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Psalm 28

Prayer for Help and Thanksgiving for It

Of David.


To you, O L ord, I call;

my rock, do not refuse to hear me,

for if you are silent to me,

I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.


Hear the voice of my supplication,

as I cry to you for help,

as I lift up my hands

toward your most holy sanctuary.



Do not drag me away with the wicked,

with those who are workers of evil,

who speak peace with their neighbors,

while mischief is in their hearts.


Repay them according to their work,

and according to the evil of their deeds;

repay them according to the work of their hands;

render them their due reward.


Because they do not regard the works of the L ord,

or the work of his hands,

he will break them down and build them up no more.



Blessed be the L ord,

for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.


The L ord is my strength and my shield;

in him my heart trusts;

so I am helped, and my heart exults,

and with my song I give thanks to him.



The L ord is the strength of his people;

he is the saving refuge of his anointed.


O save your people, and bless your heritage;

be their shepherd, and carry them forever.

8. Jehovah is their strength. By way of explanation, he repeats what he had said before, that God had been his strength; namely, because he had blessed his armies. David had indeed employed the hand and labor of men, but to God alone he ascribes the victory. As he knew that whatever help he had obtained from men proceeded from God, and that his prosperous success flowed likewise from his gratuitous favor, he discerned his hand in these means, as palpably as if it had been stretched forth from heaven. And surely it is passing shameful, that human means, which are only the instruments of God’s power, should obscure his glory; although there is no sin more common. It is a manner of speaking which has great weight, when, speaking of his soldiers, he uses only the pronoun their, as if he pointed to them with the finger. The second clause assigns the reason of the other. He declares that himself and his whole army were endued with victorious valor from heaven, because he fought under the standard of God. This is the meaning of the word anointed; for, had not God appointed him king, and freely adopted him, he would not have favored him any more than he did Saul. By this means, in extolling solely the power of God which advanced him to the kingdom, he attributes nothing to his own policy or power. In the meantime, we may learn, that when one is satisfied of the lawfulness of his calling, this doctrine encourages him to entertain good hope with respect to the prosperous issue of his affairs. In particular, it is to be observed, as we have briefly noticed in another place, that the fountain whence all the blessings God bestows upon us flows is, that he hath chosen us in Christ. David employs salvations or deliverances in the plural number, because he had been often and in various ways preserved. The meaning, therefore, is, that from the time when God had anointed him by the hand of Samuel, he never ceased to help him, but delivered him in innumerable ways, until he had accomplished the work of his grace in him.

In this verse he shows that it was not so much his own welfare as the welfare of the whole Church which was the object of his concern, and that he neither lived nor reigned for himself, but for the common good of the people. He well knew that he was appointed king for no other end. In this he declares himself to be a type of the Son of God, of whom, when Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9) predicts that he would come “having salvation,” there is no doubt that he promises nothing to him apart from his members, but that the effects of this salvation would diffuse themselves throughout his whole body. By this example, accordingly, he prescribes a rule to earthly kings, that, devoting themselves to the public good, they should only desire to be preserved for the sake of their people. 601601     “Que tout la prospetite qu’ils se souhaitent soit a cause du peuple. — Fr. “That all the prosperity they desire should be for the sake of the people.” How very far otherwise it is, it is needless to say. Blinded with pride and presumption they despise the rest of the world, just as if their pomp and dignity raised them altogether above the common state of man. Nor is it to be wondered at, that mankind are so haughtily and contumeliously trampled under foot of kings, since the greatest part cast off and disdain to bear the cross of Christ. 602602     “Veu que la plus grand part rejette et desdaigne de porter le joug de Christ.” — Fr. Let us therefore remember that David is like a mirror, in which God sets before us the continual course of his grace. Only we must be careful, that the obedience of our faith may correspond to his fatherly love, that he may acknowledge us for his people and inheritance. The Scriptures often designate David by the name of a shepherd; but he himself assigns that office to God, thus confessing that he is altogether unfit for it, 603603     “Qu’il n’en est pas digne.” — Fr. “That he is not worthy of it.” save only in as far as he is God’s minister.

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