Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
The general tone of this Psalm is that of prayer for help from enemies.
Distress, however, exciting a sense of sin, humble confession,
supplication for pardon, preservation from sin, and divine guidance,
are prominent topics.
1. lift up my soul--
(Ps 24:4; 86:4),
set my affections (compare
2. not be ashamed--by disappointment of hopes of relief.
3. The prayer generalized as to all who wait on God--that is, who
expect His favor. On the other hand, the disappointment of the
perfidious, who, unprovoked, have done evil, is invoked (compare
4, 5. On the ground of former favor, he invokes divine guidance,
according to God's gracious ways of dealing and faithfulness.
6, 7. Confessing past and present sins, he pleads for mercy, not on
palliations of sin, but on God's well-known benevolence.
8, 9. upright--acting according to His promise.
sinners--the general term, limited by the
meek--who are penitent.
the way--and his way--God's way of providence.
9. in judgment--rightly.
10. paths--similar sense--His modes of dealing (compare
mercy and truth--
God's grace in promising and faithfulness in performing.
11. God's perfections of love, mercy, goodness, and truth are
manifested (his name, compare
in pardoning sin, and the greatness of sin renders pardon more
12, 13. What he asks for himself is the common lot of all the
13. inherit the earth--(compare
The phrase, alluding to the promise of Canaan, expresses all the
blessings included in that promise, temporal as well as spiritual.
14. The reason of the blessing explained--the pious enjoy communion
with God (compare
Pr 3:21, 12),
and, of course, learn His gracious terms of pardon.
15. His trust in God is fixed.
net--is frequently used as a figure for dangers by enemies
(Ps 9:15; 10:9).
16-19. A series of earnest appeals for aid because God had seemed to
desert him (compare
Ps 13:1; 17:13,
&c.), his sins oppressed him, his enemies had enlarged his troubles and
were multiplied, increasing in hate and violence
(Ps 9:8; 18:48).
20. keep my soul--
put my trust--flee for refuge
21. In conscious innocence of the faults charged by his enemies, he
confidently commits his cause to God. Some refer--
integrity, &c.--to God, meaning His covenant faithfulness. This
sense, though good, is an unusual application of the terms.
22. Extend these blessings to all Thy people in all their distresses.