Psalm 61:5
For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.
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(5) Heritage.—As the Authorised Version runs, the heritage is length of days, one promised generally to those who fear Jehovah (Proverbs 10:27; Proverbs 19:23), and particularly to Israel (Deuteronomy 6:2) and its kings (Deuteronomy 17:19-20, which passage may have been in the psalmist’s mind). But the LXX. and Vulg. read, “to them that fear thy name,” meaning, of course, by the heritage, Canaan.

Psalm 61:5. For thou, O God, hast heard my vows — My fervent prayers, attended with vows and promises, as was usual, especially in cases of great danger or difficulty. Thou hast taken notice of them; thou hast accepted them, because they were made in sincerity, and hast been well pleased with them. We ought always to remember that God is a witness to all our vows, all our good purposes, and solemn promises of new obedience. He keeps an account of them, which should be a sufficient reason with us (as it was with David here) why we should perform our vows. For he that hears the vows we make, will cause us to hear from him if they be not made good. Thou hast given me the heritage, &c. — Thou hast allotted me my portion with and among them that fear and worship thee, who are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight, and upon that account I must acknowledge it to thy praise, that I have a goodly heritage. Thou hast granted me this singular mercy, to live in thy land, to enjoy thy presence, and to worship in thy tabernacle; which is the heritage which all, that fear thee, prize and desire above all things.

61:5-8 There is a people in the world that fear God's name. There is a heritage peculiar to that people; present comforts in the soul, earnests of future bliss. Those that fear God have enough in him, and must not complain. We need desire no better heritage than that of those who fear God. Those abide to good purpose in this world, who abide before God, serve him, and walk in his fear; those who do so, shall abide before him for ever. And these words are to be applied to Him of whom the angel said, the Lord shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and of his kingdom there shall be no end, Lu 1:32. God's promises, and our faith in them, are not to do away, but to encourage prayer. We need not desire to be better secured than under the protection of God's mercy and truth. And if we partake of that grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ, we may praise him, whatever be our outward circumstances. But renewed experience of God's mercy and truth towards his people in Christ, is the main matter of our joy in him, and our praise unto him.For thou, O God, hast heard my vows - That is, my prayers accompanied with solemn pledges or promises that I will devote myself to thy service. In some way David had the assurance that those vows and prayers had been heard; that God would answer his supplications - that he would restore him to his home, and to the privilege of uniting with others in the sacred services of the sanctuary. In what way he had this assurance we are not informed, but the statement here accords with what we often find in the Psalms. His troubled mind became calm, for he looked upon the blessing as already granted. He entertained no doubt that what he had asked would be bestowed. The mind of a true believer often feels this assurance now. Somehow he feels an undoubting persuasion that the prayer which he has offered has been heard; that God will be merciful; that the blessing which has been sought will assuredly be conferred. That there may be danger of illusion here, no one can doubt - for we are not, as David was, inspired; but no one can prove that God may not impart such a gracious assurance to the soul; no one can show that it is wrong for a believer to allow peace to flow into his soul, in the confident hope that the blessing which he had sought will be his.

Thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name - The heirship which pertains to such; the privileges of those who are the true children of God. One of these privileges is that of prayer; another is the peace which results from adoption into the family of God; of feeling that we are his heirs. Compare the notes at Romans 8:16-17.

5. the heritage—or, part in the spiritual blessings of Israel (Ps 21:2-4).

vows—implies prayers.

5 For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.

6 Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and his years as many generations.

7 He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.

8 So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.

Psalm 61:5

"For thou, O God, hast heard my vows." Proofs of divine faithfulness are to be had in remembrance, and to be mentioned to the Lord's honour. The prayer of Psalm 61:1 is certain of an answer because of the experience of Psalm 61:5, since we deal with an immutable God. "Vows" may rightly be joined with prayers when they are lawful, well-considered, and truly for God's glory. It is great mercy on God's part to take any notice of the vows and promises of such faithless and deceitful creatures as we are. What we promise him is his due already, and yet he deigns to accept our vows as if we were not so much his servants as his free suitors who could give or withhold at pleasure. "Thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name." We are made heirs, joint-heirs with all the saints, partakers of the same portion. With this we ought to be delighted. If we suffer, it is the heritage of the saints; if we are persecuted, are in poverty, or in temptation, all this is contained in the title-deeds of the heritage of the chosen. Those we are to sup with we may well be content to dine with. We have the same inheritance as the First-born himself; what better is conceivable? Saints are described as fearing the name of God; they are reverent worshippers; they stand in awe of the Lord's authority; they are afraid of offending him, they feel their own nothingness in the sight of the Infinite One. To share with such men, to be treated by God with the same favour as he metes out to them, is matter for endless thanksgiving. All the privileges of all the saints are also the privilege of each one.

