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5

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;

the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.


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1 Praise ye Jehovah In this passage we see that David does not merely in a private capacity render thanks to God, but that he loudly summons the people to engage in the common exercises of piety. This he does, not simply from his having been divinely appointed to be the captain and teacher of others; but, God having invested him with royal power, had manifested his sympathy with his distressed Church. Hence he exhorts the Israelites to magnify the grace of God, under whose kind protection he appears to re-establish them in safety. In the beginning of the psalm he alludes generally to the goodness and mercy of God, but he shortly instances himself as an evidence of his goodness, as will be seen in its proper place. It becomes us at present to recall to mind what I mentioned in the preceding psalm, that a reason for praising God is given to us on account of his mercy, in preference to his power or justice; because, though his glory shine forth in them also, yet will we never promptly and heartily sound forth his praises, until he win us by the sweetness of his goodness. Accordingly, in Psalm 51:17, we found that the lips of the faithful were opened to praise God, when they perceived that he was truly their deliverer. In restricting his address to Israel, and to the children of Aaron, he is guided by a regard to his own times, because, up to that period, the adoption did not extend beyond that one nation. He again resumes the order which he observed in Psalm 116:1; for, after exhorting the children of Abraham, who had been separated from the Gentiles by the election of God, and also the sons of Aaron, who, by virtue of the priesthood, ought to take the precedence in conducting the psalmody, he directs his discourse to the other worshippers of God; because there were many hypocrites among the Israelites, who, occupying a place in the Church, were yet strangers to it. This is not inconsistent with David’s here speaking by the spirit of prophecy, respecting the future kingdom of Christ. That kingdom, no doubt, extended to the Gentiles, but its commencement and first-fruits were among God’s chosen people.

Psalm 118:5-9

5. I called upon God in my distress, and God heard me, by setting me at large. 6. Jehovah is with me: ­I will not fear what man may do unto me. 7. Jehovah is with me among those who help me, and I shall see my desire upon mine enemies. 8. It is better to hope in Jehovah than to confide in man: 9. It is better to hope in Jehovah than to confide in princes.

 

5 I called upon God in my distress. We have here a particular application of the doctrine we formerly mentioned, to the person of David; with which also is conjoined the rejoicing of the whole Church, for whose public welfare God made provision by upholding him. By his own example he establishes the faithful, showing them that they ought not to faint in the day of adversity. He seems designedly to anticipate an objection, which is apt to arise in the minds of men the moment that the goodness of God is proclaimed, “Why does he permit his servants to be so sore oppressed and afflicted?” David therefore reminds them, notwithstanding, that God’s mercy never fails, for we have in prayer, consolation and an antidote for all our ills. The season, too, in which he says that he made supplication, by means of which he obtained deliverance, was that of distress, which touches us, that the time of sad adversity is most proper for abounding in prayer.




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