Verse 7. Rest. The word "rest" is put in the plural, as indicating complete and entire rest, at all times, and under all circumstances. A. Edersheim.
Verse 7-8. For the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. He hath dealt indeed most bountifully with thee, for where thou didst make suit but for one thing, he hath granted thee three. Thou didst ask but to have my soul delivered, and he hath delivered mine eyes and my feet besides; and with a deliverance in each of them the greatest that could be: for what greater deliverance to my soul than to be delivered from death? What greater deliverance to my eyes than to be delivered from tears? What to my feet than to be delivered from falling? That if now, O my soul, thou return not to thy rest, thou wilt show thyself to be most insatiable; seeing thou hast not only more than thou didst ask, but as much indeed as was possible to be asked.
But can my soul die? and if not, what bounty is it to deliver my soul from that to which it is not subject? The soul indeed, though immortal, hath yet her ways of dying. It is one kind of death to the soul to be parted from the body, but the truest kind is to be parted from God; and from both these kinds of death he hath delivered my soul. From the first, by delivering me from a dangerous sickness that threatened a dissolution of my soul and body; from the other, by delivering me from the guilt of sin, which threatened a separation from the favour of God; and are not these bounties so great as to give my soul just cause of returning to her rest? Sir Richard Baker.
Verse 7, 9. Return unto thy rest, O my soul.... I will walk. How can these two stand together? Motus et quies private opponuntur, saith the philosopher, motion and rest are opposite; now walking is a motion, as being an act of the locomotive faculty. How then could David return to his rest and yet walk? You must know that walking and rest here mentioned, being of a divine nature, do not oppose each other; spiritual rest maketh no man idle, and therefore it is no enemy to walking; spiritual walking maketh no man weary, and therefore it is no enemy to rest. Indeed, they are so far from being opposite that they are subservient to each other, and it is hard to say whether that rest be the cause of this walking, or this walking a cause of that rest. Indeed, both are true, since he that rests in God cannot but walk before him, and by walking before, we come to rest in God. Returning to rest is an act of confidence, since there is no rest to be had but in God, nor in God but by believing affiance in, and reliance on him. Walking before God is an act of obedience; when we disobey we wander and go astray, only by obedience we walk. Now these two are so far from being enemies, that they are companions and ever go together; confidence being a means to quicken obedience, and obedience to strengthen confidence. Nathaniel Hardy.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 7. Return unto thy rest, O my soul. Rest in God may be said to belong to the people of God on a fourfold account.
Verse 7. Return unto thy rest, O my soul. When, or upon what occasion a child of God should use the Psalmist's language.