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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 6–9
Verses 6–9

In these verses,

I. David gives God thanks for the audience of his prayers as affectionately as a few verses before he had begged it: Blessed be the Lord, Ps. 28:6. How soon are the saints’ sorrows turned into songs and their prayers into praises! It was in faith that David prayed (Ps. 28:2), Hear the voice of my supplications; and by the same faith he gives thanks (Ps. 28:6) that God has heard the voice of his supplications. Note, 1. Those that pray in faith may rejoice in hope. “He hath heard me (graciously accepted me) and I am as sure of a real answer as if I had it already.” 2. What we win by prayer we must wear by praise. Has God heard our supplications? Let us then bless his name.

II. He encourages himself to hope in God for the perfecting of every thing that concerned him. Having given to God the glory of his grace (Ps. 28:6), he is humbly bold to take the comfort of it, Ps. 28:7. This is the method of attaining peace: let us begin with praise that is attainable. Let us first bless God and then bless ourselves. Observe, 1. His dependence upon God: “The Lord is my strength, to support me, and carry me on, through all my services and sufferings. He is my shield, to protect me from all the malicious designs of my enemies against me. I have chosen him to be so, I have always found him so, and I expect he will still be so.” 2. His experience of the benefits of that dependence: “My heart trusted in him, and in his power and promise; and it has not been in vain to do so, for I am helped, I have been often helped; not only God has given to me, in his due time, the help I trusted to him for, but my very trusting in him has helped me, in the mean time, and kept me from fainting.” Ps. 27:13. The very actings of faith are present aids to a dropping spirit, and often help it at a dead lift. 3. His improvement of this experience. (1.) He had the pleasure of it: Therefore my heart greatly rejoices. The joy of a believer is seated in the heart, while, in the laughter of the fool, the heart is sorrowful. It is great joy, joy unspeakable and full of glory. The heart that truly believes shall in due time greatly rejoice; it is joy and peace in believing that we are to expect. (2.) God shall have the praise of it: when my heart greatly rejoices, with my song will I praise him. This must we express our gratitude; it is the least we can do; and others will hereby be invited and encouraged to trust in him too.

III. He pleases himself with the interest which all good people, through Christ, have in God (Ps. 28:8): “The Lord is their strength; not mine only, but the strength of every believer.” Note, The saints rejoice in their friends’ comforts as well as their own; for, as we have not the less benefit from the light of the sun, so neither from the light of Gods’ countenance, for others’ sharing therein; for we are sure there is enough for all and enough for each. This is our communion with all saints, that God is their strength and ours, Christ their Lord and ours, 1 Cor. 1:2. He is their strength, the strength of all Israel, because he is the saving strength of his anointed, that is, 1. Of David in the type. God, in strengthening him that was their king and fought their battles, strengthened the whole kingdom. He calls himself God’s anointed because it was the unction he had received that exposed him to the envy of his enemies, and therefore entitled him to the divine protection. 2. Of Christ, his anointed, his Messiah, in the anti-type. God was his saving strength, qualified him for his undertaking and carried him through it; see Ps. 89:21; Isa. 49:5; 50:7, 9. And so he becomes their strength, the strength of all the saints; he strengthened him that is the church’s head, and from him diffuses strength to all the members, has commanded his strength, and so strengthens what he has wrought for us; Ps. 68:28; 80:17, 18.

IV. He concludes with a short but comprehensive prayer for the church of God, Ps. 28:9. He prays for Israel, not as his people (“save my people, and bless my inheritance”), though they were so, but, “thine.” God’s interest in them lay nearer his heart than his own. We are thy people is a good plea, Isa. 64:9; Isa. 63:19. I am thine, save me. God’s people are his inheritance, dear to him, and precious in his eyes; what little glory he has from this world he has from them. The Lord’s portion is his people. That which he begs of God for them is, 1. That he would save them from their enemies and the dangers they were exposed to. 2. That he would bless them with all good, flowing from his favour, in performance of his promise, and amounting to a happiness for them. 3. That he would feed them, bless them with plenty, and especially the plenty of his ordinances, which are food to the soul. Rule them; so the margin. “Direct their counsels and actions aright, and overrule their affairs for good. Feed them, and rule them; sets pastors, set rulers, over them, that shall do their office with wisdom and understanding.” 4. That he would lift them up for ever, lift them up out of their troubles and distresses, and do this, not only for those of that age, but for his people in every age to come, even to the end. “Lift them up into thy glorious kingdom, lift them up as high as heaven.” There, and there only, will the saints be lifted up for ever, never more to sink or be depressed. Observe, Those, and those only, whom God feeds and rules, who are willing to be taught, and guided, and governed, by him, shall be saved, and blessed, and lifted up for ever.