Title. “Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the Lord, concerning the word of Cush the Benjamite.”—”Shiggaion of David.” As far as we can gather from the observations of learned men, and from a comparison of this Psalm with the only other Shiggaion in the Word of God, (Habakkuk 3:1), this title seems to mean “variable songs,” with which also the idea of solace and pleasure is associated. Truly our life-psalm is composed of variable verses; one stanza rolls along with the sublime metre of triumph, but another limps with the broken rhythm of complaint. There is much bass in the saint’s music here below. Our experience is as variable as the weather in England.
From the title we learn the occasion of the composition of this song. It appears probable that Cush the Benjamite had accused David to Saul of treasonable conspiracy against his royal authority. This the king would be ready enough to credit, both from his jealousy of David, and from the relation which most probably existed between himself, the son of Kish, and this Cush, or Kish, the Benjamite. He who is near the throne can do more injury to a subject than an ordinary slanderer.
David appears before God to plead with him against the Accuser, who had charged him with treason and treachery. The case is here opened with an avowal of confidence in God. Whatever may be the emergency of our condition we shall never find it amiss to retain our reliance upon our God.
O Lord my God, mine by a special covenant, sealed by Jesus’ blood, and ratified in my own soul by a sense of union to thee; in thee, and in thee only, do I put my trust, even now in my sore distress. I shake, but my rock moves not. It is never right to distrust God, and never vain to trust him. And now, with both divine relationship and holy trust to strengthen him, David utters the burden of his desire—save me from all them that persecute me. His pursuers were very many, and any one of them cruel enough to devour him; he cries, therefore, for salvation from them all. We should never think our prayers complete until we ask for preservation from all sin, and all enemies.
And deliver me, extricate me from their snares, acquit me of their accusations, give a true and just deliverance in this trial of my injured character. See how clearly his case is stated; let us see to it, that we know what we would have when we are come to the throne of mercy. Pause a little while before you pray, that you may not offer the sacrifice of fools. Get a distinct idea of your need, and then you can pray with the more fluency of fervency.
Title. “Shiggaion,” though some have attempted to fix on it a reference to the moral aspect of the world as depicted in this Psalm, is in all probability to be taken as expressing the nature of the composition. It conveys the idea of something erratic (שָׁגָה, to wander) in the style; something not so calm as other Psalms; and hence Ewald suggests, that it might be rendered, “a confused ode,” a Dithyramb. This characteristic of excitement in the style, and a kind of disorder in the sense, suits Habakkuk 3:1, the only other place where the word occurs. Andrew A. Bonar.
Whole Psalm. Whatever might be the occasion of the Psalm, the real subject seems to be the Messiah’s appeal to God against the false accusations of his enemies; and the predictions which it contains of the final conversion of the whole world, and of the future judgment, are clear and explicit. Samuel Horsley, LL.D., 1733-1806.
O Lord, my God, in thee do I put my trust. This is the first instance in the Psalms where David addresses the Almighty by the united names Jehovah and my God. No more suitable words can be placed at the beginning of any act of prayer or praise. These names show the ground of the confidence afterward expressed. They “denote at once supreme reverence and the most endearing confidence. They convey a recognition of God’s infinite perfections, and of his covenanted and gracious relations.” William S. Plumer.
The necessity of faith when we address ourselves to God. Show the worthlessness of prayer without trust in the Lord.
Ver. 1-2. Viewed as a prayer for deliverance from all enemies, especially Satan the lion.
The Treasury of David.
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