Psalm 7:15
If I have done this.

I. TRUE INNOCENCE IS MARKED BY HUMILITY. David is bold before men, but humble before God. Why? There is the sense that innocence is limited and imperfect. We may be free from particular sins, and yet be guilty in others. Besides, innocence is but comparative. Measured by the standard of men, we may be without offence, but tried by the holy, spiritual Law of God, we are convicted of innumerable sins, and behind all is a sinful heart.

II. ASSOCIATED WITH MERCY. "Yea, I have delivered him" (ver. 4). So David dealt gently with Saul. His magnanimous sparing of him when he was in his power was no mere impulse, but the free outcome of his loving and generous heart. The merciful, whom our Lord has blessed, are placed between those who "hunger and thirst after righteousness" and "the pure in heart," who see God.

III. APPEALS WITH CONFIDENCE TO THE JUDGMENT OF GOD. The sense of right prophesies of the triumph of right. Having faith in the justice of God, we can leave all in his hands; and, loving him and assured of his love toward us, we can patiently await the end, knowing that all things shall work together for our good. - W.F.

He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
There is much among men of the particular sin rebuked in this text.

I. HOW THIS PIT DIGGING MAY BE DONE. It may be done by attempting to lower a man's reputation. We are often guilty of talking in such a way that we "lower" people. The society papers live on this sort of thing. Scandal is a most, prominent form of the pit-digging business. It may be done by sapping a man's business. We have a general idea of what is fair and unfair within the world of trade. Now, some men steadily set themselves to ruin their neighbour's business, thinking this essential to their own aggrandisement. You may do it by your capital, by your tongue, by your influence. Men sometimes seek to entice their neighbours into plausible and ruinous speculations. It may be done by endangering a man's character. Men will knowingly and designingly ruin their brother; they "let them in" to some sin or other. They will do this for the sake of gain, for a companionship in guilt, and sometimes out of a mere delight in iniquity. Sometimes we dig a pit for others when we do not think of all that we are doing. We have no right to lay snares, nor to put an occasion of stumbling in our brother's way. If our brother shows a tendency to slide we must not grease his path.


1. It is dark work; it has to be done secretly, under cover of night: to be done softly, to be wrapped up. Let us decline all that kind of work in which we should be ashamed for society to see us. The great motto of Positivism is, "Live without concealment." So live that you would not care if your house were glass. Let us decline all that work we should shrink from bringing under the eye of God.

2. It is dirty work, ignoble, base, disgraceful. Whatever aims to lower men is of this character. Such conduct involves only base qualities. Sometimes it is prompted by covetousness. Or it springs from envy or from revenge; or from mere levity. Pit diggers may be well dressed, but their work is of a far dirtier kind than that of the delver in the earth.

3. It is dismal work. All the true work of life has a joy in it, but there is no brightness or blessing in letting people down. It is a joyless thing to be a gravedigger among living men: to dig graves for men's reputations. Lighthouse building is better than pit sinking. Let our life be devoted to the uplifting of men.

4. It is degrading work. As soon as you begin to dig you stoop, and whatever progress you make you sink with your work. All true work resembles the work of the builder. If in conversation we talk down others, if that is our habit and pleasure, we talk ourselves down at the same time, whether we know it or not. As George Sand says, "Insults, harsh words, detractive utterances, kill morally those who give expression to them." You narrow and debase your own thought and feeling, you wrong your own soul. If the spirit of our life is sympathy, and if we find readily and praise readily whatever is good, beautiful, clever, successful in the work of our fellows, we are really nourishing and promoting our intellect in an eminent degree. And so in our business life. It was said to me concerning one of the richest men in Bradford, "He has made more gentlemen than any man in Bradford." That is the way, so to rise that you lift others up with you. The whole idea of the New Testament is, that a noble life is devoted to raising one's fellow men. This was the grand task of the Master. He was constantly raising what was fallen.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

