Verses 6–13

We may here learn how to pray as well as praise. 1. We must be public-spirited in prayer, and bear upon our hearts, at the throne of grace, the concerns of the church of God, Ps. 108:6. It is God’s beloved, and therefore must be ours; and therefore we must pray for its deliverance, and reckon that we are answered if God grant what we ask for his church, though he delay to give us what we ask for ourselves. “Save thy church, and thou answerest me; I have what I would have.” Let the earth be filled with God’s glory, and the prayers of David are ended (Ps. 72:19, 20); he desires no more. 2. We must, in prayer, act faith upon the power and promise of God—upon his power (Save with thy right hand, which is mighty to save), and upon his promise: God has spoken in his holiness, in his holy word, to which he has sworn by his holiness, and therefore I will rejoice, Ps. 108:7. What he has promised he will perform, for it is the word both of his truth and of his power. An active faith can rejoice in what God has said, though it be not yet done; for with him saying and doing are not two things, whatever they are with us. 3. We must, in prayer, take the comfort of what God has secured to us and settled upon us, though we are not yet put in possession of it. God had promised David to give him, (1.) The hearts of his subjects; and therefore he surveys the several parts of the country as his own already: “Shechem and Succoth, Gilead and Manasseh, Ephraim and Judah, are all my own,” Ps. 108:8. With such assurance as this we may speak of the performance of what God has promised to the Son of David; he will, without fail, give him the heathen for his inheritance and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession, for so has he spoken in his holiness; nay, of all the particular persons that were given him he will lose none; he also, as David, shall have the hearts of his subjects, John 6:37. And, (2.) The necks of his enemies. These are promised, and therefore David looks upon Moab, and Edom, and Philistia, as his own already (Ps. 108:9): Over Philistia will I triumph, which explains Ps. 60:8; Philistia, triumph thou because of me, which some think should be read, O my soul! triumph thou over Philistia. Thus the exalted Redeemer is set down at God’s right hand, in a full assurance that all his enemies shall in due time be made his footstool, though all things are not yet put under him, Heb. 2:8. 4. We must take encouragement from the beginnings of mercy to pray and hope for the perfecting of it (Ps. 108:10, 11): “Who will bring me into the strong cities that are yet unconquered? Who will make me master of the country of Edom, which is yet unsubdued?” The question was probably to be debated in his privy council, or a council of war, what methods they should take to subdue the Edomites and to reduce that country; but he brings it into his prayers, and leaves it in God’s hands: Wilt not thou, O God? Certainly thou wilt. It is probable that he spoke with the more assurance concerning the conquest of Edom because of the ancient oracle concerning Jacob and Esau, that the elder should serve the younger, and the blessing of Jacob, by which he was made Esau’s lord, Gen. 27:37. 5. We must not be discouraged in prayer, nor beaten off from our hold of God, though Providence has in some instances frowned upon us: “Though thou hast cast us off, yet thou wilt now go forth with our hosts, Ps. 108:11. Thou wilt comfort us again after the time that thou hast afflicted us.” Adverse events are sometimes intended for the trial of the constancy of our faith and prayer, which we ought to persevere in whatever difficulties we meet with, and not to faint. 6. We must seek help from God, renouncing all confidence in the creature (Ps. 108:12): “Lord, give us help from trouble, prosper our designs, and defeat the designs of our enemies against us.” It is not unseasonable to talk of trouble at the same time that we talk of triumphs, especially when it is to quicken prayer for help from heaven; and it is a good plea, Vain is the help of man. “It is really so, and therefore we are undone if thou do not help us; we apprehend it to be so, and therefore depend upon thee for help and have the more reason to expect it.” 7. We must depend entirely upon the favour and grace of God, both for strength and success in our work and warfare, Ps. 108:13. (1.) We must do our part, but we can do nothing of ourselves; it is only through God that we shall do valiantly. Blessed Paul will own that even he can do nothing, nothing to purpose, but through Christ strengthening him, Phil. 4:13. (2.) When we have acquitted ourselves ever so well, yet we cannot speed by any merit or might of our own; it is God himself that treads down our enemies, else we with all our valour cannot do it. Whatever we do, whatever we gain, God must have all the glory.