Verse 164. Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. He laboured perfectly to praise his perfect God, and therefore fulfilled the perfect number of songs. Seven may also intend frequency. Frequently he lifted up his heart in thanksgiving to God for his divine teachings in the word, and for his divine actions m providence. With his voice he extolled the righteousness of the Judge of all the earth. As often as ever he thought of God's ways a song leaped to his lips. At the sight of the oppressive princes, and at the hearing of the abounding falsehood around him, he felt all the more bound to adore and magnify God, who in all things is truth and righteousness. When others rob us of our praise it should be a caution to us not to fall into the same conduct towards our God, who is so much more worthy of honour. If we praise God when we are persecuted our music will be all the sweeter to him because of our constancy in suffering. If we keep clear of all lying, our song will be the more acceptable because it comes out of pure lips. If we never flatter men we shall be the better condition for honouring the Lord. Do we praise God seven times a day? Do we praise him once in seven days?
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 164. -- Seven times a day do I praise thee. Affections of the soul cannot long be kept secret; if they be strong they will break forth in actions. The love of God is like a fire in the heart of man, which breaks forth, and manifests itself in the obedience of his commandments, and praising him for Ins benefits; and this is it which David now protests, that the love of God was not idle in his heart, but made him fervent and earnest m praising God, so that" seven times a day" he did praise God. For by this number the carefulness of holy devotion is expressed, and the fervency of his love. In praising God he could not be satisfied, saith Basil. --William Cowper.
Verse 164. -- Seven times a day do I praise thee. "As every grace," says Sibbes, "increaseth by exercise of itself, so doth the grace of prayer. By prayer we learn to pray." And thus it was with the Psalmist; he often times anticipated the dawning of the morning for his exercise of prayer; and at midnight frequently arose to pour out his soul in prayer; now he adds that "seven times in a day," or as we might express it, "at every touch and turn," he finds opportunity for and delight in praise. Oh for David's spirit and David's practice! --Barton Bouchier.
Verse 164. -- Seven times a day do I praise thee. A Christian ought to give himself up eminently to this diary without limits. --Walter Marshall.
Verse 164. -- Seven times a day do I praise thee. Not as if he had seven set hours for this duty every day, as the Papists would have it, to countenance their seven canonical hours, but rather a definite number is put for an indefinite, and so amounts to this, -- he did very often in a day praise God; his holy heart taking the hint of every providence to carry him to heaven on this errand of prayer and praise. --William Gurrnall.
Verse 164. -- Seven times a day. Some of the Jewish Rabbis affirm that David is here to be understood literally, observing, that the devout Hebrews Were accustomed to praise God twice in the morning, before reading the ten commandments, and once after; twice in the evening before reading the same portion of inspiration, and twice after; which makes up the number of seven times a day. --James Anderson's note to Calvin in loc.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 164. -- Praise rendered. Frequently, statedly, heartily, intelligently.
Verse 164. -- Perpetual praise.
- True praise is ever warranted.
- True praise is ever welcome.
- True praise is never weary. --C.A.D.
Verse 164. --
- Some never praise thee; but, "seven times a day," etc.; for I delight to do so. "Thy righteous judgments" are a terror to them, a joy to me.
- Some feebly and coldly praise thee, while, "seven times," etc. My warm devotion must frequently express itself in praise.
- Some are content with occasionally praising thee, but, "seven times," etc. They think it enough to begin and end the day with praise, while all the day long I am in the spirit of praise.
- Some soon cease to praise thee, but, "seven times," etc. Not seven times only, but "unto seventy times seven." Even without ceasing, will I praise thee.