Psalm 61:6

"Thou will prolong the king's life;" or, better, "days to the days of the King thou wilt add." Death threatened, but God preserved his beloved. David, considering his many perils, enjoyed a long and prosperous reign. "And his years as many generations." He lived to see generation after generation personally; in his descendants he lived as king through a very long period; his dynasty continued for many generations; and in Christ Jesus, his seed and son, spiritually David reigns on evermore. Thus he who began at the foot of the rock, half drowned, and almost dead, is here led to the summit, and sings as a priest abiding in the tabernacle, a king ruling with God for ever, and a prophet foretelling good things to come, (Psalm 61:7.) See the uplifting power of faith and prayer. None so low but they may yet be set on high.

Psalm 61:7

"He shall abide before God for ever." Though this is true of David in a modified sense, we prefer to view the Lord Jesus as here intended as the lineal descendant of David, and the representative of his royal race. Jesus is enthroned before God to eternity; here is our safety, dignity, and delight. We reign in him; in him we are made to sit together in the heavenlies. David's personal claim to sit enthroned for ever is but a foreshadowing of the revealed privilege of all true believers. "O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him." As men cry, "Long live the king," so we hail with acclamation our enthroned Immanuel, and cry, "Let mercy and truth preserve him." Eternal love and immutable faithfulness are the bodyguards of Jesus' throne, and they are both the providers and the preservers of all those who in him are made kings and priests unto God. We cannot keep ourselves, and nothing short of divine mercy and truth can do it; but these both can and will, nor shall the least of the people of God be suffered to perish.

Psalm 61:8

"So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever." Because my prayer is answered, my song shall be perpetual; because Jesus for ever sits at thy right hand, it shall be acceptable; because I am preserved in him, it shall be grateful. David had given vocal utterance to his prayer by a cry; he will now give expression to his praise by a song: there should be a parallel between our supplications and our thanksgivings. We ought not to leap in prayer, and limp in praise. The vow to celebrate the divine name "for ever" is no hyperbolical piece of extravagance, but such as grace and glory shall enable us to carry out to the letter. "That I may daily perform my vows." To God who adds days to our days we will devote all our days. We vowed perpetual praise, and we desire to render it without intermission. We would worship God de die in diem, going right on as the days roll on. We ask no vacation from this heavenly vocation; we would make no pause in this sacred service. God daily performs his promises, let us daily perform our vows: he keeps his covenant let us not forget ours. Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth, even for evermore.

My vows; my fervent prayers, attended with many vows and promises, as was usual, especially in cases of great danger or difficulty, Genesis 28:20 Judges 11:30,31. Thou hast allotted me my portion with and amongst them that fear and worship thee, who are the

excellent ones, in whom is all my delight; and upon that account I must acknowledge it to thy praise, that the lines are fallen to me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage, Psalm 16:3,6. Thou hast granted me this singular mercy, to live in God’s land, and to enjoy his presence and favour, and to worship in his tabernacle; which is the heritage that I and all that fear thee prize and desire above all things in the world.

For thou, O God, hast heard my vows,.... Or "my prayers", as the Septuagint and other versions. Vows are so called, because it was usual to make vows in trouble, when prayer was made to the Lord for help and deliverance, Psalm 66:13. This is a reason why the psalmist was encouraged to put his trust in the Lord, because his prayers were heard by him; or he was sure they would be, as he had entreated, Psalm 61:1. The past is put for the future, as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe; and it may be because of the certainty of his prayers being heard; and which may be concluded from the Lord's declaring himself a God hearing prayer, from the prevalent mediation of Christ, from the assistance and intercession of the Spirit, and from the exercise of faith in prayer, and the divine promises; or while he was crying to God an answer was returned, and he was delivered out of his troubles, Isaiah 65:24. Another reason follows:

thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name: not the land of Israel, as Aben Ezra and Jarchi; which was given for an inheritance to the posterity of Abraham, Psalm 105:11; and which was never more fully in their possession than in the times of David: nor the tabernacle or sanctuary of the Lord, as Kimchi; where he desired to dwell, Psalm 61:4; and now had his request granted: but the heavenly glory, the incorruptible inheritance, the inheritance of the saints in light, prefigured by them both; which is the gift of God their Father to them his children; comes to them through the death of Christ the testator; is not of the law, and the works of it; is not acquired nor purchased; but is owing to the free grace of God; to predestinating grace, as the source of it; to justifying grace, through the righteousness of Christ, as the right unto it; and to regenerating and sanctifying grace, as the meetness for it. Wherefore it manifestly belongs to those that "fear the name of the Lord", himself, his perfections, particularly his goodness; who adore and admire, serve and worship him, internally and externally; not with a slavish fear, but with a filial godly fear. The Targum renders it,

"thou hast given an inheritance to them that fear thy name;''

that in the King's Bible is,

"an inheritance in the world to come;''

so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and the Oriental versions; and which sense is given by Aben Ezra. It may be understood of them that fear the Lord, being the inheritance itself; as they are of Christ, David's son and antitype, and who is designed in Psalm 61:6, see Deuteronomy 32:9, Psalm 2:8.

