part. An exhortation to praise God. (1-7) A warning not to tempt Him. (7-11)
Verses 1-7 Whenever we come into God's presence, we must come with thanksgiving. The Lord is to be praised; we do not want matter, it were well if we did not want a heart. How great is that God, whose the whole earth is, and the fulness thereof; who directs and disposes of all!, The Lord Jesus, whom we are here taught to praise, is a great God; the mighty God is one of his titles, and God over all, blessed for evermore. To him all power is given, both in heaven and earth. He is our God, and we should praise him. He is our Saviour, and the Author of our blessedness. The gospel church is his flock, Christ is the great and good Shepherd of believers; he sought them when lost, and brought them to his fold.
Verses 7-11 Christ calls upon his people to hear his voice. You call him Master, or Lord; then be his willing, obedient people. Hear the voice of his doctrine, of his law, and in both, of his Spirit: hear and heed; hear and yield. Christ's voice must be heard to-day. This day of opportunity will not last always; improve it while it is called to-day. Hearing the voice of Christ is the same with believing. Hardness of heart is at the bottom of all distrust of the Lord. The sins of others ought to be warnings to us not to tread in their steps. The murmurings of Israel were written for our admonition. God is not subject to such passions as we are; but he is very angry at sin and sinners. That certainly is evil, which deserves such a recompence; and his threatenings are as sure as his promises. Let us be aware of the evils of our hearts, which lead us to wander from the Lord. There is a rest ordained for believers, the rest of everlasting refreshment, begun in this life, and perfected in the life to come. This is the rest which God calls his rest.
This psalm, though without a title, was written by David, as appears from Heb 4:7, and to him the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions ascribe it. It belongs to the times of the Messiah, as Kimchi observes; the apostle applies it to the Jews of his time, and bespeaks them in the language of it, Heb 3:7-11, and in which time Israelites, believers in Christ, are called upon to serve and worship him, in consideration of his greatness in himself, and his goodness to them. Theodoret thinks that David spoke prophetically of King Josiah and his times; and wrote it in the person of him, and the priests of God.