Prayers that God would deliver and save. (1-13) Believing praises. (14-24)
Verses 1-13 David prays that he might never be made ashamed of dependence upon God. With this petition every true believer may come boldly to the throne of grace. The gracious care of Divine providence in our birth and infancy, should engage us to early piety. He that was our Help from our birth, ought to be our Hope from our youth. Let none expect ease or comfort from the world. Those who love the Lord, often are hated and persecuted; men wondered at for their principles and conduct; but the Lord has been their strong refuge. The faithful servants of God may be assured that he will not cast them off in old age, nor forsake them when their strength fails.
Verses 14-24 The psalmist declares that the righteousness of Christ, and the great salvation obtained thereby, shall be the chosen subject of his discourse. Not on a sabbath only, but on every day of the week, of the year, of his life. Not merely at stated returns of solemn devotion, but on every occasion, all the day long. Why will he always dwell on this? Because he knew not the numbers thereof. It is impossible to measure the value or the fulness of these blessings. The righteousness is unspeakable, the salvation everlasting. God will not cast off his grey-headed servants when no longer capable of labouring as they have done. The Lord often strengthens his people in their souls, when nature is sinking into decay. And it is a debt which the old disciples of Christ owe to succeeding generations, to leave behind them a solemn testimony to the advantage of religion, and the truth of God's promises; and especially to the everlasting righteousness of the Redeemer. Assured of deliverance and victory, let us spend our days, while waiting the approach of death, in praising the Holy One of Israel with all our powers. And while speaking of his righteousness, and singing his praises, we shall rise above fears and infirmities, and have earnests of the joys of heaven. The work of redemption ought, above all God's works, to be spoken of by us in our praises. The Lamb that was slain, and has redeemed us to God, is worthy of all blessing and praise.
Psalms 71:1-24 . The Psalmist, probably in old age, appeals to God for help from his enemies, pleading his past favors, and stating his present need; and, in confidence of a hearing, he promises his grateful thanks and praise.
1-3. (Compare Psalms 30:1-3 ).
3. given commandment--literally, "ordained," as in Psalms 44:4 , 68:28 .
rock . . . fortress--( Psalms 18:2 ).
4, 5. cruel man--corrupt and ill-natured--literally, "sour."
5. trust--place of trust.
6-9. His history from early infancy illustrated God's care, and his wonderful deliverances were at once occasions of praise and ground of confidence for the future.
my praise . . . of thee--literally, "in" or "by Thee" ( Psalms 22:25 ).
10, 11. The craft and malicious taunts of his enemies now led him to call for aid (compare the terms used, 2 Samuel 17:12 , Psalms 3:2 , 7:2 ).
12. (Compare Psalms 22:19 , 40:4 ).
13. (Compare Psalms 35:4 , 40:14 ).
14-16. The ruin of his enemies, as illustrating God's faithfulness, is his deliverance, and a reason for future confidence.
15. for I know . . . thereof--innumerable, as he had not time to count them.
16. in the strength--or, relying on it.
thy righteousness--or, faithful performance of promises to the pious ( Psalms 7:17 , 31:1 ).
17-21. Past experience again encourages.
taught me, &c.--by providential dealings.
19. is very high--distinguished ( Psalms 36:5 , Isaiah 55:9 ).
20. depths of the earth--debased, low condition.
21. increase, &c.--that is, the great things done for me ( Psalms 71:19 ; compare Psalms 40:5 ).
22-24. To the occasion of praise he now adds the promise to render it.
will . . . praise--literally, "will thank."
even thy truth--as to Thy truth or faithfulness.