3Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

4For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

6By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
7He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
he puts the deeps in storehouses.

8Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
9For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.

10The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.
12Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

13The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
16The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.

18Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.

20Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.


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17. A horse is a deceitful thing for safety. In this verse, the Psalmist, by the figure synecdoche under the name of horse, is to be understood as meaning any kind of help. The sense is, that in general those who conceive that their life is well protected by earthly means, are commonly disappointed at the very crisis of danger, and are miserably beguiled to their utter undoing, so that God therein clearly shows them their folly. It is true, that kings are not armed with the sword in vain, nor is the use of horses superfluous, nor are the treasures and resources which God furnishes to defend men’s lives unnecessary, provided a right method of employing them be observed. But as the greater part of men the more they are surrounded with human defences, withdraw themselves the farther from God, and by a false imagination persuade themselves that they are in a haven safe from all disturbance, God acts most justly in disappointing this madness. This is the reason why his gifts often pass away without effect, because the world, by separating them from the giver, is also justly deprived of his blessing.




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