The man that travaileth with iniquity, who is big with thoughts and purposes of evil, shall experience, as the issue of his birth throes, nothing but mischief and falsehood, misery and disappointment. Sin is a thing that recoils upon its perpetrator, and inflicts its heaviest blows upon the soul conceiving it, intending it, and giving it life and form. It was in accordance with this self-avenging power of sin that Saul was slain by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:2-4), whom he had designed to be slayers of David (1 Samuel 18:21, 25); that Haman was hanged upon the gallows he had erected for another (Esther 7:10); and that the Jews themselves were destroyed by the Romans, whose aid they had invoked and received to crucify their Messiah. This recoiling, self-avenging power of sin is conclusive proof that a holy, just, and living God is moving everywhere in nature, and in the affairs of men, to paralyse the arm of the evil-doer, and to make man feel in every blow that he inflicts upon truth and right, upon innocence and virtue, a counter blow of overwhelming force. It is the conviction of this great truth, as a principle permeating the government of God, that makes David speak of the discomfiture of his enemies as a thing already accomplished. He sees every blow aimed at him recoiling upon themselves; every machination concocted for his overthrow, rendering their own still more inevitable. A fearful thought this, to the wicked, that "his own evil shall slay him"; and yet, to others, a thought full of hope, that God has so ordered things in His universe that evil must destroy itself.

(David Caldwell, A. M.)

The story of Phalaris's bull, invented for the torment of others, and serving afterwards for himself, is notorious in heathen story It was a voluntary judgment which Archbishop Cranmer inflicted on himself when he thrust that very hand into the fire, and burnt it, with which he had signed to the popish articles, crying out, "Oh, my unworthy right hand!" but who will deny that the hand of the Almighty was also concerned in it?

(William Turner.).

How excellent is Thy name in all the earth!
In all probability this Psalm is the first, or at all events one of the very first, David ever wrote. It breathes the spirit of those lonely nights which he must so often have passed keeping watch over his father's sheep on the wild hills of Bethlehem. To a lad of his strong poetical temperament, the glory of the Syrian sunset, the gradual assembling of the stars, as of an innumerable flock in the silent pastures overhead; the moon, "like a fair shepherdess," walking in her beauty; and, as night began to wane, "the bright and morning star," flashing over the hills of Moab, must have spoken in a language which he was inspired to understand of the excellence of the great Creator of all — of the nothingness, yet at the same time the dignity, of man. In after life how often had he to "tune his harp to notes of woe"? but its first recorded strains are those of adoring praise. David appears to me to stand out eminently from other men, as hearing a voice in the phenomena of nature. I account him as the first of the prophets of nature, of whom, in some sense, Wordsworth was the last. The lessons once learned have become obvious; but to utter them for the first time required inspiration.

(Henry Housman.)

Joshua Reynolds closing his lecture on art said, "And now, gentlemen, there is but one name which I bring to your attention, it is the name of Michael Angelo." And so in all the spheres of art, science, and discovery, there are names which rise peerless above all others. But names which are known in one land are unknown in another, or their right to distinction is often disputed. You would not get universal unanimity about any one celebrity, however worthy. Only concerning Christ can it be said, "How excellent is Thy name in all the earth."

The glory of God in His creatures, rightly considered, should, for the excellency of the work, strike an astonishment into us on the one side, and enforce us on the other to be thankful unto Him, that maketh His power and providence appear so clearly in them, and that not only for His glory, but for our good. God's power and providence seen in His creatures serveth for a double end — the comfort of His children, and the terror and confusion of the wicked. Ver. 4 serveth to humble man, and to beat him down; for if he be compared with other creatures, there is no such excellency and durableness in him as in them; neither yet such as he himself imagineth to be in himself. Vers. 5-8 set forth the graces and blessings that God hath bestowed upon man, not to the end that man thereby should wax proud, and swell above measure, but to enforce him —

1. To thankfulness to the giver;

2. To a right use of them in himself and for others;

3. The more and more to humble him.Let man consider what excellency he hath lost through Adam's fall, and bewail his misery; and let him, on the other side, well weigh the grace bestowed on him in Christ, and be joyful and thankful for mercy: knowing this, that if the creatures be not now subject to us, it is by reason of the body and relies of sin which yet remain in us; and that therefore, if we would have a conquest over the creatures, we must begin first to get a victory upon sin, or else we shall never profit or prevail that way. If any man will object and say that many creatures are subdued to many people that are without a God in the world, and which notwithstanding remain in their sin, I answer, that God's dispensing in mercy with our iniquity, or other men's, is no impeachment of the truth of this doctrine; nay rather, it should the more further us, not only in thankfulness to Him for His goodness, but in valiancy and courage to. combat against iniquity, and that unto blood, because we already have half a victory, and may be sure of all needful supply in order to complete the victory.

(Thomas Wilcocks.)

Was "Gittith" a tune or instrument brought from Gath? (1 Samuel 27:2) This exquisite ode, which can only reach its fulfilment in Christ (Hebrews 2:6-9), was evidently composed at night. It probably dates from the early shepherd days, when wild creatures crept around the fold, and night. birds screamed, reminding the singer of the animal world, as constituting the human kingdom.

