David's desire toward God. (1,2) His satisfaction in God. (3-6) His dependence upon God, and assurance of safety. (7-11)
Verses 1-2 Early will I seek thee. The true Christian devotes to God the morning hour. He opens the eyes of his understanding with those of his body, and awakes each morning to righteousness. He arises with a thirst after those comforts which the world cannot give, and has immediate recourse by prayer to the Fountain of the water of life. The true believer is convinced, that nothing in this sinful world can satisfy the wants and desires of his immortal soul; he expects his happiness from God, as his portion. When faith and hope are most in exercise, the world appears a weary desert, and the believer longs for the joys of heaven, of which he has some foretastes in the ordinances of God upon earth.
Verses 3-6 Even in affliction we need not want matter for praise. When this is the regular frame of a believer's mind, he values the loving-kindness of God more than life. God's loving-kindness is our spiritual life, and that is better than temporal life. We must praise God with joyful lips; we must address ourselves to the duties of religion with cheerfulness, and speak forth the praises of God from a principle of holy joy. Praising lips must be joyful lips. David was in continual danger; care and fear held his eyes waking, and gave him wearisome nights; but he comforted himself with thoughts of God. The mercies of God, when called to mind in the night watches, support the soul, making darkness cheerful. How happy will be that last morning, when the believer, awaking up after the Divine likeness, shall be satisfied with all the fulness of God, and praise him with joyful lips, where there is no night, and where sorrow and sighing flee away!
Verses 7-11 True Christians can, in some measure, and at some times, make use of the strong language of David, but too commonly our souls cleave to the dust. Having committed ourselves to God, we must be easy and pleased, and quiet from the fear of evil. Those that follow hard after God, would soon fail, if God's right hand did not uphold them. It is he that strengthens us and comforts us. The psalmist doubts not but that though now sowing in tears, he should reap in joy. Messiah the Prince shall rejoice in God; he is already entered into the joy set before him, and his glory will be completed at his second coming. Blessed Lord, let our desire towards thee increase every hour; let our love be always upon thee; let all our enjoyment be in thee, and all our satisfaction from thee. Be thou all in all to us while we remain in the present wilderness state, and bring us home to the everlasting enjoyment of thee for ever.
\\<>\\. This psalm was composed by David, either when he was persecuted by Saul, and obliged to hide himself in desert places, as in the forest of Hareth, the wildernesses of Ziph, Maon, and Engedi, \1Sa 22:5 23:14,24,25 24:1\; all which were in the tribe of Judah, Jos 15:55,62; or when his son Absalom rebelled against him, which obliged him to flee from Jerusalem, and go the way of the wilderness, where Ziba and Barzillai sent him food, lest his young men that were with him should faint there, \2Sa 15:23 16:2 17:29\. The Septuagint version, and those that follow that, call it the wilderness of Idumea, or Edom, as the Arabic version; and so the Chaldee paraphrase, ``in the wilderness which was on the border of the tribe of Judah;'' as Edom was, Jos 15:21; so the Messiah, David's son, was in a wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil, and where he was hungry and thirsty in a literal sense, as David was here in a spiritual sense, as the psalm shows, Mt 4:1,2; and the church of God, whom David sometimes represents, is said to be in a wilderness, where she is fed for a time, and times, and half a time, even during the whole reign of the antichristian beast, Re 12:14; and, indeed, all the saints are, at one time or another, in a desert condition, and while they are here are in the wilderness of the people, Ho 2:14, Eze 20:35.