Psalm 57:7

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 7. My heart is fixed. One would have thought he would have said, "My heart is fluttered;" but no, he is calm, firm, happy, resolute, established. When the central axle is secure, the whole wheel is right. If our great bower anchor holds, the ship cannot drive.

O God, my heart is fixed. I am resolved to trust thee, to serve thee, and to praise thee. Twice does he declare this to the glory of God who thus comforts the souls of his servants. Reader, it is surely well with thee, if thy once roving heart is now firmly fixed upon God and the proclamation of his glory.

I will sing and give praise. Vocally and instrumentally will I celebrate thy worship. With lip and with heart will I ascribe honour to thee. Satan shall not stop me, nor Saul, nor the Philistines, I will make Adullam ring with music, and all the caverns thereof echo with joyous song. Believer, make a firm decree that your soul in all seasons shall magnify the Lord.

"Sing, though sense and carnal reason

Fain would stop the joyful song:

Sing, and count it highest treason

For a saint to hold his tongue."

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 7. My heart is fixed, O God, etc. The psalmist knowing that it is the order and work of God, first to prepare the heart for communion, and then to incline his own ear to hear his people, and to entertain communion with them in ordinances, he doth observe this order, and follow it with a practice suitable to it in his daily address to God, that is thus, wheresoever he doth find his heart put into a fitted and prepared frame for communion with God, he doth not let it die again, and go out of frame by a slothful neglect of such a disposition of heart. No, but he immediately sets himself to duty, to worship God, and to the acts of his worship, in his ordinances, as he expresses himself in Psalms 57:7 ; viz., thus -- ybl nwkg myhla ybl nwkg, Nachon libbi Elohim, nachon libbi (there is the first; he finds his heart fitted and prepared for communion with God): "My heart," saith he, "is fitted or prepared" (for the word nwkg nachon is the passive conjugation niphal, signifying, he is fitted or prepared, from the root nzb, chun, he fitted or prepared, in the active; and so it is rather to be rendered prepared or fitted, then "fixed," thus ykl, libbi, my heart; nwkg, nachon, is fitted or prepared), "O God, my heart is fitted or prepared" for communion with thee. Well, what follows? He presently sets himself upon that great duty and ordinance of communion with God, in the praising of his name and singing forth those praises, as in the words immediately following in the same verse, thus: My heart is prepared, O God, my heart is prepared; therefore, hrmzaw, ashidah va-azamerah, "I will sing and give praise." William Strong, in "Communion with God," 1656.

Verse 7. My heart is fixed, O God, etc. Fitness for duty lies in the orderly temper of body and mind, making a man willing to undertake, and able to finish his work with comfortable satisfaction. If either the body or mind be distempered, a man is unfit for such an undertaking; both must be in a suitable frame, like a well tuned instrument, else there will be no melody: hence when David prepared himself for praises and worship, he tells us his heart was ready and fixed, and then, his tongue was ready also ( Psalms 45:1 ), so was his hand with psaltery and harp; all these were awakened into a suitable posture. That a man is or hath been in a fit order for service may be concluded from

  1. His alacrity to undertake a duty.
  2. His activity in the prosecution.
  3. His satisfaction afterward. Right grounds and principles in these things being still presupposed. Richard Gilpin (1625- 1699,1700), in "Daemonologia Sacra."

Verse 7. I will sing. It should alarm the wicked that they are contending with a people who sing and shout on the battle field. Yea, they never sing louder than when most distressed and afflicted. Whether saints conquer or are conquered they still sing on. Blessed be God for that. Let sinners tremble at contending with men of a spirit so heavenly. William S. Plumer.

Verse 7. Sincerity makes the Christian sing, when he hath nothing to his supper. David was in none of the best case when in the cave, yet we never find him merrier: his heart makes sweeter music than ever his harp did. William Gurnall.

Verse 7-8. That worship that is performed with a sleepy, drowsy body, is a weak worship, but the psalmist here makes the awakening of the body to be the fruit and effect of the preparation of the heart; Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. Why so? My heart is prepared. The heart prepared and thereby awaked, will awake the body. To worship God therefore without a prepared heart, is to worship him with a drowsy body, because with a drowsy heart, and therefore weakly. John Angier, in "An Help to Better Hearts, for Better Times," 1647.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 1,4,6-7. Note the varying condition of the same heart, at the same time. My soul trusteth in thee... My soul is among lions. My soul is bowed down... My heart is fixed.

Verse 7. (first clause). It is implied that the heart is the main thing required in all acts of devotion; nothing is done to purpose in religion further than it is done with the heart. The heart must be fixed; fixed for the duty, fitted and put in frame for it; fixed in the duty by a close application; attending on the Lord without distraction. Matthew Henry.

Verse 7.

  1. What is fixed? the heart, not the mind merely, but

    the will, the conscience, the affections, which draw

    the mind after them: My heart is fixed --

    found an anchorage, a resting place, not therefore at

    the mercy of every gale, etc.
  2. The objects upon which it is fixed.
    1. Upon God.
    2. Upon his word.
    3. Upon his salvation.
    4. Upon heaven.
    5. The fixedness of the heart upon these objects,
      denotes --
    6. Singleness of aim.
    7. Uniformity of action.
    8. Perseverance to the end. G. R.

Verse 7-9.

  1. He that will be thankful must treasure up in his heart and memory the courtesy that is done him; so had David done, and therefore he mentions his heart; and to make it more emphatic, he names it again, My heart.
  2. After he remembers it, he must be affected with it, and resolve upon it; so doth David: My heart is ready, or else, My heart is fixed; confirmed I am in it to be thankful, and I cannot be altered.
  3. It is not enough that a man carry about with him a thankful heart he must anunciare, tell it abroad, and make it known publicly what God hath done for him; yea, and do it joyfully too: I will, saith David, sing and give praise.
  4. He must use all means he can to make it known -- "tongue," "psaltery," and "harp," all are little enough. Whence, by an apostrophe, David turns to these. Awake, my glory: i.e., Tongue, awake; lute and harp, awake; I myself will awake.
  5. He must not do it in a sleepy manner, but with intention and earnestness of spirit: "Awake, awake, I will awake."
  6. He must take the first opportunity to do it, and not hang off and delay it. I will awake early.
  7. He must do it in such a place, and such an assembly as may most redound to God's honour: I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. William Nicholson.