Psalm 142:7

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 7. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name. That God may be glorified is another notable plea for a suppliant. Escaped prisoners are sure to speak well of those who give them liberty; Soul emancipation is the noblest form of liberation, and calls for the loudest praise: he who is delivered from the dungeons of despair is sure to magnify the name of the Lord. We are in such a prison that only God himself can bring us out of it, and when he does so he will put a new song into our mouths. The cave was not half such a dungeon to David's body as persecution and temptation made for his soul. To be exiled from the godly is worse than imprisonment, hence David makes it one point of his release that he would be restored to church fellowship --

The righteous shall compass me about. Saints gather around a child of God when his Father smiles upon him; they come to hear his joyful testimony, to rejoice with him, and to have their own faith encouraged. All the true believers in the twelve tribes were glad to rally to David's banner when the Lord enlarged his spirit; they glorified God for him and with him and through him. They congratulated him, consorted with him, crowned him, and championed him. This was a sweet experience for righteous David, who had for awhile come under the censure of the upright. He bore their smiting with patience, and now he welcomes their sanction with gratitude.

For thou shalt deal bountifully with me. God's bountiful dealing is sure to bring with it the sympathy and alliance of all the favourites of the Great King. What a change from looking for a friend and finding none to this enthusiastic concourse of allies around the man after God's own heart! When we can begin a psalm with crying, we may hope to close it with singing. The voice of prayer soon awakens the voice of praise.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 7. Bring my soul out of prison, etc. As if he should say, O Lord, I confess I am a poor prisoner to sin and Satan, I would fain be set at liberty to believe thy word, and to do thy will; but, alas, I cannot. I find many a door fast shut upon me in this prison, and many a lock upon the doors, many lets and impediments which I am never able to remove; and therefore, gracious Lord, do that for me, which neither I myself nor all the friends I can make are ever able to do for me; pay the debts of thy poor prisoner in my blessed Surety, and set open the prison doors: "Bring my soul out of prison, O Lord, that I may praise thy name!" --Matthew Lawrence, in "The Use and Practice of Faith", 1657.

Verse 7. The righteous shall compass me about. In a circle, like a crown, as the word signifies; when delivered they should flock to him and come about him to see him and look at him, as a miracle of mercy, whose deliverance was marvellous; and to congratulate him upon it, and to join with him in praise unto God for it. The Targum is, "For my sake the righteous will make to thee a crown of praise." --John Gill.

Verse 7. For thou shalt deal bountifully with me. Others' mercies ought to be the matter of our praises to God; and others' praises to God on our behalf ought to be both desired and rejoiced in by us. --Matthew Henry.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 7. A prisoner. A freedman. A singer. A centre. A wonder.

Verse 7. Prison Dreams.

  1. What we image in our fetters.

    1. Christ's brow girt about with rare praise.
    2. Christ's people compassing and accompanying us in costliest service.
    3. A new life of bounty and blessing -- when we get out.
  2. How far do our dreamings come true? Before peril and after; under conviction, and after conversion; sick room, and active service.
  3. The duty of fidelity to prison vows and lessons.

--W.B.H.

Verse 7. (middle clause). A Queen Bee. An under shepherd. A warm hearth. A Museum of wonders. Or, they shall surround me, interested in my story -- "out of prison"; drawn by my song -- "praise thy name"; attracted by likeness of character, and admiring the goodness of the Lord.

Verse 7. (last clause). Take this with Psalms 116:7 . "The Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee." Infer the future from the past.

 

WORKS WRITTEN ABOUT THE HUNDRED AND FORTY-SECOND PSALM. IN SPURGEON'S DAY

In Chandler's "Life of David", vol. 1, pp. 157-160, there is an Exposition of this Psalm.