Psalm 13:5
But I have trusted in your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
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(5) But I.—Emphatic, but as for me. The most complete peace has taken the place of the despair with which the psalm opens. The rhythm of the Hebrew seems to express the restfulness of the thought. “It hath a dying fall.” The LXX. and Vulg. (comp. the Prayer Book version) have an additional clause not found in any MS., “Yea, I will praise the name of the Lord most high.”

13:1-6 The psalmist complains that God had long withdrawn. He earnestly prays for comfort. He assures himself of an answer of peace. - God sometimes hides his face, and leaves his own children in the dark concerning their interest in him: and this they lay to heart more than any outward trouble whatever. But anxious cares are heavy burdens with which believers often load themselves more than they need. The bread of sorrows is sometimes the saint's daily bread; our Master himself was a man of sorrows. It is a common temptation, when trouble lasts long, to think that it will last always. Those who have long been without joy, begin to be without hope. We should never allow ourselves to make any complaints but what drive us to our knees. Nothing is more killing to a soul than the want of God's favour; nothing more reviving than the return of it. The sudden, delightful changes in the book of Psalms, are often very remarkable. We pass from depth of despondency to the height of religious confidence and joy. It is thus, ver. 5. All is gloomy dejection in ver. 4; but here the mind of the despondent worshipper rises above all its distressing fears, and throws itself, without reserve, on the mercy and care of its Divine Redeemer. See the power of faith, and how good it is to draw near to God. If we bring our cares and griefs to the throne of grace, and leave them there, we may go away like Hannah, and our countenances will be no more said, 1Sa 1:18. God's mercy is the support of the psalmist's faith. Finding I have that to trust to, I am comforted, though I have no merit of my own. His faith in God's mercy filled his heart with joy in his salvation; for joy and peace come by believing. He has dealt bountifully with me. By faith he was as confident of salvation, as if it had been completed already. In this way believers pour out their prayers, renouncing all hopes but in the mercy of God through the Saviour's blood: and sometimes suddenly, at others gradually, they will find their burdens removed, and their comforts restored; they then allow that their fears and complaints were unnecessary, and acknowledge that the Lord hath dealt bountifully with them.But I have trusted in thy mercy - In thy favor; thy friendship; thy promises. His original confidence had been in God only, and not in himself. That confidence he still maintained; and now, as the result of that, he begins to exult in the confidence that he would be safe. The idea is, "I have trusted in the mercy of God; I still trust, and I will trust forever."

My heart shall rejoice in thy salvation - The word "salvation" here does not refer to salvation in the future world, but to deliverance from his present troubles, or to God's interposition in putting him into a condition of safety. The idea is, that he had entire confidence that God would interpose, and that there would yet be cause to rejoice in that salvation as actually accomplished. He now calls on his heart to rejoice in the assurance that it would be his. So with us. There will not only be rejoicing in salvation when actually accomplished, but there may, and should be, in the firm conviction that it will be ours.

5, 6. Trust is followed by rejoicing in the deliverance which God effects, and, instead of his enemy, he can lift the song of triumph. 5 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

6 I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

What a change is here! Lo, the rain is over and gone, and the time of the singing of birds is come. The mercy-seat has so refreshed the poor weeper, that he clears his throat for a song. If we have mourned with him, let us now dance with him. David's heart was more often out of tune than his harp. He begins many of his Psalms sighing, and ends them singing; and others he begins in joy and ends in sorrow; "so that one would think," says Peter Moulin, "that those Psalms had been composed by two men of a contrary humour." It is worthy to be observed that the joy is all the greater because of the previous sorrow, as calm is all the more delightful in recollection of the preceding tempest.

"Sorrows remembered sweeten present joy."

Here is his avowal of his confidence: "But I have trusted in thy mercy." For many a year it had been his wont to make the Lord his castle and tower of defence, and he smiles from behind the same bulwark still. He is sure of his faith, and his faith makes him sure; had he doubted the reality of his trust in God, he would have blocked up one of the windows through which the sun of heaven delights to shine. Faith is now in exercise, and consequently is readily discovered; there is never a doubt in our heart about the existence of faith while it is in action; when the hare or partridge is quiet we see it not, but let the same be in motion and we soon perceive it. All the powers of his enemies had not driven the Psalmist from his stronghold. As the shipwrecked mariner clings to the mast, so did David cling to his faith; he neither could nor would give up his confidence in the Lord his God. O that we may profit by his example, and hold by our faith as by our very life!

Now hearken to the music which faith makes in the soul. The bells of the mind are all ringing, "My heart shall rejoice in thy salvation." There is joy and feasting within doors, for a glorious guest has come, and the fatted calf is killed. Sweet is the music which sounds from the strings of the heart. But this is not all; the voice joins itself in the blessed work, and the tongue keeps tune with the soul, while the writer declares, "I will sing unto the Lord."

