Psalm 147:10

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 10. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse. Not to great and strong animals doth the Creator in any measure direct his special thought; but in lesser living things he has equal pleasure. If man could act the Creator's part, he would take peculiar delight in producing noble quadrupeds like horses, whose strength and speed would reflect honour upon their maker; but Jehovah has no such feeling; lie cares as much for helpless birds in the nest as for the war horse in the pride of its power. He taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. These are the athlete's glory, but God hath no pleasure in them. Not the capacities of the creature, but rather its weakness and necessity, win the regard of our God. Monarchs trust in their cavalry and infantry; but the King of kings exults not in the hosts of his creatures as though they could lend power to him. Physical or material greatness and power are of no account with Jehovah; he has respect to other and more precious qualities. Men who boast in fight the valour of gigantic might, will not find themselves the favourites of God: though earthly princes may feast their eyes upon their Joabs and their Abners, their Abishais and Asahels, the Lord of hosts has no pleasure in mere bone and muscle. Sinews and thews are of small account, either in horses or in men, with Him who is a spirit, and delights most in spiritual things. The expression of the text may be viewed as including all creature power, even of a mental or moral kind. God does not take pleasure in us because of our attainments, or potentialities: he respects character rather than capacity.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 10. The two clauses of this verse are probably intended to describe cavalry and infantry, as forming the military strength of nations. It is not to those who trust in such resources that Jehovah shows favour, but to those who rely on his protection ( Psalms 147:11 ). --Annotated Paragraph Bible.

Verse 10-11. When a sinner is brought upon his knees, and becomes a suppliant, when as he is laid low by affliction, so he lieth low in prayer and supplication, then the Lord will be favourable to him, and show his delight in him. The Lord delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. No man is favoured by God because of his outward favour, because he hath a beautiful face, or strong, clean limbs; yea, not only hath the Lord no pleasure in any man's legs, but not in any man's brains, how reaching soever, not in any man's wit how quick soever, nor in any man's judgment how deep soever, nor in any man's tongue how eloquent or well spoken soever; but The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy, in those that walk humbly with him, and call upon him ... All the beauties and rarities both of persons and things are dull and flat, yea, wearisome and loathsome to God, in comparison of a gracious, honest, humble soul. Princes have their favourites ( Job 33:26 ); they are favourable to some above many, either because they are beautiful and goodly persons, or because they are men of excellent speech, prudence and deportment. All godly men are God's favourites; he is favourable to them not only above many men in the world, but above all the men of this world, who have their portion in this life; and he therefore favours them, because they are the purchase of his Son and the workmanship of his Spirit, convincing them of, and humbling them for, their sins, as also creating them after God in righteousness and true holiness. Such shall be his favourites. --Joseph Caryl.