Psalms 42:8

8 By day the LORD 1commands his steadfast love, and at 2night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

Images for Psalms 42:8

Psalms 42:8 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 42:8

[Yet] the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the
Which is a tender affection in God towards his people, springs from his sovereign will and pleasure, is from everlasting, is ever the same, never removes from them, and is better than life; the effects of which are all spiritual blessings, grace, and glory: and this the Lord "commands" when he sends it forth with power, makes a clear manifestation and home application of it to them; when he commands his covenant, or bestows covenant blessings on them; when he commands his strength, or gives them strength to bear up under afflictions; when he commands deliverances for Jacob, or works salvation for them; and when he commands blessings temporal and spiritual on them, especially life for evermore: see ( Psalms 111:9 ) ( 68:29 ) ( Psalms 44:4 ) ( 133:3 ) ; and this is done in "the daytime"; either, as some interpret it, in a fit and seasonable time, in God's appointed time, who has his set time to favour his people, and show his lovingkindness to them; or openly and publicly, so as themselves and others may see the salvation of the Lord; or continually; for mercy, goodness, and lovingkindness, follow them all the days of their lives; yea, are from everlasting to everlasting: and these words may be read either in the past tense, as some do, "yet the Lord hath commanded" F13 and so respect what had been, and relate to the former experiences and manifestations of the love of God, with which the psalmist encourages himself under his present afflictions; or in the future, as in our version; and so they are an expression of faith as to what would be hereafter, that the Lord would appear again, and show him his face and favour;

and in the night his song [shall be] with me;
signifying hereby, that he strongly believed he should have occasion of singing praise to God in the night season, though he was now in such mournful circumstances: he calls it "his song"; that is, the Lord's song; because the matter of it are his lovingkindness, and the blessings springing from it; because the Lord himself is the subject of it; his perfections, his works, his salvation and glory; and because he gives songs in the night, and puts them into the mouths of his people; see ( Isaiah 12:2 ) ( Job 35:10 ) ; and the psalmist says it would be with him, in his heart, and in his mouth, and be his constant companion wherever he was, lying down, or rising up; and that "in the night"; either figuratively understood of affliction and distress, out of which he would be delivered, and so be compassed about with songs of deliverance; or literally, it being a time of leisure to call to mind the salvation and mercies of the day, and be thankful for them; see ( Psalms 77:6 ) ( 119:62 ) ( Acts 16:25 ) ;

[and] my prayer unto the God of my life:
natural, spiritual, and eternal; being the author, giver, and preserver of each; and this is no inconsiderable mercy, to have such a God to pray unto in a time of distress; as well as in a time of salvation, to go to, and make known requests with thanksgiving; which seems to be intended here, since it is joined with a song. Prayer and praise go together, the object of which are not lifeless idols, that cannot save; but the living God, who is a God hearing and answering prayer, and does not despise the prayer of the destitute. The prayer of the psalmist follows.


F13 (hwuy) "praecepit", Tigurine version; "mandavit", Hammond; so Aben Ezra and others.

Psalms 42:8 In-Context

6 and my God.My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.
8 By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God, my rock: "Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?"
10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, "Where is your God?"

Cross References 2

  • 1. Psalms 44:4; Psalms 68:28; Psalms 71:3; Psalms 133:3
  • 2. Job 35:10; [Psalms 4:4; Psalms 16:7; Psalms 63:6; Psalms 77:6; Psalms 119:55, 62, 148; Psalms 149:5]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.