"I will praise thee every day.

Now thine anger's turned away;

Comfortable thoughts arise

From the bleeding sacrifice.'

The Psalm closes with a sentence which is a refutation of the charge of forgetfulness which David had uttered in the first verse, "He hath dealt bountifully with me." So shall it be with us if we wait awhile. The complaint which in our haste we utter shall be joyfully retracted, and we shall witness that the Lord hath dealt bountifully with us.

Neither their threats and brags, nor my own dangers, shall shake my confidence in thy mercy promised to me. But I have trusted in thy mercy,.... The faith, hope, and comfort of the psalmist grew and increased by prayer; from complaining he goes to praying, from praying to believing; he trusted not in himself, not in his own heart, nor in his own righteousness and merits, but in the mercy of God; and not in the bare absolute mercy of God, but in the grace and goodness of God, as the word (x) here used signifies, as it is displayed in the plenteous redemption which is by Christ; which is a sufficient ground of faith and hope; see Psalm 130:7;

my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation; which God is the contriver, author, and giver of, and in which the glory of his perfections is so greatly displayed: and a true believer rejoices more on account that God is glorified by it than because of his own interest in it; and this joy is an inward one, it is joy in the heart, and is real and unfeigned, and is what continues, and will be felt and expressed both here and hereafter.

(x) "in bonitate tua", Vatablus; "in benignitate tua", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "in benignissima voluntate tua", Gejerus.

But I have trusted in thy {d} mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

(d) The mercy of God is the cause of our salvation.

5. More exactly:

But as for me, in thy lovingkindness do I trust. Cp. Psalm 5:7.

My heart shall rejoice … I will sing] Better: let my heart rejoice … let me sing. Faith has triumphed. He can look forward with confidence. But humility transforms his resolution to give thanks into a prayer.

Because he hath dealt bountifully with me] He looks back from the stand-point of deliverance granted. P.B. V. follows the LXX in adding from Psalm 7:17, Yea, I will praise the Name of the Lord most Highest.

5, 6. The joy of deliverance.Verse 5. - But I have trusted (or, I trust) in thy mercy. I know, i.e., that thou wilt not suffer me to be overcome by my enemy. Thou wilt save me; and therefore my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation, whereof I entertain no doubt. (Heb.: 12:8-9) The supplicatory complaint contained in the first strophe has passed into an ardent wish in the second; and now in the fourth there arises a consolatory hope based upon the divine utterance which was heard in the third strophe. The suffix eem in Psalm 12:8 refers to the miserable and poor; the suffix ennu in Psalm 12:8 (him, not: us, which would be pointed תצרנוּ, and more especially since it is not preceded by תשׁמרנוּ) refers back to the man who yearns for deliverance mentioned in the divine utterance, Psalm 12:6. The "preserving for ever" is so constant, that neither now nor at any future time will they succumb to this generation. The oppression shall not become a thorough depression, the trial shall not exceed their power of endurance. What follows in Psalm 12:8 is a more minute description of this depraved generation. דּור is the generation whole and entire bearing one general character and doing homage to the one spirit of the age (cf. e.g., Proverbs 30:11-14, where the characteristics of a corrupt age are portrayed). זוּ (always without the article, Ew. 293, a) points to the present and the character is has assumed, which is again described here finally in a few outlines of a more general kind than in Psalm 12:3. The wicked march about on every side (התחלּך used of going about unopposed with an arrogant and vaunting mien), when (while) vileness among ()ל the children of men rises to eminence (רוּם as in Proverbs 11:11, cf. משׁל Proverbs 29:2), so that they come to be under its dominion. Vileness is called זלּוּת from זלל (cogn. דּלל) to be supple and lax, narrow, low, weak and worthless. The form is passive just as is the Talm. זילוּת (from זיל equals זליל), and it is the epithet applied to that which is depreciated, despised, and to be despised; here it is the opposite of the disposition and conduct of the noble man, נדיב, Isaiah 32:8, - a baseness which is utterly devoid not only of all nobler principles and motives, but also of all nobler feelings and impulses. The כּ of כּרם is not the expression of simultaneousness (as e.g., in Proverbs 10:25): immediately it is exalted - for then Psalm 12:8 would give expression to a general observation, instead of being descriptive - but כּרם is equivalent to בּרם, only it is intentionally used instead of the latter, to express a coincidence that is based upon an intimate relation of cause and effect, and is not merely accidental. The wicked are puffed up on all sides, and encompass the better disposed on every side as their enemies. Such is the state of things, and it cannot be otherwise at a time when men allow meanness to gain the ascendency among and over them, as is the case at the present moment. Thus even at last the depressing view of the present prevails in the midst of the confession of a more consolatory hope. The present is gloomy. But in the central hexastich the future is lighted up as a consolation against this gloominess. The Psalm is a ring and this central oracle is its jewel.
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