For thou, O God, {c} hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.

(c) There is nothing that strengthens our faith more than the memory of God's help in times past.

5. host heard my vows] Vows accompanied by prayers.

thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name] Me is not in the original; and it is best to supply the remoter object of the verb from the complement of the nearer object, and render with LXX, (Vulg.), Jer., P.B.V., thou hast given (their) possession to them that fear thy name. ‘Possession’ is the term regularly used of Israel’s ‘occupation’ of the land of Canaan (Deuteronomy 2:19; Deuteronomy 3:18; &c.; Psalm 37:9; Psalm 37:11; Psalm 37:22; Psalm 37:29; Psalm 37:34). The collapse of Absalom’s rebellion has restored the true and loyal Israelites, who shewed their fear of God’s name by adhering to the king of His choice, to the possession of their rightful inheritance, from which they were in danger of being expelled.

It is best to regard the perfects not as ‘perfects of confidence’ that his prayers will surely be heard, but as referring to past experience. The insurrection has been crushed: but the king awaits restoration (Psalm 61:4).

5–8. Such prayers David can offer in confidence, for his prayers have already been partially answered. He can look forward in faith to the fulfilment of the promises God has made to His king, and he will spend the rest of his life in grateful thanksgiving.

Verse 5. - For thou, O God, hast heard my vows. Thou hast heard me so often in the past, thou hast granted so many of my prayers, accepted so many of my vows, that I am emboldened to make further requests. Thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy Name. All the blessed inheritance of thy saints thou hast made mine, and, included in it, boldness to approach the throne of grace in full assurance of faith, and to present to thee my petitions. Psalm 61:5The second part begins with a confirmation of the gracious purpose of God expressed in Psalm 61:5. David believes that he shall experience what he gives expression to in Psalm 61:5; for God has already practically shown him that neither his life nor his kingship shall come to an end yet; He has answered the prayers of His chosen one, that, blended with vows, resulted from the lowly, God-resigned spirit which finds expression in 2 Samuel 15:25., and He has given or delivered up to him the land which is his by inheritance, when threatened by the rebels as robbers, - the land to which those who fear the covenant God have a just claim. It is clear enough that the receivers are "those who fear the name of Jahve;" the genitive relation describes the ירשּׁה as belonging to them in opposition to those who had usurped it. Or does ירשּׁה here perhaps mean the same as ארשׁת in Psalm 21:3? Certainly not. נתן ירשּׁה ל is a customary phrase, the meaning of which, "to give anything to any one as his inheritance or as his own property," is to be retained (e.g., Deuteronomy 2:19). God has acknowledged David's cause; the land of Israel is again wrested from those to whom it does not belong; and now begins a new era in the reign of its rightful king. In view of this the king prays, in Psalm 61:7, Psalm 61:8, that God would add another goodly portion to the duration of his life. The words sound like intercession, but the praying one is the same person as in Psalm 61:2-5. The expression מלכּא משׁיחא (the King Messiah) of the Targum shows to whom the church referred the word "king" after the extinction of the Davidic dynasty. The exalted tone of the wish expressed in Psalm 61:7 (cf. Joel 2:2) favours this without absolutely requiring it (cf. עולמים, Psalm 61:5, Psalm 21:5, and the royal salutation, 1 Kings 1:31; Daniel 2:4, and frequently). There ought (as also e.g., in Psalm 9:8) not to be any question whether ישׁב in Psalm 61:8 signifies "to sit enthroned," or "to sit" equals "to abide;" when the person spoken of is a king it means "to remain enthroned," for with him a being settled down and continuous enthronement are coincident. מן in Psalm 61:8 is imperat. apoc. for מגּה (after the form הס, נס, צו). The poet prays God to appoint mercy and truth as guardian angels to the king (Psalm 40:12, Proverbs 20:28, where out of pause it is צּרוּ; cf. on the other hand Psalm 78:7; Proverbs 2:11; Proverbs 5:2). Since the poet himself is the king for whom he prays, the transition to the first person in v. 9 is perfectly natural. כּן signifies, as it always does, so or thus equals in accordance therewith, corresponding to the fulfilment of these my petitions, thankfully responding to it. לשׁלּמי is the infinitive of the aim or purpose. Singing praise and accompanying it with music, he will make his whole life one continuous paying of vows.
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