Psalm 63:4

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 4. Thus will I bless thee while I live. As I now bless thee so will I ever do; or rather, so as thou shalt reveal thy lovingkindness to me, I will in return continue to extol thee. While we live we will love. If we see no cause to rejoice in our estate, we shall always have reason for rejoicing in the Lord. If none others bless God, yet his people will; his very nature, as being the infinitely good God, is a sufficient argument for our praising him as long as we exist.

I will lift up my hands in thy name. For worship the hands were uplifted, as also in joy, in thanksgiving, in labour, in confidence; in all these senses we would lift up our hands in Jehovah's name alone. No hands need hang down when God draws near in love. The name of Jesus has often made lame men leap as a hart, and it has made sad men clap their hands for joy.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 3-6. See Psalms on "Psalms 63:3" for further information.

Verse 4. Thus will I bless thee. There are two ways especially in which God is blest of his creatures. The one is objectively, by way of representation; and the other is significatively, by way of publication. According to the first sense, so all the creatures bless him: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork." Psalms 19:1 . "Sun and moon, and fire and hail, and snow and vapours." Psalms 148:3 Psalms 148:7-8 . All these they so bless him thus. But according to the second sense, so he is blest only by angels and men, who are therefore to do it with so much the greater intension. "All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power," etc. Psalms 145:10-11 . Thomas Horton.

Verse 4. I will lift up my hands. The practice of lifting up the hands in prayer towards heaven, the supposed residence of the object to which prayer is addressed, was anciently used both by believers, as appears from various passages in the Old Testament; and by the heathen, agreeably to numerous instances in the classical writers. Parkhurst, considering the "hand" to be the chief organ or instrument of man's power and operations, and properly supposing the word to be thence used very extensively by the Hebrews for power, agency, dominion, assistance, and the like, regards the lifting up of men's hands in prayer, as an emblematical acknowledging of the power, and imploring of the assistance, of their respective gods. Is it not, however, the natural and unstudied gesture of earnest supplication? Richard Mant.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

None.