Verse 28. The children of thy servants shall continue. The Psalmist had early in the psalm looked forward to a future generation, and here he speaks with confidence that such a race would arise and be preserved and blessed of God. Some read it as a prayer, "let the sons of thy servants abide." Any way, it is full of good cheer to us; we may plead for the Lord's favour to our seed, and we may expect that the cause of God and truth will revive in future generations. Let us hope that those who are to succeed us will not be so stubborn, unbelieving and erring as we have been. If the church has been minished and brought low by the lukewarmness of the present race, let us entreat the Lord to raise up a better order of men, whose zeal and obedience shall win and hold a long prosperity. May our own dear ones be among the better generation who shall continue in the Lord's ways, obedient to the end.
And their seed shall be established before thee. God does not neglect the children of his servants. It is the rule that Abraham's Isaac should be the Lord's, that Isaac's Jacob should be beloved of the Most High, and that Jacob's Joseph should find favour in the sight of God. Grace is not hereditary, yet God loves to be served by the same family time out of mind, even as many great landowners feel a pleasure in having the same families as tenants upon their estates from generation to generation. Here is Zion's hope, her sons will build her up, her offspring will restore her former glories. We may, therefore, not only for our own sakes, but also out of love to the church of God, daily pray that our sons and daughters may be saved, and kept by divine grace even unto the end, -- established before the Lord.
We have thus passed through the cloud, and in the next psalm we shall bask in the sunshine. Such is the chequered experience of the believer. Paul in the seventh of Romans cries and groans, and then in the eighth rejoices and leaps for joy; and so, from the moaning of the hundred and second psalm, we now advance to the songs and dancing of the hundred and third, blessing the Lord that, "though weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 28. The children of thy servants shall continue. In what sense is "children" taken? Either the children of their flesh, or of their faith. Some say the children of the same faith with the godly teachers and servants of the Lord, begotten by them to God, as noting the perpetuity of the church, who shall in every age bring forth children to God. It is the comfort of God's people to see a young brood growing up to continue his remembrance in the world, that when they die religion shall not die with them, nor the succession of the church be interrupted. This sense is not altogether incongruous; but rather I think the children of their body are here intended; it being a blessing often promised: see Psalms 103:17 . "The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children." "Shall continue;" "shall be established." In what sense is it spoken? Some think only pro more faederis, according to the fashion of that covenant which the people of God were then under, when eternity was but more darkly revealed and shadowed out, either by long life, or the continuance of their name in their posterity, which was a kind of literal immortality. Clearly such a kind of regard is had, as appeareth by that which you find in Psalms 37:28 . "The LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever." How? since they die as others do: mark the antithesis, and that will explain it. "They are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off." They are preserved in their posterity. Children are but the parents multiplied, and the parent continued, it is nodosa aeternitas; when the father's life is run out to the last, there is a knot tied, and the line is still continued by the child. I confess, temporal blessings, such as long life, and the promise of a happy posterity, are more visible in the eye of that dispensation of the covenant; but yet God still taketh care for the children of his people, and many promises run that way that belong to the gospel- administration, and still God's service is the surest way to establish a family, as sin is the ready way to root it out. And if it doth not always fall out accordingly, yet for the most part it doth; and we are no competent judges of God's dispensations in this kind, because we see Providence by pieces, and have not the skill to set them together; but at the day of judgment, when the whole contexture of God's dealings is laid before us we shall clearly understand how the children of his servants continue, and their seed is established. Thomas Manton.
Verse 28. O the folly of the world, that seeks to make perpetuities to their houses by devises in the law, which may perhaps reach to continue their estates, but can it reach to continue their seed? It may entail lands to their heirs, but can it entail heirs to their lands? No, God knows! This is a perpetuity of only God's making, a privilege of only God's servants: for The children of his servants shall continue, and theiv seed shall be established before him; but that any others shall continue is no part of David's warrant. Sir R. Baker.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 28. The true apostolical succession.
- There always will be saints.
- They will frequently be the seed of the saints after the flesh.
- They will always be the spiritual seed of the godly, for God converts one by means of another.
- We should order our efforts with an eye to the church's future.
WORKS ON THE HUNDRED AND SECOND PSALM.
BISHOP FISHER'S Treatise on the Penitential Psalms. (See "Treasury of David," Vol. II., pg 114.) There is an edition in 12mo., printed in the year MDCCXIV., besides those referred to as above.
In "Meditations on Twenty select Psalms, by Sir SIR ANTHONY COPE, Chamberlain to Queen Katherine Parr. Reprinted from the edition of 1547;... By WILLIAM H. COPE. M.A. 1848," there is a Meditation on this Psalm.
Meditations and Disquisitions upon the Seven Psalms of David, commonly called the Penitentiall Psalmes, By Sir RICHARD BAKER, Knight. 1639. pg 139- 180.
Zion's Joy in her King Coming in his Glory. Wherein the estate of the Poore distressed Church of the Gentiles (travailing in the Wildernesse towards the new Jerusalem of the Jewes) in her utmost extremities, and height of her Joyes, is lively delineated; In some Meditations upon that Propheticall Psalme 102, wherein the sense is opened, and many difficult places of Scripture inlightned by a harmony, and consent of the Scriptures. Delightfull and profitable to be read in these times of the Churches troubles, and much longed for restauration and deliverance. By FINIENS CANUS VOVE. Compiled in Exile, and lately now revised and somewhat augmented as the weight of the Subject and the revolution of the times required... 1643. 4to.
In "Sermons on the Seven Penitential Psalms, Preached during Lent, 1838," by the Rev. CHARLES OXENDON, there is an Exposition of this Psalm.