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57. Psalm 57

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

2I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

3He shall send from heaven, and save from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

4My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

5Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.

6They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

7My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

8Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

9I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

10For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

11Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

7. My heart is prepared, O God! 344344     This psalm consists of two parts. The preceding verses, which contain the first part, express deep distress and extreme danger, and are of a plaintive and imploring strain. But here, where the second part commences, there is an elegant transition suddenly made to the language of exultation and triumph, which continues to the close of the psalm. Some read fixed, or confirmed, and the Hebrew word נכון, nacon, bears that signification as well as the other. If we adopt it, we must understand David as saying that he had well and duly meditated upon the praises which he was about to offer; that he did not rush into a hurried and perfunctory discharge of this service, as too many are apt to do, but addressed himself to it with steadfast purpose of heart. I prefer, however, the other translation, which bears that he was ready to enter upon the service with all cheerfulness and cordiality. And although, wherever this spirit is really felt, it will lead to steadfastness of religious exercise, it is not without importance that the reader should be apprised of the force of the word which is here employed in the Hebrew. The ready heart is here opposed by David to the mere lip-service of the hypocrite, on the one hand, and to dead or sluggish service, on the other. He addressed himself to this voluntary sacrifice with a sincere fervor of spirit, casting aside sloth, and whatever might prove a hinderance in the duty.


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