Psalm 16:7
I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
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(7) Given me counsel . . .i.e., led me to a right and happy choice of the way of life.

My reinsi.e., my heart.

Instruct me.—Better, warn me. Conscience echoes the voice of God. The Hebrew word, from a root meaning bind, includes the sense of obligation. Once heard, the Divine monition becomes a law to the good man, and his own heart warns him of the slightest danger of deviation from it.

Psalm 16:7. I will bless the Lord who hath given me counsel — The Hebrew,

יעצני, jegnatzani, may be rendered, hath consulted for me, that is, by his wise and gracious counsel hath provided so good a heritage for me: or, who hath inspired that counsel and wisdom into me by which I have chosen him for my portion and happiness, and am so fully satisfied with him. So ignorant and foolish are we, that, if we be left to ourselves, our hearts will follow our eyes, and we shall choose our own delusions, and forsake our own mercies, for lying vanities: and, therefore, if we have indeed taken God for our portion, and preferred spiritual and eternal blessings before those that are sensible and temporal, we must thankfully acknowledge the power and goodness of divine grace, directing and enabling us to make that choice. My reins also — That is, my inward thoughts and affections (which are commonly signified by the reins, Psalm 7:9; Psalm 26:2; Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 12:2; Jeremiah 17:10) being inspired and moved by the Holy Spirit; instruct me — Admonish me concerning my duty and happiness, direct me what course to take, how to please and glorify God, and to put my whole trust in, and live to him; in the night seasons — Even when others are asleep my mind is employed about God and things divine, and engaged to improve the silence and solitude of the night in holy meditation, prayer, and devotion. All this may be applied to Christ, who made the Lord his portion, and was pleased with that portion; made his Father’s glory his highest end, and made it his meat and drink to seek that, and to do his will, and delighted to prosecute his undertaking, pursuant to his Father’s counsel, depending upon him to maintain his lot, and carry him through his undertaking. And we ought so far to apply it to ourselves as to learn from it wherein our duty and happiness consist, and to examine ourselves by it, whether we are properly influenced by such discoveries, and act accordingly.

16:1-11 This psalm begins with expressions of devotion, which may be applied to Christ; but ends with such confidence of a resurrection, as must be applied to Christ, and to him only. - David flees to God's protection, with cheerful, believing confidence. Those who have avowed that the Lord is their Lord, should often put themselves in mind of what they have done, take the comfort of it, and live up to it. He devotes himself to the honour of God, in the service of the saints. Saints on earth we must be, or we shall never be saints in heaven. Those renewed by the grace of God, and devoted to the glory of God, are saints on earth. The saints in the earth are excellent ones, yet some of them so poor, that they needed to have David's goodness extended to them. David declares his resolution to have no fellowship with the works of darkness; he repeats the solemn choice he had made of God for his portion and happiness, takes to himself the comfort of the choice, and gives God the glory of it. This is the language of a devout and pious soul. Most take the world for their chief good, and place their happiness in the enjoyments of it; but how poor soever my condition is in this world, let me have the love and favour of God, and be accepted of him; let me have a title by promise to life and happiness in the future state; and I have enough. Heaven is an inheritance; we must take that for our home, our rest, our everlasting good, and look upon this world to be no more ours, than the country through which is our road to our Father's house. Those that have God for their portion, have a goodly heritage. Return unto thy rest, O my soul, and look no further. Gracious persons, though they still covet more of God, never covet more than God; but, being satisfied of his loving-kindness, are abundantly satisfied with it: they envy not any their carnal mirth and delights. But so ignorant and foolish are we, that if left to ourselves, we shall forsake our own mercies for lying vanities. God having given David counsel by his word and Spirit, his own thoughts taught him in the night season, and engaged him by faith to live to God. Verses 8-11, are quoted by St. Peter in his first sermon, after the pouring out of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Ac 2:25-31; he declared that David in them speaks concerning Christ, and particularly of his resurrection. And Christ being the Head of the body, the church, these verses may be applied to all Christians, guided and animated by the Spirit of Christ; and we may hence learn, that it is our wisdom and duty to set the Lord always before us. And if our eyes are ever toward God, our hearts and tongues may ever rejoice in him. Death destroys the hope of man, but not the hope of a real Christian. Christ's resurrection is an earnest of the believer's resurrection. In this world sorrow is our lot, but in heaven there is joy, a fulness of joy; our pleasures here are for a moment, but those at God's right hand are pleasures for evermore. Through this thy beloved Son, and our dear Saviour, thou wilt show us, O Lord, the path of life; thou wilt justify our souls now, and raise our bodies by thy power at the last day; when earthly sorrow shall end in heavenly joy, pain in everlasting happiness.I will bless the Lord, who hath given the counsel - Probably the reference here is to the fact that the Lord had counseled him to choose him as his portion, or had inclined him to his service. There is nothing for which a heart rightly affected is more disposed to praise God than for the fact that by his grace it has been inclined to serve him; and the time when the heart was given away to God is recalled ever onward as the happiest period of life.

