Psalm 108:1
O god, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
A.M. 2962. — B.C. 1042.

This Psalm is, almost word for word, taken out of two of the foregoing Psalms; the first five verses out of the fifty-seventh, from Psalm 108:7-11, and the rest out of Psalm sixtieth, from 5-12. The reader, therefore, is referred to the exposition already given of those Psalms. David thanks God for personal mercies, Psalm 108:1-5. Prays for national mercies, Psalm 108:6-13. 108:1-13 We may usefully select passages from different psalms, as here, Ps 57; 60, to help our devotions, and enliven our gratitude. When the heart is firm in faith and love, the tongue, being employed in grateful praises, is our glory. Every gift of the Lord honours and profits the possessor, as it is employed in God's service and to his glory. Believers may pray with assured faith and hope, for all the blessings of salvation; which are secured to them by the faithful promise and covenant of God. Then let them expect from him help in every trouble, and victory in every conflict. Whatever we do, whatever we gain, God must have all the glory. Lord, visit all our souls with this salvation, with this favour which thou bearest to thy chosen people.O God, my heart is fixed - Prepared, suited, ready. See the notes at Psalm 57:7. In Psalm 57:7, this is repeated: "My heart is fixed; O God, my heart is fixed:" indicating that there "might" have been some doubt or vacillation caused by the circumstances then existing, and the repetition would have respect to that, as if the psalmist had been unsettled and wavering for a time, but was at last firm. In such circumstances it would not be unnatural to "repeat" the assertion, as if there were no longer any doubt. In the beginning of a psalm, however, where there had been no previous expression or feeling of doubt so far as appears, there would be no propriety in repeating the assertion.

I will sing and give praise - See the notes at Psalm 57:7.

Even with my glory - This is not in Psalm 57:1-11. It is literally here, "truly my glory." In Psalm 57:8, however, the expression, "Awake up, my glory," occurs, and this seems to correspond with that language. It means here that it was his glory - his honor - thus to be employed in giving praise to God. It was worthy of all that there was elevated in his nature; of all that constituted his glory; of his highest powers. At no time is man employed in a more noble and lofty work than praise.

PSALM 108

Ps 108:1-13. This Psalm is composed of Ps 108:1-5 of Ps 57:7-11; and Ps 108:6-12 of Ps 60:5-12. The varieties are verbal and trivial, except that in Ps 108:9, "over Philistia will I triumph," differs from Ps 60:8, the interpretation of which it confirms. Its altogether triumphant tone may intimate that it was prepared by David, omitting the plaintive portions of the other Psalms, as commemorative of God's favor in the victories of His people.

1 O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.

2 Awake, psaltery and harp; I myself will awake early.

3 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people, and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.

4 For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.

5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth;

These five verses are found in Psalm 57:7-11 almost verbatim: the only important alteration being the use of the great name of Jehovah in Psalm 108:3 instead of Adonai in Psalm 57:9. This the English reader will only be able to perceive by the use of capitals in the present Psalm and not in Psalm 57:1-11. There are other inconsiderable alterations, but the chief point of difference probably lies in the position of the verses. In Psalm 57:1-11 these notes of praise follow prayer and grow out of it; but in this case the Psalmist begins at once to sing and give praise, and afterwards prays to God in a remarkably confident manner, so that he seems rather to seize the blessing than to entreat for it. Sometimes we must climb to praise by the ladder of prayer, and at other times we must bless God for the past in order to be able in faith to plead for the present and the future. By the aid of God's Spirit we can both pray ourselves up to praise, or praise the Lord till we get into a fit frame for prayer. In Psalm 57:1-11 these words are a song in the cave of Adullam, and are the result of faith which is beginning its battles amid domestic enemies of the most malicious kind: but here they express the continued resolve and praise of a man who has already weathered many a campaign, has overcome all home conflicts, and is looking forward to conquests far and wide. The passage served as a fine close for one Psalm, and it makes an equally noteworthy opening for another. We cannot too often with fixed heart resolve to magnify the Lord; nor need we ever hesitate to use the same words in drawing near to God, for the Lord who cannot endure vain repetitions is equally weary of vain variations. Some expressions are so admirable that they ought to be used again: who would throw away a cup because he drank from it before? God should be served with the best words, and when we have them they are surely good enough to be used twice. To use the same words continually and never utter a new song would show great slothfulness, and would lead to dead formalism, but we need not regard novelty of language as at all essential to devotion, nor strain after it as an urgent necessity. It may be that our heavenly Father would here teach us that if we are unable to find a great variety of suitable expressions in devotion, we need not in the slightest degree distress ourselves, but may either pray or praise, "using the same words."

Psalm 108:1

"O God, my heart is fixed." Though I have many wars to disturb me, and many cares to toss me to and fro, yet I am settled in one mind and cannot be driven from it. My heart has taken hold and abides in one resolve. Thy grace has overcome the fickleness of nature, and I am now in a resolute and determined frame of mind. "I will sing and give praise." Both with voice and music will I extol thee - "I will sing and play," as some read it. Even though I have to shout in the battle I will also sing in my soul, and if my fingers must needs be engaged with the bow, yet shall they also touch the ten-stringed instrument and show forth thy praise. "Even with my glory" - with my intellect, my tongue, my poetic faculty, my musical skill, or whatever else causes me to be renowned, and confers honour upon me. It is my glory to be able to speak and not to be a dumb animal, therefore my voice shall show forth thy praise; it is my glory to know God and not to be a heathen, and therefore my instructed intellect shall adore thee; it is my glory to be a saint and no more a rebel, therefore the grace I have received shall bless thee; it is my glory to be immortal and not a mere brute which perisheth, therefore my inmost life shall celebrate thy majesty. When he says I will, he supposes that there might be some temptation to refrain, but this he puts on one side, and with fixed heart prepares himself for the joyful engagement. He who sings with a fixed heart is likely to sing on, and all the while to sing well.

