Verse 7. Let Israel hope in the LORD. Or, "Hope thou, Israel, in Jehovah." Jehovah is Israel's God; therefore, let Israel hope in him. What one Israelite does he wishes all Israel to do. That man has a just right to exhort others who is himself setting the example. Israel of old waited upon Jehovah and wrestled all the night long, and at last he went his way succoured by the Hope of Israel: the like shall happen to all his seed. God has great things in store for his people, they ought to have large expectations. For with the LORD there is mercy. This is in his very nature, and by the light of nature it may be seen. But we have also the light of grace, and therefore we see still more of his mercy. With us there is sin; but hope is ours, because "with the Lord there is mercy." Our comfort lies not in that which is with us, but in that which is with our God. Let us look out of self and its poverty to Jehovah and his riches of mercy. And with him is plenteous redemption. He can and will redeem all his people out of their many and great troubles; nay, their redemption is already wrought out and laid up with him, so that he can at any time give his waiting ones the full benefit thereof. The attribute of mercy, and the fact of redemption, are two most sufficient reasons for hoping in Jehovah; and the fact that there is no mercy or deliverance elsewhere should effectually wean the soul from all idolatry. Are not these deep things of God a grand comfort for those who are crying out of the depths? Is it not better to be in the deeps with David, hoping in God's mercy, than up on the mountain tops, boasting in our own fancied righteousness?
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 7. Let Israel hope in the LORD. This title is applied to all the Lord's people; it sets forth their dignity -- they are PRINCES; it refers to their experience -- they wrestle with God in prayer, and they prevail. Despondency does not become a prince, much less a Christian. Our God is "THE GOD OF HOPE"; and we should hope in him. Israel should hope in his mercy, in his patience, in his provision, in his plenteous redemption. They should hope for light in darkness; for strength in weakness; for direction in perplexity; for deliverance in danger; for victory in conflict; and for triumph in death. They should hope in God confidently, because he hath promised; prayerfully, for he loves to hear from us; obediently, for his precepts are to be observed by us; and constantly, for he is always the same. --James Smith (1802-1862), in "The Believer's Daily Remembrancer,"
Verse 7. Let Israel hope in the LORD. Whereas, in all preceding verses of the Psalm, the thoughts, the sorrows, the prayer, the penitence, the awe, the waiting, the watching, were all personal and confined to himself; here a great change has taken place, and it is no longer "I", but "Israel"; all Israel. "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities." This is as it always ought to be ... It is the genius of our religion to go forth to multitudes. --James Vaughan.
Verse 7. For with the LORD there is mercy. Mercy has been shown to us, but it dwells in God. It is one of his perfections. The exercise of it is his delight. There is mercy with the Lord in all its fulness; he never was more merciful than now, neither will he ever be. There is mercy with the Lord in all its tenderness, he is full of compassion, his bowels are troubled for us, his tender mercies are over us. There is mercy with him in all its variety, it suits every case.
Here is mercy that receives sinners, mercy that restores backsliders, mercy that keeps believers. Here is the mercy that pardons sin, that introduces to the enjoyment of all gospel privileges, and that blesses the praying soul far beyond its expectations. With the Lord there is mercy, and he loves to display it, he is ready to impart it, he has determined to exalt and glorify it.
There is mercy with the Lord; this should encourage the miserable to approach him; this informs the fearful that they need bring nothing to induce him to bless them; this calls upon backsliders to return to him; and this is calculated to cheer the tried Christian, under all his troubles and distresses. Remember, mercy is like God, it is infinite and eternal. Mercy is always on the throne. Mercy may be obtained by any sinner. --James Smith.
Verse 7. With him is plenteous redemption. This plenteous redemption leaves behind it no more relies of sin than Moses left hoofs of beasts behind him in Egypt. It redeems not only from the fault, but from the punishment; not only a tanto, but a toto not only from such, but also from all sin and penalty; not only from the sense but from the fear of pain; and in the fault, not only from the guilt, but front the stain; not only from being censured, but from being questioned. Or is it meant by a plenteous redemption that not only he leads captivity captive, but gives gifts unto men? For what good is it to a prisoner to have his pardon, if he be kept in prison still for not paying his fees? but if the prince, together with the pardon, sends also a largess that may maintain him when he is set at liberty, this, indeed, is a plenteous redemption; and such is the redemption that God's mercy procures unto us. It not only delivers us from a dungeon, but puts us in possession of a palace; it not only frees us from eating bread in the sweat of our brows, but it restores us to Paradise, where all fruits are growing of their own accord; it not only clears us from being captives, but endears us to be children; and not only children, but heirs; and not only heirs, but co- heirs with Christ; and who can deny this to be a plenteous redemption Or is it said a plenteous redemption in regard of the price that was paid to redeem us? for we are redeemed with a price, not of gold or precious stones, but with the precious blood of the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son to be a ransom for us, and this I am sure is a plenteous redemption. -- Sir Richard Baker.
Verse 7. Plenteous redemption, or more literally, "redemption plenteously." He calls it plenteous, as Luther says, because such is the straitness of our heart, the slenderness of our hopes, the weakness of our faith, that it far exceeds all our capacity, all our petitions and all our desires. --J. J. Stewart Perowne.
Verse 7-8. This Psalm containeth an evident prophecy of the Messias; in setting forth his plentiful redemption, and that he should redeem Israel, that is, the Church, from all their sins. Which words in their full sense were used by an angel to Joseph, in telling him that the child's name should be JESUS, "because he should save his people from their sins": Matthew 1:21 . --Sir John Hayward (1560-1627), in "David's Tears," 1623.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 7. Redeeming grace the sole hope of the holiest. --W. B. H.
- A divine exhortation: "Let Israel hope in the LORD."
- A spiritual reason: "For with the LORD there is mercy", etc.
- A gracious promise: "He shall redeem Israel from, all his iniquities." --J. C. Philpot.
Verse 7-8. It is our wisdom to have personal dealings with God.
- The first exercise of faith must be upon the Lord himself. This is the natural order, the necessary order, easiest, wisest, and most profitable order. Begin where all begins.
- Exercises of faith about other things must still be in connection with the Lord. Mercy -- "with the Lord." Plenteous redemption "with him."
- Exercises of faith, whatever their object, must all settle on him. "He shall redeem", etc.