My reins ... - See the notes at Psalm 7:9. The "reins" are here put for the mind, the soul. They were regarded as the seat of the affections, Jeremiah 11:20; Job 19:27. The meaning here is, that in the wakeful hours of night, when meditating on the divine character and goodness, he found instruction in regard to God. Compare Psalm 17:3. Everything then is favorable for reflection. The natural calmness and composure of the mind; the stillness of night; the starry heavens; the consciousness that we are alone with God, and that no human eye is upon us - all these things are favorable to profound religious meditation. They who are kept wakeful by night "need" not find this an unprofitable portion of their lives. Some of the most instructive hours of life are those which are spent when the eyes refuse to close themselves in slumber, and when the universal stillness invites to contemplation on divine things.

7. given me counsel—cared for me.

my reins—the supposed seat of emotion and thought (Ps 7:9; 26:2).

instruct me—or, excite to acts of praise (Isa 53:11, 12; Heb 12:2).

Who hath given me counsel, Heb. consulted for me, i.e. by his wise and gracious counsel hath provided so good an heritage for me, and withal inspired that counsel and wisdom into me, by which I have chosen the Lord for my portion, and am so fully satisfied with him.

My reins, i.e. my inward thoughts and affections, (which are commonly signified by the reins, as Psalm 7:9 26:2 73:21 139:13 Jeremiah 11:20 12:2 17:10) being inspired and moved by the Holy Spirit.

Instruct me, i. e. direct me what course to take, how to please and serve God, and to put my whole trust and confidence in him, as it follows.

In the night seasons; not only in the day time, but also in the night, when others are asleep, but my mind is working upon God, and the things of God, and improving the silence, and leisure, and solitude of the night to holy meditations, and the exciting of my affections towards God.

I will bless the Lord,.... As prayer, so thanksgiving belongs to Christ, as man and Mediator; see Matthew 11:25; and here he determines to praise the Lord, and give thanks to him for counsel and instruction:

who hath given me counsel; for though he himself is the Counsellor, with respect to his people, yet as man he received counsel from God, and the spirit of counsel rested on him, Isaiah 11:2; and fitted him for and directed him in the execution of his prophetic office; for the doctrine he taught was not his own, but his Father's; and he said nothing of himself but what his Father taught him, and instructed him to speak, John 6:16. And he also gave him counsel about the execution of his priestly office, or about his sufferings and death, and drinking of the cup, which he, with submission to the divine will, desired might pass from him; but having advice in this matter, most cheerfully and courageously yielded to take it, see Matthew 26:39;

my reins also instruct me in the night seasons; when engaged in prayer to God, in which he sometimes continued a whole night together, Luke 6:12; and especially in that dark and dismal night in which he was betrayed, when it was the hour and power of darkness with his enemies; then, his inward parts being influenced by the spirit of wisdom and counsel, directed him how to behave and conduct himself. Or "the reins" being the seat of the affections, and being put for them, may signify, that his strong affection for God, and love to his people, put him upon and moved him to take the steps he did, to deliver up himself into the hands of sinful men, in order to suffer and die for his friends, and obtain eternal salvation for them.