Psalm 108:2

"Awake, psaltery and harp." As if he could not be content with voice alone, but must use the well-tuned strings, and communicate to them something of his own liveliness. Strings are wonderful things when some men play upon them, they seem to become sympathetic and incorporated with the minstrel, as if his very soul were imparted to them and thrilled through them. Only when a thoroughly enraptured soul speaks in the instrument can music be acceptable with God: as mere musical sound the Lord can have no pleasure therein, he is only pleased with the thought and feeling which are thus expressed. When a man has musical gift, he should regard it as too lovely a power to be enlisted in the cause of sin. Well did Charles Wesley say : -

"If well I know the tuneful art

To captivate a human heart,

The glory, Lord, be thine.

A servant of thy blessed will.

continued...THE ARGUMENT

This Psalm is almost word for word taken out of two foregoing Psalms, the first five verses out of Psalm 57:7-11, and the rest out of Psalm 60:5, &c., to which the reader must resort for the explication of it. This only is observable, that the psalmist designing to take the body of this Psalm out of Psalm 60, doth industriously lay aside that mournful preface, Psalm 60:1-4, and borrows one more pleasant out of Psalm 57. The reason of which change is supposed to be this, that Psalm 60 was composed in the time of his danger and distress, and the latter after his deliverance.

David rouseth up himself to praise the Lord, Psalm 108:1-4; praying also for assistance, being fully assured of it, against his enemies, Psalm 108:5-13.

Either,

1. With my heart or soul, which is fixed for that work, as he said in the former branch. Or rather,

2. With my tongue, which is called a man’s glory, Psalm 16:9, compared with Acts 2:26. So the first branch describes the fixedness of his heart, to which this adds the expressions of his mouth.

O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise,.... From hence to Psalm 108:6 the words are taken out of Psalm 57:7, which see.

Even with my glory; my tongue; in Psalm 57:8, it is read, "awake up my glory". See Gill on Psalm 57:7,

<or Psalm of David.>> O God, my heart is {a} fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.

(a) This earnest affection declares that he is free from hypocrisy and that sluggishness does not stop him.

1. My heart is fixed, O God;

I will sing and make melody, yea with my glory.

The Psalmist’s stedfast will and purpose is to sing God’s praises. Cp. Psalm 51:10; Psalm 112:7; Colossians 1:23. In Psalm 57:7 my heart is fixed is repeated at the end of the first line, and Psalm 108:8 begins Awake my glory. This figure of ‘epizeuxis’ or emphatic repetition of words is characteristic of Psalms 57 (Psalm 108:1; Psalm 108:3; Psalm 108:7-8), and the poetical effect is much impaired by the abridgement. Yea my glory is grammatically in apposition to I:—I, yea my soul, the noblest part of me, the image of the divine glory, will sing &c. It is however possible that also my glory is a gloss added by some scribe or reader from Psalms 57. The LXX has added ἑτοίμη ἡ καρδία μου to the first line as in Psalms 57.[64]; hence, through the Vulg., the P.B.V. has the repeated my heart is ready. The paraphrase of P.B.V. with the best member that I have (Great Bible, not Coverdale) is from Münster, etiam digniori membro meo.

[64] Some mss add ἐξεγέρθητι ἡ δόξα μου, ‘awake up my glory’ at the end of the verse; and throughout the Ps. the mss of the LXX give instructive examples of the tendency of scribes to assimilate parallel texts.

1–5. Resolutions of joyous thanksgiving for past mercies, and prayer that God will manifest Himself as the supremely exalted Ruler of the world.Verse 1. - My heart is fixed. In the original form (Psalm 57:7) this emphatic phrase was reiterated, which much increased the force of the declaration. I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. It is difficult to assign any distinct meaning to the last clause, which has nothing parallel to it in Psalm 57:7. Since in Psalm 107:36 the historical narration is still continued, a meaning relating to the contemporaneous past is also retrospectively given to the two correlative ישׂם. It now goes on to tell what those who have now returned have observed and experienced in their own case. Psalm 107:33 sounds like Isaiah 50:2; Psalm 107:33 like Isaiah 35:7; and Psalm 107:35 takes its rise from Isaiah 41:18. The juxtaposition of מוצאי and צמּאון, since Deuteronomy 8:15, belongs to the favourite antithetical alliterations, e.g., Isaiah 61:3. מלחה, that which is salty (lxx cf. Sir. 39:23: ἅλμη), is, as in Job 39:6, the name for the uncultivated, barren steppe. A land that has been laid waste for the punishment of its inhabitants has very often been changed into flourishing fruitful fields under the hands of a poor and grateful generation; and very often a land that has hitherto lain uncultivated and to all appearance absolutely unprofitable has developed an unexpected fertility. The exiles to whom Jeremiah writes, Psalm 29:5 : Build ye houses and settle down, and plant gardens and eat their fruit, may frequently have experienced this divine blessing. Their industry and their knowledge also did their part, but looked at in a right light, it was not their own work but God's work that their settlement prospered, and that they continually spread themselves wider and possessed a not small, i.e., (cf. 2 Kings 4:3) a very large, stock of cattle.
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