David's vow and profession of godliness.
- In this psalm we have David declaring how he intended to regulate his household, and to govern his kingdom, that he might stop wickedness, and encourage godliness. It is also applicable to private families, and is the householder's psalm. It teaches all that have any power, whether more or less, to use it so as to be a terror to evil-doers, and a praise to them that do well. The chosen subject of the psalm is God's mercy and judgment. The Lord's providences concerning his people are commonly mixed; mercy and judgment. God has set the one over against the other, both to do good, like showers and sunshine. When, in his providence, he exercises us with the mixture of mercy and judgment, we must make suitable acknowledgments to him for both. Family mercies and family afflictions are both calls to family religion. Those who are in public stations are not thereby excused from care in governing their families; they are the more concerned to set a good example of ruling their own houses well. Whenever a man has a house of his own, let him seek to have God to dwell with him; and those may expect his presence, who walk with a perfect heart, in a perfect way. David resolves to practise no evil himself. He further resolves not to keep bad servants, nor to employ those about him that are wicked. He will not admit them into his family, lest they spread the infection of sin. A froward heart, one that delights to be cross and perverse, is not fit for society, the bond of which is Christian love. Nor will he countenance slanderers, those who take pleasure in wounding their neighbour's reputation. Also, God resists the proud, and false, deceitful people, who scruple not to tell lies, or commit frauds. Let every one be zealous and diligent to reform his own heart and ways, and to do this early; ever mindful of that future, most awful morning, when the King of righteousness shall cut off all wicked doers from the heavenly Jerusalem.
\\<>\\. The title of this psalm, in the Syriac version, is, ``for Asaph, an exhortation of David, concerning those things which are required in the ministry of the house of the Lord; and a prophecy of the praise of the conqueror, and of the perfect man in God.'' Theodoret thinks it was written by David concerning good Josiah, whom he foresaw, by a spirit of prophecy, would rise up a great reformer of the people, and whom he proposes as a pattern of perfection to others; but it was, no doubt, written by him of himself; very likely, after he was delivered out of his troubles by the death of Saul, and was come to the kingdom, since he resolves to "sing of mercy and judgment": though by the interrogation, "when wilt thou come unto me?" it looks as if he had not arrived to the height of his honour: wherefore, perhaps, this psalm was penned between his being made king over Judah, and his being made king over all the tribes; but, be it as it may, the design of it is to show his resolutions, how he would behave as a king in his court, and as a master in his family; so that it is very instructive to kings and civil magistrates, and to parents and masters of families: and as David was a type of Christ, he seems, throughout the whole, to represent him; and, indeed, there are some things in it which agree with none so well as with him; such as behaving wisely, in a perfect way, and walking in his house with a perfect heart; not suffering any evil thing to cleave unto him, and knowing none, and the like.