A Hallelujah to the True Helper.
This psalm, whose author is not known, is the first of the five Hallelujah Psalms with which the psalter closes, an invitation to praise the Lord for the merciful and faithful exercise of His power, especially in acts of kindness to the needy. V. 1. Praise ye the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul, this invitation, addressed to himself, placing the poet in the right mood to continue his hymn with all the vigor of a heart charged with the consciousness of God’s fatherly grace and kindness. V. 2. While I live, will I praise the Lord, the believer’s whole life being filled with songs of thanksgiving to Him whose compassion is new every morning. I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being, singing psalms to Him with the most joyful accompaniment upon musical instruments to express the ecstasy of his heart in some adequate manner. V. 3. Put not your trust in princes, in any of the mighty ones of the earth, nor in the son of man, in any frail human being, in whom there is no help, Ps. 60, 11. V. 4. His breath goeth forth, or, “when his breath ascends,” mortal as he is, when he must yield up his spirit, he returneth to his earth, from which the substance of man’s body was originally taken, “earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” Job 14, 1. 2; in that very day his thoughts perish, all his plans are overthrown, whence it follows that reliance upon human beings is foolish. V. 5. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob, the one true, almighty, and eternal God, for his help, whose hope is in the Lord, his God, who looks up to the Lord in firm trust, with the feeling of fellowship, of possession; v. 6. which made heaven and earth, the sea and all that therein is, who is, in short, the almighty Creator of the universe; which keepeth truth forever, fulfilling all His promises with regard to the welfare of men; v. 7. which executeth judgment for the oppressed, proving Himself the Champion of those who are suffering from oppression; which giveth food to the hungry, supplying all men with their daily bread, manifesting Himself as the Provider of all those who look to Him for maintenance. The thought is now brought out in a series of direct statements. The Lord looseth the prisoners, taking from them the yoke and the fetters of their captivity; v. 8. the Lord openeth the eyes of the blind, giving them sight; the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down, bearing the heavy burden of trials and sorrows; the Lord loveth the righteous, the believers to whom His righteousness has been imputed by faith and who strive to walk in His paths; v. 9. the Lord preserveth the strangers, who were usually regarded with suspicion and treated with scorn; He relieveth the fatherless and the widow, widows and orphans being so often in need of a protector; but the way of the wicked He turneth upside down, directing their steps, on their persistently crooked way, toward the destruction of hell. All this, of course, is typical of the manner in which the Lord deals in spiritual matters, the application being made very frequently in the New Testament. Therefore the psalmist concludes: v. 10. The Lord shall reign forever, delighting most to rule in love, even thy God, O Zion, the congregation of believers, the Church of God, unto all generations. The eternal duration of Jehovah’s kingdom is also the pledge of its glorious perfection, as the Church Triumphant. Praise ye the Lord! Hallelujah to Him now and in eternity!