Verse 9. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good. He prays for Jerusalem because of Zion. How the church salts and savours all around it. The presence of Jehovah, our God, endears to us every place wherein he reveals his glory. Well may we seek her good within whose walls there dwells God who alone is good. We are to live for God's cause, and to be ready to die for it. First we love it ( Psalms 122:6 ) and then we labour for it, as in this passage: we see its good, and then seek its good. If we can do nothing else we can intercede for it. Our covenant relation to Jehovah as our God binds us to pray for his people, -- they are "the house of the Lord our God." If we honour our God we desire the prosperity of the church which he has chosen for his indwelling.
Thus is the poet glad of an invitation to join with others in the Lord's service. He goes with them and rejoices, and then he turns his delight into devotion, and intercedes for the city of the great King. O church of the living God, we hail thine assemblies, and on bended knee we pray that thou mayest have peace and felicity. May our Jehovah so send it. Amen.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 9. Because of the house of the Lord. The city that was the scene of so immense assemblies had necessarily a peculiar character of its own. It existed for them, it lived by them. There were priests needed for the conduct of the worship, twenty four courses of them and 20,000 men. There were Levites, their servants, in immense numbers, needed to watch, maintain, clean the temple -- to do the menial and ministering work necessary to its elaborate service and stupendous acts of worship. There were scribes needed for the interpretation of the law, men skilled in the Scriptures and tradition, with names like Gamaliel, so famed for wisdom as to draw young men like Saul from distant Tarsus, or Apollos from rich Alexandria. There were synagogues, 480 of them at least, where the rabbis read and the people heard the word which God had in past times spoken unto the fathers by the prophets. The city was indeed in a sense the religion of Israel, incorporated and localized, and the man who loved the one turned daily his face toward the other, saying, "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of Jahveh." A. M. Fairbairn, in "Studies in the Life of Christ," 1881.
Verse 9. I will seek thy good. It is not a cold wish; it is not a careless, loose seeking after it, that is the phrase in my text -- "I will seek thy good." It is not a careless, loose seeking after it, almost as indifferently as a woman seeks after a pin which she has dropped; no, no; effort is implied. "I will seek"; I will throw my energies into it; my powers, my faculties, my property, my time, my influence, my connections, my family, my house, all that I have under my command shall, as far as I have power to command, and as far as God gives me ability to turn them to such a use, be employed in an effort to promote the interests of Zion. Joseph Irons, 1786-1852.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 9. I will seek thy good.
- By prayer for the church.
- By service in the church.
- By bringing others to attend.
- By keeping the peace.
- By living so as to commend religion.
In "Chandler's Life of David," vol. 2. pp. 131-4, there is an Exposition of this Psalm.
Ecclesia Triumphans: That is, the Joy of the English Church, for the Happie Coronation of the most vertuous and pious Prince IAMES by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland... With a briefe Exposition of the 122. Psalme, and fit application to the time... The second edition. By ANDREW WILLETT.] Printed by IOHN LEGAT, Printer to the Vniuersitie of Cambridge, 1614. Folio. This Exposition is generally to be found bound up with Willett's "Harmonie vpon the First Booke of Samuel."]