Psalms 144:5 MEANING

Psalm 144:5
(5) Come down.--The theophany for which the psalmist prays is described in the classic language for such manifestations taken from Psalm 18:9; Psalm 18:13; Psalm 18:16-17; Psalm 18:43; Psalm 18:45, with reminiscences of Psalm 104:32; Exodus 19:18. But there are touches of originality, as in the next clause.

Verse 5. - Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down. The strain changes. From praise of God's loving-kindness and might, the psalmist proceeds to invoke his aid. Taking his metaphors from Psalm 18:9. "Bow thy heavens, O Lord," he says, "and come down" to earth - appear in thy might, to the discomfiture of thy enemies and the relief of thy faithful ones. Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Do as thou wert pleased to do at Sinai, when thou showedst thyself - "Touch the mountains, and let a smoke go up from them" (see Exodus 19:16, 18; Deuteronomy 4:11; Psalm 18:7-14) - a consuming fire, that shall burn up the ungodly.

144:1-8 When men become eminent for things as to which they have had few advantages, they should be more deeply sensible that God has been their Teacher. Happy those to whom the Lord gives that noblest victory, conquest and dominion over their own spirits. A prayer for further mercy is fitly begun with a thanksgiving for former mercy. There was a special power of God, inclining the people of Israel to be subject to David; it was typical of the bringing souls into subjection to the Lord Jesus. Man's days have little substance, considering how many thoughts and cares of a never-dying soul are employed about a poor dying body. Man's life is as a shadow that passes away. In their highest earthly exaltation, believers will recollect how mean, sinful, and vile they are in themselves; thus they will be preserved from self-importance and presumption. God's time to help his people is, when they are sinking, and all other helps fail.Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down,.... The heavens, which the Lord has made, and where he dwells; and which are under his influence, and he can cause to incline or bow at his pleasure: and which literally may be said to bow, particularly the airy heavens, when these are filled with clouds heavy with rain, and hang low, ready to fall upon the earth, and being rent, let down showers on it: and mystically may design storms of wrath gathering over the heads of ungodly men, and revealed from heaven against them. Or rather, as connected with the phrase, "and come down", denotes some appearance or manifestation of God; either for the help and assistance of his people; or in a way of vengeance against their enemies; or both: and which descent must be understood in consistence with the omnipresence of God; and supposes his habitation to be on high, and is expressive of regard to the persons and affairs of men on earth; and is by some considered as a prayer for the incarnation of Christ, which is sometimes signified by coming down from heaven; not by change of place, nor by bringing an human nature, soul or body, down with him from heaven; but by the assumption of our nature; and which was greatly wished, prayed, and longed for, by the Old Testament saints The Targum is,

"O Lord, bow the heavens, and manifest thyself;''

see Psalm 18:9;

touch the mountains, and they shall smoke; as Mount Sinai did when the Lord descended on it, Exodus 19:18; see Psalm 104:32; These, according to Kimchi, signify mighty kings, strong as mountains: so kingdoms are sometimes called; as the Babylonian empire is called a mountain, a destroying and burnt mountain, Zechariah 4:7. Such kings and kingdoms rose up like mountains against Christ, when here incarnate; and against his Gospel, and the ministry of it by his apostles; as the kingdom and nation of the Jews, and the whole Pagan empire: but these, by a touch of his almighty power, have vanished into smoke, Psalm 2:1, Revelation 8:8.

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