Verse 7. Because thou hast been my help. Meditation had refreshed his memory and recalled to him his past deliverances. It were well if we oftener read our own diaries, especially noting the hand of the Lord in helping us in suffering, want, labour, or dilemma. This is the grand use of memory, to furnish us with proofs of the Lord's faithfulness, and lead us onward to a growing confidence in him.
Therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. The very shade of God is sweet to a believer. Under the eagle wings of Jehovah we hide from all fear, and we do this naturally and at once, because we have aforetime tried and proved both his love and his power. We are not only safe, but happy in God: we rejoice as well as repose.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 7. Because thou hast been. The surest way, and the nearest way, to lay hold upon God is the consideration of that which he hath done already, which was David's way here; because, says he, this was God's way before, therefore will I look for God in this way still. The language in which God spake to man, the Hebrew, hath no present tense. They form not their verbs, as our western languages do, in the present tense, but they begin at that which is past. God carries us in his language, in his speaking, upon that which is past, upon that which he hath done already. I cannot have better security for present nor future than God's former mercies exhibited to me. Abraham Wright.
Verse 7. Thou hast been my help. From this one word -- that God hath been my help -- I make account that we have both these notions; first, that God hath not left me to myself, he hath come to my succour, he hath helped me; and then, that God hath not left out myself, he hath been my help, but he hath left something for me to do with him and by his help. My security for the future in this consideration of that which is past lies not only in this, that God hath delivered me, but in this also, that he hath delivered me by way of a help, and help always presumes an endeavour and cooperation in him that is helped. God did not elect me as a helper, not create me, nor redeem me, nor convert me, by way of helping me; for he alone did all, and he had no use at all for me. God infuses his first grace, the first way, merely as a giver; entirely, all himself; but his subsequent grace as a helper; therefore we call them auxilliant graces, helping graces, and we always receive them when we endeavour to make use of his former grace. John Donne.
Verse 7. My help.
- In duty. He helps his people here. There is
nothing which God requires of his people, as to be
done by them, but himself helps them in the doing of
it. He is not like the Egyptian task masters, which
require brick and give no straw wherewithal to make
- In conflict. He assists here also. As when the Israelite and the Egyptian strove together, Moses came in and helped the Israelite ( Exodus 2:12 ); even so does God in this case with us, when we are wrestling and struggling with Satan, who is our spiritual enemy, the Lord is here nigh to help us, which may encourage us still in our resistance and opposition: we have a mighty second to stand for us, and to take up our quarrel.
In affliction. God helps his people; namely, to
bear patiently those crosses which he lays upon them.
He takes part with them in their sufferings, and in
all their afflictions is afflicted himself, as
sometimes he expresses it. He lays no more upon them
than he does help them, and enable them, to endure.
- He helps them from, by way of prevention.
- He helps them in, by way of support.
- He helps them out, by way of rescue, and redemption, and deliverance. Thomas Horton.
Verse 7. My help. Thou hast been not only my helper, but my help, for we could never have helped ourselves, nor could any creature have been helpful to us but by him. Matthew Henry.
Verse 7. MY help. There is more encouragement in the least blessing bestowed upon ourselves than in the greatest blessing bestowed upon a stranger; and, therefore, on every account we may safely say, that a whole library of biographical books, and those relating exclusively to righteous individuals, could not so minister to the assurance of a believer as the documents which his own memory can furnish. These, then, should often engage his study, whether he be the rich or the poor. He should do just as David did. Doubtless David was well acquainted with the histories of Noah, and of Abraham, of Jacob, of Joseph, of Moses; and the records of these eminent servants of God were records of surprising deliverances, of divine promises made good, and human wants supplied. Nevertheless, when himself in the wilderness, David did not recur to those records for encouragement. His exclamation is: Because thou hast been MY help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. Henry Melvill.
Verse 7. Will I rejoice. As a bird, sheltered in the rich foliage from the heat of the sun, sings its merry notes; so he celebrated his songs of praise from the shadow of the wings of God. Augustus F. Tholuck.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 7. A well founded resolve.
Upon what based.
How expressed. J. S. B.