Psalm 118:25

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 25. Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD. Hosanna! God save our king! Let David reign! Or as we who live in these latter days interpret it, -- Let the Son of David live for ever, let his saving help go forth throughout all nations. This was the peculiar shout of the feast of tabernacles; and so long as we dwell here below in these tabernacles of clay we cannot do better than use the same cry. Perpetually let us pray that our glorious King may work salvation in the midst of the earth. We plead also for ourselves that the Lord would save us, deliver us, and continue to sanctify us. This we ask with great earnestness, beseeching it of Jehovah. Prayer should always be an entreating and beseeching.

O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Let the church be built up: through the salvation of sinners may the number of the saints be increased; through the preservation of saints may the church be strengthened, continued, beautified, perfected. Our Lord Jesus himself pleads for the salvation and the prosperity of his chosen; as our Intercessor before the throne he asks that the heavenly Father would save and keep those who were of old committed to his charge, and cause them to be one through the indwelling Spirit. Salvation had been given, and therefore it is asked for. Strange though it may seem, he who cries for salvation is already in a measure saved. None can so truly cry, "Save, I beseech thee," as those who have already participated in salvation; and the most prosperous church is that which most imploringly seeks prosperity. It may seem strange that, returning from victory, flushed with triumph, the hero should still ask for salvation; but so it is, and it could not be otherwise. When all our Saviour's work and warfare were ended, his intercession became even more prominently a feature of his life; after he had conquered all his foes he made intercession for the transgressors. What is true of him is true of his church also, for whenever she obtains the largest measure of spiritual blessing she is then most inclined to plead for more. She never pants so eagerly for prosperity as when she sees the Lord's doings in her midst, and marvels at them. Then, encouraged by the gracious visitation, she sets apart her solemn days of prayer, and cries with passionate desire, "Save now," and "Send now prosperity." She would fain take the tide at the flood, and make the most of the day of which the Lord has already made so much.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 25. Save. With the Hebrews salvation is a wide word, comprising all the favours of God that may lead to preservation; and therefore the Psalmist elsewhere extends this act both to man and beast, and, as if he would comment upon himself, expounds swson save, by euodwson? It is so dear a title of God, that the prophet cannot have enough of it. Joseph Hall.

Verse 25. Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD. Let him have the acclamations of the people as is usual at the inauguration of a prince; let every one of his loyal subjects shout for joy, "Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD." This is like vivat rex, and speaks both a hearty joy for his accession to the crown, an entire satisfaction in his government, and a zealous affection to the interests and honour of it. Hosanna signifies, "Save now, I beseech thee." Lord, save me, I beseech thee; let this Saviour be my Saviour; and in order to that my Ruler: let me be taken under his protection, and owned as one of his willing subjects. His enemies are my enemies; Lord, I beseech thee, save me from them. Send me an interest in that prosperity which his kingdom brings with it to all those that entertain it. Let my soul prosper and be in health, in that peace and righteousness which his government brings. Psalms 72:3 . Let me have victory over those lusts that war against my soul, and let divine grace go on in my heart, conquering and to conquer. Matthew Henry.

Verse 25. Save now, or, hosanna. Our thanksgivings on earth must always be accompanied with prayers for further mercies, and the continuance of our prosperity; Our hallelujahs with hosannas. Ingram Cobbin.

Verse 25. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord, etc. Hosanna. The cry of the multitudes as they thronged in our Lord's triumphal procession into Jerusalem ( Matthew 21:9 Matthew 21:18 Mark 11:9 Mark 11:15 John 12:13 ) was taken from this Psalm, from which they were accustomed to recite Ps 118:25-26 at the Feast of Tabernacles. On that occasion the great Hallel, consisting of Psalms 113-118 was chanted by one of the priests, and at certain intervals the multitudes joined in the responses, waving their branches of willow and palm, and shouting as they waved them, Hallelujah, or Hosannah, or, "O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity." This was done at the recitation of Psalms 118:1 Psalms 118:29 ; but according to the school of Hillel, at the words "Save now, we beseech thee." The school of Shammai, on the contrary, say it was at the words, "Send now prosperity." Rabban Gamaliel and R. Joshua were observed by R. Akiba to wave their branches only at the words, "Save now, we beseech thee" (Mishna, Succah, 3. 9). On each of the seven days during which the feast lasted the people thronged the court of the temple, and went in procession about the altar, setting their boughs bending towards it; the trumpets sounding as they shouted Hosannah. But on the seventh day they marched seven times round the altar, shouting meanwhile the great Hosannah to the sound of the trumpets of the Levites (Lightfoot, Temple Service, 16. 2). The very children who could wave the palm branches were expected to take part in the solemnity (Mishna, Succah, 3. 15; Matthew 21:15 ). From the custom of waving the boughs of myrtle and willow during the service the name Hosannah was ultimately transferred to the boughs themselves, so that according to Elias Levita (Thisbi. sv), "the bundles of the willows of the brook which they carry at the Feast of Tabernacles are called Hosannahs." William Aldis Wright, in "Smith's Dictionary of the Bible," 1863.

Verse 25. Send now prosperity,. God will send it, but his people must pray for it. "I came for thy prayers," Daniel 10:12 . John Trapp.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 25. -- What is church prosperity? Whence must it come? How can we obtain it?

Verse 25. --

  1. The object of the prayer.

    1. Salvation from sin.

(b) Prosperity in righteousness.

  1. The earnestness of the prayer: "I beseech thee, I beseech thee".
  2. The urgency of the prayer, "now -- now" -- now that the gates of righteousness are open, now that the foundation stone is laid, now that the gospel day has come -- now, Lord! now! --G.R.