Verse 15. "Happy is that people " - "O how happy are the people!" Such were his people; and they had not only all this secular happiness, but they had Jehovah for their God; and in him had a ceaseless fountain of strength, protection, earthly blessings, and eternal mercies! A people in such a case to rebel, must have the curse of God and man.
ANALYSIS OF THE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOURTH PSALM
This Psalms is divided into three parts: - I. A thanksgiving, ver. 1-5.
II. A petition, ver. 5-11.
III. A discussion on happiness, and in what it consists, ver. 12-15.
I. The prophet gives thanks, and praises God.
1. "Blessed be the Lord:" &c. Who has taught me in a general way the art of war, in a particular way the use of the sling; giving me skill, &c.
2. "He is my strength," &c. The strength I have is from him.
3. "My goodness," &c. Benignity or mercy.
4. "My fortress," &c. To him I fly as to a stronghold.
5. "And my Deliverer." Therefore will I trust in him.
From the consideration of so many benefits, the psalmist exclaims, "Lord what is man," &c.
To which question he replies: - 1. "Man is like to vanity." If God be not his fullness and strength.
2. "His days," &c. God is always the same; but man changes every moment.
II. He prays for God's assistance: "Bow thy heavens," &c. "Cast forth lightning," &c. If men will not acknowledge thy mercy, let them see thy judgments. This first part of his petition against his enemies being ended, he prays: - 1. "Rid me, and deliver me:" &c. From dangers of men.
2. "From the hand of strange children:" &c. Moabites, Philistines, &c.
Upon whom he sets these two characters.
1. "Whose mouth speaketh vanity:" &c. Lies, insincere words.
2. "At their right hand:" &c. They use their power to oppress and deceive.
Then the psalmist exclaims, as in a short hymn: - 1. "I will sing a new song," &c. And this I will do because "thou hast given victory," &c. "Thou hast delivered David," &c., from Saul, Absalom, &c.
2. And then he repeats, and concludes his petition as before: "Rid me," &c.
III. His petition being ended, he discourses on the nature of happiness, which is of two kinds, temporal and spiritual. The addition of temporal blessings is pleasant, and promised to the obedient: but godliness is the only safety in this, and especially in the life to come: "For godliness," &c.
God created temporal goods not merely for the wicked; they are often the rewards of piety. The psalmist therefore prays: - 1. "That our sons," &c. They are the pillars of a house; let them be flourishing.
2. "That our daughters," &c. Stones that join the building, beautiful as well as useful.
3. "That our garners may be full," &c. That we may have abundance.
4. "That our sheep," &c. Our flocks' increase.
5. "That our oxen," &c. May be healthy and strong.
6. "That there be no breaking," &c. No plundering among us.
7. "That there be no complaining," &c. No want of bread, or any cause of tumult. David prays that, during his reign, the people may be happy, and enjoy the fruits of peace.
Then he concludes the Psalm with this acclamation: - 1. "Happy is that people," &c. Those he has described.
2. "Yea, happy," &c. That have the true God for their God; who know God to be their Father, and that he takes care of them, providing for their temporal necessities, and supplying all their spirtual wants.
Others understand these words, not as prayers, but as a description of the state David and his people were then in. See the notes.