Psalm 71:16

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 16. I will go in the strength of the Lord God. Our translators give us a good sense, but not the sense in this place, which is on this wise, "I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord Jehovah." He would enter into those deeds by admiring study, and then, wherever he went, he would continue to rehearse them. He should ever be a welcome guest who can tell us of the mighty acts of the Lord, and help us to put our trust in him. The authorised version may be used by us as a resolve in all our exertions and endeavours. In our own strength we must fail; but, when we hear the voice which saith, "Go in this thy might," we may advance without fear. Though hell itself were in the way, the believer would pursue the path of duty, crying:

I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. Man's righteousness is not fit to be mentioned -- filthy rags are best hidden; neither is there any righteousness under heaven, or in heaven, comparable to the divine. As God himself fills all space, and is, therefore, the only God, leaving no room for another, so God's righteousness, in Christ Jesus, fills the believer's soul, and he counts all other things but dross and dung "that he may win Christ, and be found in him, not having his own righteousness which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God by faith." What would be the use of speaking upon any other righteousness to a dying man? and all are dying men. Let those who will cry up man's natural innocence, the dignity of the race, the purity of philosophers, the loveliness of untutored savages, the power of sacraments, and the infallibility of pontiffs; this is the true believer's immovable resolve: "I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only." For ever dedicated to thee, my Lord, be this poor, unworthy tongue, whose glory it shall be to glorify thee.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 16. I will go. The word to go must be here taken in the sense of going to battle against enemies. This, he says, he will do, trusting not to his own, but to the power of the Lord, his heart fired with the memory of the righteousness of God. So is it in another place: "Some trust in chariots, some in horses, but we in the name of our God." Musculus.

Verse 16. I will go in the strength of the Lord. The minister goes thus by realising this strength and depending on it. In this strength he goes into the path of communion with God, into the fields of conflict, in the privacy of domestic life, and in all the walks of active life. His boast is in the righteousness of Christ; and he mentions this to God as the ground of his confidence, to himself as the spring of his comforts, to others as the hope of salvation. Substance of Sermon by James Sherman. The first preached by him after his settlement at Surrey Chapel. September 4th, 1836.

Verse 16. The strength of the Lord God. The power of God is expressed in the plural number, to show the greatness of it, which is as a garrison to the believer. John Gill.

Verse 16. I will go in the strength of the Lord. The phrase, to go in, or, with the strengths of God, does not teach us that he would go by means of them, by their help and assistance, as many have thought, first, because the word is used to signify the illustrious and mighty deeds of God; secondly, because it denotes the subject of praise; but to go with the strength of Jehovah, as the rendering ought to be... is to go as if girt with his former deeds of power -- girt with them as if with the material of praise. Hermann Venema.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 16.

  1. The resolution: I will go.
  2. The reservation: Thy strength only -- thy
    righteousness only.