The children of men proved, and the happiness of godly people. (1-5) God's favour is happiness. (6-8)
Verses 1-5 Hear me for thy mercy-sake, is our best plea. He who will not ask such blessings as pardon, and justifying righteousness, and eternal life, must perish for the want of them. Alas! that so many should make so fearful a choice. The psalmist warns against sin. Keep up holy reverence of the glory and majesty of God. You have a great deal to say to your hearts, they may be spoken with, let it not be unsaid. Examine them by serious self-reflection; let your thoughts fasten upon that which is good, and keep close to it. Consider your ways, and before you turn to sleep at night, examine your consciences with respect to what you have done in the day; particularly what you have done amiss, that you may repent of it. when you awake in the night, meditate upon God, and the things that belong to your peace. Upon a sick-bed, particularly, we should consider our ways. Be still. when you have asked conscience a question, be serious, be silent, wait for an answer. Open not the mouth to excuse sin. All confidence must be pan answer. Open not the mouth to excuse sin. All confidence only: therefore, after commanding the sacrifices of righteousness, the psalmist says, Put your trust in the Lord.
Verses 6-8 Wordly people inquire for good, not for the chief good; all they want is outward good, present good, partial good, good meat, good drink, a good trade, and a good estate; but what are all these worth? Any good will serve the turn of most men, but a gracious soul will not be put off so. Lord, let us have thy favour, and let us know that we have it, we desire no more; let us be satisfied of thy loving-kindness, and will be satisfied with it. Many inquire after happiness, but David had found it. When God puts grace in the heart, he puts gladness in the heart. Thus comforted, he pitied, but neither envied nor feared the most prosperous sinner. He commits all his affairs to God, and is prepared to welcome his holy will. But salvation is in Christ alone; where will those appear who despise him as their Mediator, and revile him in his disciples? May they stand in awe, and no longer sin against the only remedy.
Psalms 4:1-8 . On Neginoth, that is, stringed instruments, as the kind of musical accompaniment. On other parts of title, The historical occasion was probably the same as that of relief, admonishes his enemies of the vanity of attacking God's servant, exhorts them to repentance, and avows his confidence and peace in God's favor.
1. Hear--as in Psalms 3:4 .
God of my righteousness--or, "my righteous God, as my holy hill" ( Psalms 2:6 ), who will act towards me on righteous principles.
thou hast enlarged--expresses relief afforded in opposition to "distress," which is expressed by a word denoting straits or pressure. Past favor is a ground of hope for the future.
2. sons of men--men of note or prominence (compare 2 Chronicles 21:9 ).
turn my glory--or, "royal dignity."
into shame--or, "reproach."
vanity--a foolish and hopeless enterprise ( Psalms 2:1 ).
3. godly--an object as well as subject of divine favor (compare Psalms 105:14 Psalms 105:15 ).
4. Stand in awe--( Ephesians 4:26 ), from Septuagint, "be angry." Both clauses are qualified by "not."
5. Not only repent, but manifest penitence by sacrifices or righteousness or righteous sacrifices, &c.
6, 7. Contrast true with vain confidence.
light of thy countenance upon us--figure for favor ( Numbers 6:26 , Psalms 44:3 , 81:16 ).
7. corn and wine--literally, "new corn and wine."
increased--an abundant harvest giving great joy ( Isaiah 9:3 ).
8. both lay me down, &c.--or, will lie down at once, and sleep in sure confidence and quiet repose ( Psalms 3:5 ).