I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
7. given me counsel] Taught me to choose Him and to follow Him. Cp. Psalm 32:8 (R.V.); Psalm 73:24.

my reins also &c.] This clause may be taken as still depending on I will bless the Lord, and rendered, yea, that in the night seasons my reins have instructed me. In the quiet hours of the night God admonishes and instructs him through the voice of conscience. Cp. Psalm 4:4; Psalm 17:3. The reins stand for the organs of emotion, the feelings and conscience. ‘Heart and reins’ denote the whole innermost self, thought and will (Psalm 7:9).

7, 8. The mutual relation of the Psalmist and Jehovah.

Verse 7. - I will bless the Lord, who hath given his counsel. God has become David's "Counsellor" (see Psalm 32:8), makes suggestions to him which he follows, and so guides his life that he feels bound to praise and bless him for it. My reins also instruct me in the night seasons. The reins, according to Hebrew ideas, are the seat of feeling and emotion. David is "instructed" or "stimulated" (Hengstenberg) to bless God by the feelings which stir within him as he lies awake at night - feelings, we must suppose, of affection and gratitude. Psalm 16:7The measuring lines (הבלים) are cast (Micah 2:5) and fall to any one just where and as far as his property is assigned to him; so that נפל חבל (Joshua 17:5) is also said of the falling to any one of his allotted portion of land. נעמים (according to the Masora defective as also in Psalm 16:11 נעמות) is a pluralet., the plural that is used to denote a unity in the circumstances, and a similarity in the relations of time and space, Ges. ֗108, 2, a; and it signifies both pleasant circumstances, Job 36:11, and, as here, a pleasant locality, Lat. amaena (to which נעמות in Psalm 16:11, more strictly corresponds). The lines have fallen to him in a charming district, viz., in the pleasurable fellowship of God, this most blessed domain of love has become his paradisaic possession. With אף he rises from the fact to the perfect contentment which it secures to him: such a heritage seems to him to be fair, he finds a source of inward pleasure and satisfaction in it. נחלת - according to Ew. 173, d, lengthened from the construct form נהלת (like נגינת Psalm 61:1); according to Hupfeld, springing from נחלתי (by the same apocope that is so common in Syriac, perhaps like אמרתּ Psalm 16:1 from אמרתּי) just like זמרת Exodus 15:2 - is rather, since in the former view there is no law for the change of vowel and such an application of the form as we find in Psalm 60:13 (Psalm 108:13) is opposed to the latter, a stunted form of נחלתה: the heritage equals such a heritage pleases me, lit., seems fair to me (שׁפר, cognate root ספר, צפר, cognate in meaning בשׂר, Arab. bs̆r, to rub, polish, make shining, intr. שׁפר to be shining, beautiful). עלי of beauty known and felt by him (cf. Esther 3:9 with 1 Samuel 25:36 טוב עליו, and the later way of expressing it Daniel 3:32). But since the giver and the gift are one and the same, the joy he has in the inheritance becomes of itself a constant thanksgiving to and blessing of the Giver, that He (אשׁר quippe qui) has counselled him (Psalm 73:24) to choose the one thing needful, the good part. Even in the night-seasons his heart keeps watch, even then his reins admonish him (יסּר, here of moral incitement, as in Isaiah 8:11, to warn). The reins are conceived of as the seat of the blessed feeling that Jahve is his possession (vid., Psychol. S. 268; tr. p. 316). He is impelled from within to offer hearth-felt thanks to his merciful and faithful God. He has Jahve always before him, Jahve is the point towards which he constantly directs his undiverted gaze; and it is easy for him to have Him thus ever present, for He is מימיני (supply הוּא, as in Psalm 22:29; Psalm 55:20; Psalm 112:4), at my right hand (i.e., where my right hand begins, close beside me), so that he has no need to draw upon his power of imagination. The words בּל־אמּוט, without any conjunction, express the natural effect of this, both in consciousness and in reality: he will not and cannot totter, he will not yield and be overthrown.
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