I. THE INSCRIPTION (ver. 1). Jehovah our Lord. Our Lord Jesus is here.

II. THE ASCRIPTION (vers. 1, 2). His name excellent, and so mighty that His strength communicated to babes is mere than enough to vanquish and silence His foes (1 Corinthians 1:25; Matthew 21:16).

III. THE COMPARISON (vers. 3, 4). At first sight there is a great descent from the glory of the heavens to frail man. But we may not confound size and greatness. There are as many worlds of wonder too minute for our vision as there are which are too great for our understanding.

IV. THE COMPENSATION (vers. 5-8). Man, though so seemingly insignificant, was only a little lower than the angels, and is invested with the vicegerency of the lower orders of creation (Genesis 1:26). As yet the Psalm is fulfilled only in Jesus. But it shall be restored to man (Isaiah 11:6-9).

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)


1. His excellence fills the earth — in its natural constitution, in its human history, and in its redemptive economy.

2. His excellency is above the heavens. How high are the heavens!

II. AS HONOURING THE FEEBLEST INSTRUMENTALITY. He does not depend, like human sovereigns, on the great and mighty. History abounds with examples of God accomplishing great ends by feeble means — such as, the exodus of the Jews by Moses, the redemption of the world by Christ, the propagation of the gospel by feeble men. This truth serves to cheek an unholy humility, and also an unholy pride.

III. AS CREATING THE WONDERS OF THE STELLAR HEAVENS. Here is a figurative mode of representing the skill and delicacy of the work — "the work of Thy fingers. How does the study of the heavens impress man with the glory of God!

IV. AS REGARDING MANKIND WITH HIS SPECIAL FAVOUR. The Psalmist seems to be impressed with God's infinite goodness to man in three respects.

1. In the greatness of the attention He pays him.

2. In the greatness of the nature He has given him.

3. In the greatness of the authority He entrusts to him. This Psalm reminds us of our heavenly origin, wonderful natures, and sublime destinies.


How affecting to the mind is the traditional and immemorial suppression of the name "Jehovah." Though false in principle and destitute of Scripture authority, it cannot be denied that this reticence has something almost sublime about it, and is far better than the frivolous levity with which God's holy name is tossed from mouth to mouth, not only in profane discussion, but even in courts of justice, not to say in the pulpit and in ordinary religious speech. Religious awe was no doubt indicated by the suppression of this name, and could not have been associated with a more legitimate or worthy object than that pregnant tetragrammaton, in the four characters of which, as in a sacramental symbol, is wrapped up the germ, or rather the quintessence, of that wonderful preparatory system which excited and sustained the expectation of the Saviour until He came. We cannot tell all the reasons for the use of the two principal Divine names by the sacred writers in specific cases, but there can be little doubt that Jehovah is distinguished in the Hebrew Scriptures from all other names of the Godhead as the name of the God of Israel, His Church, His chosen people. Elohim was a generic name which was common to the true God with all others, but Jehovah was the name of God as in especial covenant with His people. It suggested no vague idea of divinity, but was a much warmer name, telling of God as making Himself known to and dwelling in the midst of them. But the name itself does not signify anything of this singular relation, it suggests nothing of a local or national kind, but only tells of God as the self-existent, independent, and eternal essence, "I am what I am." This may have been in order to remind Israel that He was not a God distinct from the Creator of the universe, but the one sole self-existent one. And there was need for such precaution, for never was a people more prone to arrogate to themselves exclusive possession in God. They would not allow that He was the God of the Gentiles also, and from this the fatal step was almost unavoidable to the conclusion that their God was not the God of nature or the universe, but either the antagonistic principle in some monstrous scheme of dualism, or an inferior Deity restricted to the Holy Land. And so the Greeks and Romans learned to sneer at the provincial God of Palestine. The Scriptures contain the clearest exposition of the true sense of the name Jehovah, and declare His name glorious in all the earth. They describe the heavens as the work of His fingers. Hence, as men saw His glory they saw too their own littleness, and wondered that God should remember man. It is not, however, before their material works that man is called to bow, for matter is no more above mind on a largo scale than on a smaller one, no more in the earth than in a clod, in a sea than in a drop. Mind is ever superior to matter. Hence the Psalm boldly declares of man, "Thou hast made him to lack little of divinity" — for so the words affirm, — "Thou hast crowned him with glory and honour." And yet more because of man's moral resemblance to God. But though unfallen man might have triumphed in this blessed likeness, how can we who have fallen away from it so terribly? How, then, could David so speak of man? He could not had he deemed that likeness irrevocably lost. He contemplates man as saved in Christ, not only reinstated, but exalted higher — "The first man is of the earth earthy, the second man is the Lord from heaven." Contemplate, then, the glorious face of nature, and remember what man once was, what he is, and what he yet shall be. Then shall we, as Stephen, exclaim, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God." Read, then, the name of God our King and Saviour traced in letters of light upon the whole material universe.

