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Commentary On Psalms Volume 1 by Jean Calvin

Psalm 28:6-8

6. Blessed be Jehovah, for he hath heard the voice of my supplication.7. Jehovah is my strength and my shield, my heart hath trusted in him, and I have been helped: therefore shall my heart rejoice, and with my song will I praise him.8. Jehovah is their strength; and he is also the strength of the salvations [or deliverances] of his anointed.

6. Blessed be Jehovah, who hath heard. This is the second part of the psalm in which the prophet begins to give thanks to God. We have already seen how he employed himself in prayer in the midst of his dangers; and now by this thanksgiving he teaches us that his prayers were not in vain. Thus he confirms by his own example, that God is ready to bring help to his people whenever they seek him in truth and sincerity. He declares the same truth more fully in the next verse, calling God his strength and his shield; for he was persuaded that God had heard him from this, that he had been wonderfully preserved. He adds, that he had been helped in respect of his confidence and hope; for it often comes to pass, that those who call upon God, notwithstanding come short of his grace through their own unbelief. Thirdly, he says that he will add to his joy a testimony of his gratitude. Wicked men and hypocrites flee to God when they are overwhelmed with difficulties, but as soon as they escape from them, forgetting their deliverer, they rejoice with frantic mirth. In short, David trusted not in vain, since he truly found by experience that God possesses ever present power to preserve his servants; and that this was matter of true and solid joy to him, that he found God ever favorable to him. On this account, likewise, he promises that he would be mindful of God, and grateful to him. And undoubtedly, when God spreads cheerfulness through our hearts, it is to open our mouths to sing his praises.

8. Jehovah is their strength. By way of explanation, he repeats what he had said before, that God had been his strength; namely, because he had blessed his armies. David had indeed employed the hand and labor of men, but to God alone he ascribes the victory. As he knew that whatever help he had obtained from men proceeded from God, and that his prosperous success flowed likewise from his gratuitous favor, he discerned his hand in these means, as palpably as if it had been stretched forth from heaven. And surely it is passing shameful, that human means, which are only the instruments of God's power, should obscure his glory; although there is no sin more common. It is a manner of speaking which has great weight, when, speaking of his soldiers, he uses only the pronoun their, as if he pointed to them with the finger. The second clause assigns the reason of the other. He declares that himself and his whole army were endued with victorious valor from heaven, because he fought under the standard of God. This is the meaning of the word anointed; for, had not God appointed him king, and freely adopted him, he would not have favored him any more than he did Saul. By this means, in extolling solely the power of God which advanced him to the kingdom, he attributes nothing to his own policy or power. In the meantime, we may learn, that when one is satisfied of the lawfulness of his calling, this doctrine encourages him to entertain good hope with respect to the prosperous issue of his affairs. In particular, it is to be observed, as we have briefly noticed in another place, that the fountain whence all the blessings God bestows upon us flows is, that he hath chosen us in Christ. David employs salvations or deliverances in the plural number, because he had been often and in various ways preserved. The meaning, therefore, is, that from the time when God had anointed him by the hand of Samuel, he never ceased to help him, but delivered him in innumerable ways, until he had accomplished the work of his grace in him.

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