Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC: This is a psalm of praise; it is probable that David was the penman of it, but we are not told so, because God would have us look above the penmen of sacred writ, to that blessed Spirit that moved and guided them. The psalmist, in this psalm, I. Calls upon the righteous to praise God, ver 1-3. II. Furnishes us with the matter for praise. We must praise God, 1. For his justice, goodness, and truth, appearing in his word, and in all his works, ver 4, 5. 2. For his power appearing in the work of creation, ver 6-9. 3. For the sovereignty of his providence in the government of the world (ver 10, 11) and again, ver 13-17. 4. For the peculiar favour which he bears to his own chosen people, which encourages them to trust in him (ver 12) and again, ver 18-22. We need not be at a loss for proper thoughts in singing this psalm, which so naturally expresses the pious affections of a devout soul towards God.
The Treasury of David v.20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.
“Our soul waiteth for the Lord.” Here the godly avow their reliance upon him whom the Psalm extols. To wait is a great lesson. To be quiet in expectation, patient in hope, single in confidence, is one of the bright attainments of a Christian. Our soul, our life, must hang upon God; we are not to trust him with a few gewgaws, but with all we have and are. “He is our help and our shield.” Our help in labour, our shield in danger. The Lord answereth all things to his people. He is their all in all. Note the three “ours” in the text. These holdfast words are precious. Personal possession makes the Christian man; all else is mere talk.
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible v.20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord,… This, and what follows, are the words of the church, expressing her expectation, faith, and joy, by reason of what is suggested in the preceding verses. She signifies her expectation of good by waiting for the Lord; either for his coming in the flesh, and salvation by him; for which the patriarchs, prophets, and all the Old Testament saints, waited, Genesis 49:18; and so the Targum paraphrases it, “our soul waiteth for the redemption of the Lord”; or for his spiritual coming, his appearance to them, and gracious presence with them, he has been for some time absent; and it is right and good so to do, and in the issue proves advantageous Isaiah 8:17; and this being soul waiting, it denotes the heartiness, sincerity, and earnestness of it;
he is our help and our shield; the Lord is the help of his people in time of trouble when none else is or can be, and he is a present one, and helps right early, and at the best season: and he is their shield, who encompasses them about with his love and favour, and keeps them by his power in the greatest safety; all which encourages their waiting upon him, and expectation of good things from him.
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