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Psalm 108

Praise and Prayer for Victory

A Song. A Psalm of David.

1

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;

I will sing and make melody.

Awake, my soul!

2

Awake, O harp and lyre!

I will awake the dawn.

3

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples,

and I will sing praises to you among the nations.

4

For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,

and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

 

5

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,

and let your glory be over all the earth.

6

Give victory with your right hand, and answer me,

so that those whom you love may be rescued.

 

7

God has promised in his sanctuary:

“With exultation I will divide up Shechem,

and portion out the Vale of Succoth.

8

Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;

Ephraim is my helmet;

Judah is my scepter.

9

Moab is my washbasin;

on Edom I hurl my shoe;

over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

 

10

Who will bring me to the fortified city?

Who will lead me to Edom?

11

Have you not rejected us, O God?

You do not go out, O God, with our armies.

12

O grant us help against the foe,

for human help is worthless.

13

With God we shall do valiantly;

it is he who will tread down our foes.


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43. Whosoever is wise, so as to observe these things. We are now informed that men begin to be wise when they turn their whole attention to the contemplation of the works of God, and that all others besides are fools. For however much they may pique themselves upon their superior acuteness and subtilty, all this is of no avail so long as they shut their eyes against the light which is presented to them. In employing this interrogatory form of address, he indirectly adverts to that false persuasion which prevails in the world, at the very time when the most daring heaven-despiser esteems himself to be the wisest of men; as if he should say, that all those who do not properly observe the providence of God, will be found to be nothing but fools. This caution is the more necessary, since we find that some of the greatest of philosophers were so mischievous as to devote their talents to obscure and conceal the providence of God, and, entirely overlooking his agency, ascribed all to secondary causes. At the head of these was Aristotle, a man of genius and learning; but being a heathen, whose heart was perverse and depraved, it was his constant aim to entangle and perplex God’s overruling providence by a variety of wild speculations; so much so, that it may with too much truth be said, that he employed his naturally acute powers of mind to extinguish all light. Besides, the prophet not only condemns the insensate Epicureans, whose insensibility was of the basest character, but he also informs us that a blindness, still greater and more detestable, was to be found among these great philosophers themselves. By the term, observe, he informs us, that the bare apprehension of the works of God is not enough, — they must be carefully considered in order that the knowledge of them may be deliberately and maturely digested. And, therefore, that it may be engraven upon our hearts, we must make these works the theme of our attentive and constant meditation. When the prophet says, Whosoever is wise, even they shall understand, the change of the singular into the plural number is beautifully appropriate. By the one he tacitly complains of the fewness of those who observe the judgments of God; as if he should say, How seldom do we meet with a person who truly and attentively considers the works of God! Then he adverts to the fact of their being so visibly before all, that it is impossible that men could overlook them, were it not that their minds are perverted by their own wickedness. And if any person be disposed to inquire how it comes to pass that the prophet, after treating of the judgments and severity of God, now makes mention of his loving-kindness, I answer, that his loving-kindness shines most conspicuously, and occupies a very prominent place in all that he does; for he is naturally prone to loving-kindness, by which also he draws us to himself.

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