Hengestenberg considers it's title "Upon Mahalath" to mean "Upon the sickness", the moral sore and sickness described in the Psalm. A instrument may be intended, used for melancholy subjects. Gesenius has found an Ethiopic root signifying "to sing."
Messiah is the speaker far more than David. Though David could call the sheep of the house of Israel "my people" as being given him by the Lord, yet it is Messiah who tends to speak this way. He is the shepherd whose voice we recognise here, saying "they eat up MY people" (v4).
It is He who describes our world's condition - Oh, how unlike the heaven He had left! But amid the flood, He describes the waters receding. He sees the overflow of the ungodly (v5) and from where the grand deliverance will come (v7). Deliverance will appear on Zion's walls. "Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22).
From Israel comes the Saviour, born at Bethlehem, but crucified, rising, ascending at Jerusalem. Out of Israel too comes life from the dead to the world, when the Redeemer returns again, for "Behold darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people. But, the Lord shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising£ (Isaiah 55:2,3)
Let us then read this Psalm as our Lord's report on the state of the earth and its multitudes.
- v1. O Father, they are denying that you have any being. The whole earth is replenished with fools who say in their heart; there is no God. They are corrupt. They are doing abominable things. There is none who does good.
- v2. O sons of men, the cry of earth's wickedness came up to heaven. The Lord looked down to see if there were any who understood and sought after God.
- v3. Alas! It is altogether according to the cry. They are all gone astray. They have all become filthy. None do good. NO, NOT ONE.
- v4. Yet they do not see their folly. Who has bewitched them? Have they no knowledge that theyeat up my people and do not call on Jehovah?
- v5. But their damnation does not sleep. On the very spot where their folly has been wrought I see them trembling. Terror overtakes them; for God is among the generation of the righteous.
- v6. Where now is your mouth with which you said: who is the Lord that we hsould serve Him? Is this not the peopel who you despised? You cast shame on the counsel of the poor, because he made the Lord his refuge. You scorned the policy of those who made the Lord their wisdom; but the Lord has now laught you to scorn.
- v7. O let the day dawn and the shadows flee away. Come quickly, year of my redeemed! Isaiah 58:4.
"Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad. At the Lord's bringing back the captivity of His people."
Let the time come when earth shall hear Israel's shouts of joy at the opening of their prison, at the termination of their exile, at the restoration of their long-lost prosperity, at the return of their Shepherd to dwell among them.
For when the earth shall hear that shout of joy, it shall be a token that now the time has arrived for the full accomplishment of that promise to Abraham: in your seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed.
Thus, does the true Righteous One survey the world lying in wickedness and turn his eye toward the dawn of day, every member sympathising with the Head. We may describe the Psalm as a setting forth of - The Righteous One's view of earth, and its prospects.