David prays for the deliverance of Israel from their enemies. (1-5) He entreats God to carry on and complete their victories. (6-12)
Verses 1-5 David owns God's displeasure to be the cause of all the hardships he had undergone. And when God is turning his hand in our favour, it is good to remember our former troubles. In God's displeasure their troubles began, therefore in his favour their prosperity must begin. Those breaches and divisions which the folly and corruption of man make, nothing but the wisdom and grace of God can repair, by pouring out a spirit of love and peace, by which only a kingdom is saved from ruin. The anger of God against sin, is the only cause of all misery, private or public, that has been, is, or shall be. In all these cases there is no remedy, but by returning to the Lord with repentance, faith, and prayer; beseeching him to return to us. Christ, the Son of David, is given for a banner to those that fear God; in him they are gathered together in one, and take courage. In his name and strength they wage war with the powers of darkness.
Verses 6-12 If Christ be ours, all things, one way or another, shall be for our eternal good. The man who is a new creature in Christ, may rejoice in all the precious promises God has spoken in his holiness. His present privileges, and the sanctifying influences of the Spirit, are sure earnests of heavenly glory. David rejoices in conquering the neighbouring nations, which had been enemies to Israel. The Israel of God are through Christ more than conquerors. Though sometimes they think that the Lord has cast them off, yet he will bring them into the strong city at last. Faith in the promise will assure us that it is our Father's good pleasure to give us the kingdom: But we are not yet made complete conquerors, and no true believer will abuse these truths to indulge sloth, or vain confidence. Hope in God is the best principle of true courage, for what need those fear who have God on their side? All our victories are from him, and while those who willingly submit to our anointed King shall share his glories, all his foes shall be put under his feet.
Psalms 60:1-12 . Shushan-eduth--Lily of testimony. The lily is an emblem of beauty As a description of the Psalm, those terms combined may denote a beautiful poem, witnessing--that is, for God's faithfulness as evinced in the victories referred to in the history cited. Aram-naharaim--Syria of the two rivers, or Mesopotamia beyond the river (Euphrates) ( 2 Samuel 10:16 ). Aram-zobah--Syria of Zobah ( 2 Samuel 10:6 ), to whose king the king of the former was tributary. The war with Edom, by Joab and Abishai ( 2 Chronicles 18:12 2 Chronicles 18:25 ), occurred about the same time. Probably, while doubts and fears alternately prevailed respecting the issue of these wars, the writer composed this Psalm, in which he depicts, in the language of God's people, their sorrows under former disasters, offers prayer in present straits, and rejoices in confident hope of triumph by God's aid.
1-3. allude to disasters.
cast . . . off--in scorn ( Psalms 43:2 , 44:9 ).
scattered--broken our strength (compare 2 Samuel 5:20 ).
Oh, turn thyself--or, "restore to us" (prosperity). The figures of physical, denote great civil, commotions ( Psalms 46:2 Psalms 46:3 ).
3. drink . . . wine of astonishment--literally, "of staggering"--that is, made us weak (compare Psalms 75:8 , Isaiah 51:17 Isaiah 51:22 ).
4, 5. Yet to God's banner they will rally, and pray that, led and sustained by His power (right hand, Psalms 17:7 , 20:6 ), they may be safe.
5. hear me--or, "hear us."
6-10. God hath spoken in--or, "by."
his holiness--( Psalms 89:35 , Amos 4:2 ), on the pledge of His attributes ( Psalms 22:3 , 30:4 ). Taking courage from God's promise to give them possession ( Exodus 23:31 , Deuteronomy 11:24 ) (and perhaps renewed to him by special revelation), with triumphant joy he describes the conquest as already made.
Shechem, and . . . Succoth--as widely separated points, and--
7. Gilead . . . and Manasseh--as large districts, east and west of Jordan, represent the whole land.
divide . . . and mete out--means to have entire control over.
Ephraim--denotes the military ( Deuteronomy 33:17 ); and--
Judah--(the lawgiver, Genesis 49:10 ), the civil power. Foreign nations are then presented as subdued.
8. Moab--is a my washpot--the most ordinary vessel.
Edom--(as a slave) he casts his shoe.
Philistia, triumph, &c.--or, rather, "shout."
for me--acknowledges subjection (compare Psalms 108:9 , "over Philistia will I triumph").
9, 10. He feels assured that, though once angry, God is now ready to favor His people.
who will lead me-- or, who has led me, as if the work were now begun.
10. Wilt not thou?--or, "Is it not Thou?"
11, 12. Hence he closes with a prayer for success, and an assurance of a hearing.