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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 8–12
Verses 8–12

Here we have David’s exhortation to others to trust in God and wait upon him, as he had done. Those that have found the comfort of the ways of God themselves will invite others into those ways; there is enough in God for all the saints to draw from, and we shall have never the less for others sharing with us.

I. He counsels all to wait upon God, as he did, Ps. 62:8. Observe,

1. To whom he gives this good counsel: You people (that is, all people); all shall be welcome to trust in God, for he is the confidence of all the ends of the earth, Ps. 65:5. You people of the house of Israel (so the Chaldee); they are especially engaged and invited to trust in God, for he is the God of Israel; and should not a people seek unto their God?

2. What the good counsel is which he gives. (1.) To confide in God: “Trust in him; deal with him, and be willing to deal upon trust; depend upon him to perform all things for you, upon his wisdom and goodness, his power and promise, his providence and grace. Do this at all times.” We must have an habitual confidence in God always, must live a life of dependence upon him, must so trust in him at all times as not at any time to put that confidence in ourselves, or in any creature, which is to be put in him only; and we must have an actual confidence in God upon all occasions, trust in him upon every emergency, to guide us when we are in doubt, to protect us when we are in danger, to supply us when we are in want, to strengthen us for every good word and work. (2.) To converse with God: Pour out your heart before him. The expression seems to allude to the pouring out of the drink-offerings before the Lord. When we make a penitent confession of sin our hearts are therein poured out before God, 1 Sam. 7:6. But here it is meant of prayer, which, if it be as it should be, is the pouring out of the heart before God. We must lay our grievances before him, offer up our desires to him with all humble freedom, and then entirely refer ourselves to his disposal, patiently submitting our wills to his: this is pouring out our hearts.

3. What encouragement he gives us to take this good counsel: God is a refuge for us, not only my refuge (Ps. 62:7), but a refuge for us all, even as many as will flee to him and take shelter in him.

II. He cautions us to take heed of misplacing our confidence, in which, as much as in any thing, the heart is deceitful, Jer. 17:5-9. Those that trust in God truly (Ps. 62:1) will trust in him only, Ps. 62:5. 1. Let us not trust in the men of this world, for they are broken reeds (Ps. 62:9): Surely men of low degree are vanity, utterly unable to help us, and men of high degree are a lie, that will deceive us if we trust to them. Men of low degree, one would think, might be relied on for their multitude and number, their bodily strength and service, and men of high degree for their wisdom, power, and influence; but neither the one nor the other are to be depended on. Of the two, men of high degree are mentioned as the more deceiving; for they are a lie, which denotes not only vanity, but iniquity. We are not so apt to depend upon men of low degree as upon the king and the captain of the host, who, by the figure they make, tempt us to trust in them, and so, when they fail us, prove a lie. But lay them in the balance, the balance of the scripture, or rather make trial of them, see how they will prove, whether they will answer your expectations from them or no, and you will write Tekel upon them; they are alike lighter than vanity; there is no depending upon their wisdom to advise us, their power to act for us, their good-will to us, no, nor upon their promises, in comparison with God, nor otherwise than in subordination to him. 2. Let us not trust in the wealth of this world, let not that be made our strong city (Ps. 62:10): Trust not in oppression; that is, in riches got by fraud and violence, because where there is a great deal it is commonly got by indirect scraping or saving (our Saviour calls it the mammon of unrighteousness, Luke 16:9), or in the arts of getting riches. “Think not, either because you have got abundance or are in the way of getting, that therefore you are safe enough; for this is becoming vain in robbery, that is, cheating yourselves while you think to cheat others.” He that trusted in the abundance of his riches strengthened himself in his wickedness (Ps. 52:7); but at his end he will be a fool, Jer. 17:11. Let none be so stupid as to think of supporting themselves in their sin, much less of supporting themselves in this sin. Nay, because it is hard to have riches and not to trust in them, if they increase, though by lawful and honest means, we must take heed lest we let out our affections inordinately towards them: “Set not your heart upon them; be not eager for them, do not take a complacency in them as the rest of your souls, nor put a confidence in them as your portion; be not over-solicitous about them; do not value yourselves and others by them; make not the wealth of the world your chief good and highest end: in short, do not make an idol of it.” This we are most in danger of doing when riches increase. When the grounds of the rich man brought forth plentifully, then he said to his soul, Take thy ease in these things, Luke 12:19. It is a smiling world that is most likely to draw the heart away from God, on whom only it should be set.

III. He gives a very good reason why we should make God our confidence, because he is a God of infinite power, mercy, and righteousness, Ps. 62:11, 12. This he himself was well assured of and would have us be assured of it: God has spoken once; twice have I heard this; that is, 1. “God has spoken it, and I have heard it, once, yea, twice. He has spoken it, and I have heard it by the light of reason, which easily infers it from the nature of the infinitely perfect Being and from his works both of creation and providence. He has spoken it, and I have heard once, yea, twice (that is, many a time), by the events that have concerned me in particular. He has spoken it and I have heard it by the light of revelation, by dreams and visions (Job 4:15), by the glorious manifestation of himself upon Mount Sinai” (to which, some think, it does especially refer), “and by the written word.” God has often told us what a great and good God he is, and we ought as often to take notice of what he has told us. Or, 2. “Though God spoke it but once, I heard it twice, heard it diligently, not only with my outward ears, but with my soul and mind.” To some God speaks twice and they will not hear once; but to others he speaks but once, and they hear twice. Compare Job 33:14. Now what is it which is thus spoken and thus heard? (1.) That the God with whom we have to do is infinite in power. Power belongs to God; he is almighty, and can do every thing; with him nothing is impossible. All the powers of all the creatures are derived form him, depend upon him, and are used by him as he pleases. His is the power, and to him we must ascribe it. This is a good reason why we should trust in him at all times and live in a constant dependence upon him; for he is able to do all that for us which we trust in him for. (2.) That he is a God of infinite goodness. Here the psalmist turns his speech to God himself, as being desirous to give him the glory of his goodness, which is his glory: Also unto thee, O Lord! belongeth mercy. God is not only the greatest, but the best, of beings. Mercy is with him, Ps. 130:4, 7. He is merciful in a way peculiar to himself; he is the Father of mercies, 2 Cor. 1:3. This is a further reason why we should trust in him, and answers the objections of our sinfulness and unworthiness; though we deserve nothing but his wrath, yet we may hope for all good from his mercy, which is over all his works. (3.) That he never did, nor ever will do, any wrong to any of his creatures: For thou renderest to every man according to his work. Though he does not always do this visibly in this world, yet he will do it in the day of recompence. No service done him shall go unrewarded, nor any affront given him unpunished, unless it be repented of. By this it appears that power and mercy belong to him. If he were not a God of power, there are sinners that would be too great to be punished. And if he were not a God of mercy there are services that would be too worthless to be rewarded. This seems especially to bespeak the justice of God in judging upon appeals made to him by wronged innocency; he will be sure to judge according to truth, in giving redress to the injured and avenging them on those that have been injurious to them, 1 Kgs. 8:32. Let those therefore that are wronged commit their cause to him and trust to him to plead it.