(J. Addison Alexander, D. D.)

Gracious affections spring from the beauty and excellence of Divine things. "Christian love is the fountain of all gracious affections. The Divine excellency and glory of God and of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the works of God and the ways of God, are the primary reasons why a true saint loves these things; and not any supposed interest that he has in them, or any conceived benefit that he has received from them. Self-love cannot properly be said to be the first foundation of his love to these things."


1. Self-love is a principle that is entirely natural, and hence cannot be the foundation of what is gracious or spiritual (Luke 6:32).

2. Self-love is also the foundation of gratitude in the world's people.

3. Self-love may give rise to a sort of love to God. False education will make men grateful to a God of their own imagination. Insensibility to the heinousness of sin may move the natural affections toward a being they imagine to be like themselves.

II. THE HYPOCRITE. The genesis of their affections follows much the order of the world's people.

1. They rejoice in themselves.

2. They secondarily rejoice in God because He is so good to them, and has made so much of them.

3. They rejoice in their own experiences.

4. Their affections are moved by impulses, pride, conceit, and selfish considerations.

5. They are great talkers about themselves. If we will believe them, they are no ordinary saints.


1. They contemplate and adore the matchless perfections of God, the beauty of Christ, the sweetness of grace, the wisdom of redemption, the completeness of God's law, and the like. A natural affection does not have its chief roots in such a soil as this.

2. Secondarily, they rejoice that so glorious a Being is theirs.

3. Then they love God because of His marvellous kindness and unparalleled condescension (Psalm 116:1).

4. In God's goodness they see a mirror that reflects the beauty, the grace and the perfection of His being and attributes, and from hence are begotten a holy gratitude and a heavenly love.

5. "The saints' love to God is the fruit of God's love to them, as it is the gift of that love."

6. As is the genesis of love, so is the genesis of spiritual joy, delight, and pleasure: "All my springs are in Thee" (Psalm 87:7).

(L. O. Thompson.)


1. A hymn of praise to the Creator, giving glory to "Jehovah our Lord." By His "Name" we understand His revealed nature, as made manifest in His —

(1)works of creation (vers. 3, 6, 7, 8);

(2)acts of salvation (vers. 4, 5).

2. A Messianic hymn —

(1)referred by Christ to Himself (Matthew 21:16);

(2)quoted of Him (Hebrews 2:6-9; 1 Corinthians 15:27).

3. A hymn of the Ascension. This seems the special thought (Hebrews 2:9, where ver. 5 is alluded to, and Acts 2:33).


1. "Our Lord" Jesus Christ is "the LORD," i.e. JEHOVAH. His "Name" is indeed the Divine Name, for Jesus signifies "JEHOVAH-SAVIOUR" (Hebrews 1:4;-see its lengthened form in Numbers 13:16).

2. "The earth" is the sphere in which the "excellence" of His Name is manifested.

(1)In the past, by the marvellous revelation of His sinless human life, by His mighty words and works, by His sacrifice for sin, and by His "glorious resurrection and ascension."

(2)In the present, by the power of His gospel, subduing, as it is, all things under His feet."

3. "All the earth" shall one day be brought to own that His "Name" is "excellent."

4. Yet His chiefest "glory" is now "set" "above the heavens," to be revealed in its full excellence only when He shall come again to take to Him His power and reign.


1. As a power to salvation (Acts 4:12). He is ascended up on high to perpetually plead the merits of His saving Name. And it is in that Name alone that there is hope for sinners. That Name, "Jehovah-Saviour," means one able and willing to save; and it is the only "excellent" one to which all must look (Isaiah 45:22).

2. As a power to holiness (Acts 2:33). The ascended Saviour has given to the Church the grace of His Holy Spirit, to be implored in His "Name," and sent forth in His "Name" (John 14:26; John 16:24). The Holy Ghost teaches us the "things of Christ," and makes us so realise the excellence of His name, that for it we "count all things but loss."

(T. H. Barnett.)

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