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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verse 17
Verse 17

We are here taught, 1. That we owe our lives to God’s mercy. David prays, Deal bountifully with me, that I may live. It was God’s bounty that gave us life, that gave us this life; and the same bounty that gave it continues it, and gives all the supports and comforts of it; if these be withheld, we die, or, which is equivalent, our lives are embittered and we become weary of them. If God deals in strict justice 8000 with us, we die, we perish, we all perish; if these forfeited lives be preserved and prolonged, it is because God deals bountifully with us, according to his mercy, not according to our deserts. The continuance of the most useful life is owing to God’s bounty, and on that we must have a continual dependence. 2. That therefore we ought to spend our lives in God’s service. Life is therefore a choice mercy, because it is an opportunity of obeying God in this world, where there are so few that do glorify him; and this David had in his eye: “Not that I may live and grow rich, live and be merry, but that I may live and keep thy word, may observe it myself and transmit it to those that shall come after, which the longer I live the better I shall do.”