Verse 11. "Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens " - The same sentiments and words which occur in ver. 5. See the note there.
David was not only in a happy state of mind when he wrote this Psalm, but in what is called a state of triumph. His confidence in God was unbounded; though encompassed by the most ferocious enemies, and having all things against him except God and his innocence. David will seldom be found in a more blessed state than he here describes. Similar faith in God will bring the same blessings to every true Christian in similar circumstances.
ANALYSIS OF THE FIFTY-SEVENTH PSALM
The contents of this Psalm are: - I. David's petition, ver. 1.
II. The reasons which induced him to offer it, ver. 2-6.
III. His resolution to give God due praise, ver. 5, 7-11.
I. His petition is ardent. The repetition shows this: it is for grace and protection: "Be merciful unto me, be merciful unto me, O God!" II. He adduces his reasons to persuade the Lord to be merciful.
First reason. The faith and confidence he had in God: "My soul trusteth in thee; and under the shadow of thy wings," as the chicken does under those of the hen, "shall be my refuge until these calamities be overpast." Second reason. The sufficiency and efficiency of God: "I will call upon God." l. He is the Most High; then he is sufficient and able to deliver me.
2. He will perform all things for me: therefore he will effect this.
In the following verse he insists on this argument.
"He shall send from heaven." He will do it in a miraculous way, if there be no other way: "He will send from heaven, and save me. He will send forth his mercy and his truth;" he will perform his word, and graciously save me.
The third reason of his petition is the extreme danger he was then in by a cruel and merciless enemy.
1. "My soul is among the lions," a ravenous, strong, and bloody creature.
2. "I lie even among those who are set on fire." Their anger and hatred to me are implacable.
3. Even among those whose "teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword." They wound by calumniating me. A spear wounds near; an arrow, afar off; a sword, at hand: near or far off, they spare not to disgrace me.
He now brings another argument, stronger than all the rest, viz., God's glory. It will be to his glory to be merciful, to save, and to deliver; and therefore he prays: "Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let thy glory," &c. That is, Let not the wicked triumph; but display thy power, and assert thy glory; which, if thou do, thy glory will be conspicuous above-in the heavens, and below-over all the earth.
He then begins his complaint, describing the practices of his enemies: - 1. "They have prepared a net for my feet." They lay snares as fowlers do.
2. Through which "my soul is bowed down." My life is in extreme danger.
3. "They have digged a pit before me," intending to take me like some wild beast, but, praised be God I foresee the event. "They are fallen into the pit themselves." III. In confidence of this David gives thanks, which may be considered a f ourth argument; for there is no such way to procure a new favour as to be thankful. Our thanksgiving: should consist of two especial points:
1. Commemoration; 2. Declaration.
1. He that will be thankful should treasure up in his heart and memory the kindness that is done to him. This David had done: "My heart is fixed, my heart is fixed." 2. After he remembers it, he should be affected by it, and resolve on it.
So does David. My heart is ready, prepared, fixed. I Will be thankful. I am determined.
3. It is not enough that a man have a thankful heart; he must declare it, and make publicly known what God has done for him: "I will sing, and give praise." 4. He should use all means in his power to make it known; tongue, psaltery, harp, are all little enough. To these he addresses himself: "Awake, tongue, lute, harp," &c.
6. He must not do it carelessly: "Awake! Awake! Myself will awake." 6. He must take the first opportunity, and not delay it: "I will awake EARLY." 7. He should do it in such a way as most tends to God's glory: "I will praise thee among the people I will sing of thee among the nations." That all this may be done, David gives a sufficient reason, - God's mercy and truth. His infinite mercy in promising, his truth in pernorming: "Thy mercy is great unto the heavens; thy truth unto the clouds." And then he concludes with a repetition of the fifth verse: "Be thou exalted above the heavens and thy truth unto the clouds." Let all give thee the glory due to thy name.