[There be] many that say, who will show us [any] good?
&c.] These may be thought to be the men of the world; carnal worldly minded men, seeking after temporal good, and taking up their rest and contentment in it; to whom the psalmist opposes his wish and request, in the following words. Or these are the words of the men that were along with David, wishing themselves at home and in their families, enjoying the good things of life they before had; or rather these are the words of the same many, the enemies of David, spoken of in ( Psalms 3:1 Psalms 3:2 ) ; who were wishing, as Kimchi observes, that Absalom's rebellion might prosper; that David might die and his son reign in his stead, so the evil they wished to him was good to them: or they may be the words of the same men, expressing the desperate condition that David and his friends were in, which the psalmist represents in this manner, "who will show us any good?" none, say they, will show them any good, neither God nor man; there is no help for him in God; he and his friends must unavoidably perish: and this produces the following petition,
Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us;
meaning his gracious presence, the manifestations of himself, the discoveries of his love, communion with him, the comforts of his Spirit, and the joys of his salvation; suggesting that in the enjoyment of these things lay their good and happiness, and their safety also; his face and favour, love and grace, being as a shield to encompass them, and as a banner over them, ( Psalms 5:12 ) ( Song of Solomon 2:4 ) ; and so Jarchi observes, that the word here used signifies to lift up for a banner F18; so, me respect seems to be had to the form of the priests blessing, ( Numbers 6:24-26 ) ; and the words are opposed to the good desired by carnal men, and express the true happiness of the saints, ( Psalms 89:15 ) ; this is a blessing wished for not only by David, but by his antitype the Messiah, ( Matthew 27:46 ) ; and by all believers.
F18 So Gussetius, Ebr. Comment. p. 515, 518.