Psalm 131:3

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 3. Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever. See how lovingly a man who is weaned from self thinks of others! David thinks of his people, and loses himself in his care for Israel. How he prizes the grace of hope! He has given up the things which are seen, and therefore he values the treasures which are not seen except by the eyes of hope. There is room for the largest hope when self is gone, ground for eternal hope when transient things no longer hold the mastery of our spirits. This verse is the lesson of experience: a man of God who had been taught to renounce the world and live upon the Lord alone, here exhorts all his friends and companions to do the same. He found it a blessed thing to live by hope, and therefore he would have all his kinsmen do the same. Let all the nation hope, let all their hope be in Jehovah, let them at once begin hoping "from henceforth", and let them continue hoping "for ever." Weaning takes the child out of a temporary condition into a state in which he will continue for the rest of his life: to rise above the world is to enter upon a heavenly existence which can never end. When we cease to hanker for the world we begin hoping in the Lord. O Lord, as a parent weans a child, so do thou wean me, and then shall I fix all my hope on thee alone.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 3. Let Israel hope in the LORD. After the example, therefore, of the King of Israel, who thus demeaned himself in his afflictions, lowly, contented, and resigned, casting all his care upon the Father who cared for him, and patiently waiting his time for deliverance and salvation; after this their example and pattern, let his faithful people hope and trust, not in themselves, their wisdom, or their power, but in Jehovah alone, who will not fail to exalt them, as he hath already exalted their Redeemer, if they do but follow his steps. -- George Horne.

Verse 3. Let Israel hope in the LORD. Though David could himself wait patiently and quietly for tile crown designed him, yet perhaps Israel, the people whose darling he was, would be ready to attempt something in favour of him before the time; he therefore endeavours to quiet them too, and bids them, "hope in the LORD" that they should see a happy change of the face of affairs in due time. Thus "it is good to hope, and quietly to wait for the salvation of the Lord." --Matthew Henry.

Verse 3. Let Israel hope in the LORD. etc. Remember that he is Jehovah.

  1. Wise to plan.
  2. Good to purpose.
  3. Strong to execute, and that he will withhold no good thing from them that walk uprightly.
  4. Trust "from henceforth." If you have not begun before, begin now.
  5. And do not be weary; trust "for ever." Your case can never be out of the reach of God's power and mercy. --Adam Clarke.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 3.

  1. The encouragement to hope in God.

    1. As a covenant God, "the God of Israel."
    2. As a covenant keeping God: "From henceforth", etc.
  2. The effect of this hope.

    1. The humility and dependence in the first verse.
    2. The contentment and weaning in the second verse. Would Israel be thus humble and obedient as a little child? "Let Israel hope", etc. --G. R.

Verse 3. The Voice of Hope heard in the Calm.

  1. Calmed souls appreciate God. Quiet favours contemplation. God's majesty, perfection, and praise so discovered.
  2. Calmed souls confide in God; seen to be so worthy of trust.
  3. Calmed souls look fearlessly into eternity; "from henceforth and for ever." -- W. B. H.

Verse 3. Hope on, hope ever.

  1. For the past warrants such confidence.
  2. For the present demands such confidence.
  3. For the future will justify confidence. --W. H. J. P.

 

WORKS WRITTEN ABOUT THE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIRST PSALM. IN SPURGEON'S DAY

"Several five Sermons Upon Psalm 131", in the Works of Manton, D.D. Vol. 5., folio, pp. 961-1007; they may also be found in 21. pp. 406-462 of the new edition of Manton's Works, published by Nisbet and Co., 1874.