Make me to hear joy and gladness
Which he had not heard for some time; sin had sadly broke in upon and interrupted his spiritual peace and joy; for though the love and favour of God cannot be lost, yet his sensible presence, which puts joy and gladness into the heart, may; and though an interest in Christ ever continues, and union to him is always the same; yet a view of interest in him, which fills with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and communion with him, may not be had for a time: and though justification by his righteousness, from whence flows much peace, is an invariable blessing; yet the comfortable perception of it may be taken away: and though salvation by Christ is a certain thing, yet the joy of it may be lost for a season; which was now the case of the psalmist: and when he desires that God would cause him to hear joy and gladness, his meaning is, that he might have that made known unto him; namely, the forgiveness of his sins, which would give him joy: not by an articulate voice from heaven, which he did not expect; nor by an angel from thence, which was not usual; but by the prophet, who as yet might not have declared to him that God had put away his sin; or, if he had, he might desire to have it repeated, for his fuller assurance, and greater joy; or by his Spirit, in an impulse on his mind, saying to him, thy sins are forgiven thee; which would give him great joy, fulness of it, even what is inconceivable and inexpressible, signified by these two words, "joy" and "gladness";
[that] the bones [which] thou hast broken may rejoice:
a backsliding believer is not only like a bone out of joint, ( Galatians 6:1 ) ; but his falls are sometimes both to the bruising of him, and to the breaking of his bones; of which when he is sensible, the quick sense of his sin is as the pain of a broken bone; see ( Psalms 38:3 Psalms 38:6 Psalms 38:8 Psalms 38:9 ) ; and here the breaking of them is ascribed to God; not that he is the cause or occasion of falling into sin, which breaks the bones, ( James 1:13 ) ; but of afflictions, corrections, and chastisements for sin, which are sometimes expressed by this phrase, ( Isaiah 38:13 ) ( Lamentations 3:4 Lamentations 3:16 ) ; and which David was threatened with, and gave him great uneasiness; and of the menaces and threatenings of the law, which being let into his conscience, worked wrath and terror there; and also of that true contrition of heart, and brokenness of spirit, which the Lord produces, and can only cure, by the discoveries of pardoning grace; which affects the whole frame of nature, the report of which makes the bones fat, and all of them to say, who is a God like unto thee? ( Proverbs 15:30 ) ( Psalms 35:9 Psalms 35:10 ) .