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Psalm One Hundred and Forty Four

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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A Psalm of David.

Psalm 144:1 Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

Psalm 144:2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

Psalm 144:3 LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!

what is man. This verse is similar to Psalm 8:4. Interestingly, however, in Psalm 8:4, “man” is the Hebrew enosh, meaning “mortal man.” In Psalm 144:3, “man” is Adam, the name of the first man, meaning “ruddy man” or “mankind in general.” On the other hand, in Psalm 8:4, “son of man” is ben Adam; whereas in Psalm 144:3, “son of man” is ben enosh. Since both psalms were written by David, he must have had some reason for this shift in emphasis. The emphasis in Psalm 8 is on man's dominion; in Psalm 144, it is on man's frailty and need of salvation.

Psalm 144:4 Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

days are as a shadow. Moses wrote that man's days are like “a tale that is told” (Psalm 90:9), James said they were like “a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). Job, like David, here, said that “our days upon earth are a shadow” (Job 8:9), even though he lived another 140 years after that (Job 42:16). We must live whatever days we may have in light of eternity.

Psalm 144:5 Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.

Psalm 144:6 Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them.

Psalm 144:7 Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children;

Psalm 144:8 Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

Psalm 144:9 I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

new song. See note on Psalm 33:3 and note on Psalm 149:1.

Psalm 144:10 It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword.

Psalm 144:11 Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood:

Psalm 144:12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:

Psalm 144:13 That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:

Psalm 144:14 That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.

Psalm 144:15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

Happy is that people. The word “happy” (or “blessed”) is used twice in this concluding verse of his next-to-last psalm of Book IV of the Psalms (see note on Psalm 145:21).