P S A L M S
The psalmist, having in the two foregoing psalms
celebrated the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, in his dealings
with his church in particular, here observes some of the instances
of his providential care of the children of men in general,
especially in their distresses; for he is not only King of saints,
but King of nations, not only the God of Israel, but the God of the
whole earth, and a common Father to all mankind. Though this may
especially refer to Israelites in their personal capacity, yet
there were those who pertained not to the commonwealth of Israel
and yet were worshippers of the true God; and even those who
worshipped images had some knowledge of a supreme "Numen," to whom,
when they were in earnest, they looked above all their false gods.
And of these, when they prayed in their distresses, God took a
particular care, I. The psalmist specifies some of the most common
calamities of human life, and shows how God succours those that
labour under them, in answer to their prayers. I. Banishment and
dispersion, ver. 2-9. 2.
Captivity and imprisonment, ver.
10-16. 3. Sickness and distemper of body, ver. 17-22. 4. Danger and
distress at sea, ver.
23-32. These are put for all similar perils, in which
those that cry unto God have ever found him a very present help.
II. He specifies the varieties and vicissitudes of events
concerning nations and families, in all which God's hand is to be
eyed by his own people, with joyful acknowledgments of his
goodness, ver. 33-43.
When we are in any of these or the like distresses it will be
comfortable to sing this psalm, with application; but, if we be
not, others are, and have been, of whose deliverances it becomes us
to give God the glory, for we are members one of another.