Verse 11. Here we come to a grand covenant pleading of the kind which is always prevalent with the Lord. The LORD hath sworn in truth unto, David. We cannot urge anything with God which is equal to his own word and oath. Jehovah swears that our faith may have strong confidence in it: he cannot forswear himself. He swears in truth, for he means every word that he utters; men may be perjured, but none will be so profane as to imagine this of the God of truth. By Nathan this covenant of Jehovah was conveyed to David, and there was no delusion in it. He will not turn from it. Jehovah is not a changeable being. He never turns from his purpose, much less from his promise solemnly ratified by oath. He turneth never. He is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent. What a rock they stand upon who have an immutable oath of God for their foundation! We know that this covenant was really made with Christ, the spiritual seed of David, for Peter quotes it at Pentecost, saying, "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ." Christ therefore sits on a sure throne for ever and ever, seeing that he has kept the covenant, and through him the blessing comes upon Zion, whose poor are blessed in him. Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. Jesus sprang from the race of David, as the evangelists are careful to record; he was "of the house and lineage of David": at this day he is the King of the Jews, and the Lord has also given him the heathen for his inheritance. He must reign, and of his kingdom there shall be no end. God himself has set him on the throne, and no rebellion of men or devils can shake his dominion. The honour of Jehovah is concerned in his reign, and therefore it is never in danger; for the Lord will not suffer his oath to be dishonoured.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 11. The LORD hath sworn. The most potent weapon with God is his own word. They remind him, therefore, as did Ethan in Psalms 89:20 , etc., of the solemn words which he had spoken by Nathan, and which must at that time have been still fresh in the memory of all. Solomon, too, made mention of those glorious words of comfort in his prayer at the dedication of the temple. --Augustus F. Theluck.
Verse 11-12. This Psalm is one of those fifteen which are called Psalms of Degrees; of which title whatsoever reason can be given fitting the rest, surely if we consider the argument of this, it may well import the excellency thereof, and why? It is nothing else but a sacred emulation, wherein God and a king contend; the king in piety, God in bounty. The king declares himself to be a most eminent pattern of zeal, and God himself to be a most magnificent rewarder of his servants. The king debars himself of all worldly content, while he is busily providing to entertain God; and God, who fills heaven and earth, vouchsafes to lodge in that place which was provided by the king. The king presents his supplication not only for himself, but also for his charge, the priests, the people; and God restrains not his blessing to the king, but also at his suit enlargeth it to church and commonweal. Finally, the king bindeth himself to make good his duty with a votive oath, and God stipulates again with an oath that which he promised both to king and kingdom: to the kingdom in the words that follow; but to the king in those that I have now read to you.
This speech, then, is directed unto the king, unto David; but it containeth a blessing which redounds unto his issue, "the fruit of his body." This blessing is no less than a royal succession in the throne of David: David's sons shall inherit it, but it is God that states them in it. They shall sit, but I will set them, yea, so set them that they shall never fall; they shall sit for ever; the succession shall be perpetual. And hitherto the promise runs absolute: it is qualified in that which followeth.
The king was busy to build God's house; and see how God answers him, promising the building of the king's house! God requites a building with a building. There is a very apt illusion in the word, upon which the son of Syrach also plays, when he saith, that children and the building of a city make a perpetual name; how much more if they be a royal offspring, that are destined to sit upon a throne? And God promises David sons for this honourable end -- "to sit upon his throne." -- Arthur Lake, --1626.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The divine oath.
- Its eternal stability.
- The everlasting Kingship.
Verse 11. (middle clause). -- Our confidence: "He will not turn from it." He is not a changing God. He foreknew everything. He is able to carry out his purpose. His honour is bound up in it. His oath can never be broken.