A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath day.
1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night,
3 On an instrument of ten strings,
On the lute,
And on the harp,
With harmonious sound.
4 For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands.
5 O Lord, how great are Your works!
Your thoughts are very deep.
6 A senseless man does not know,
Nor does a fool understand this.
7 When the wicked spring up like grass,
And when all the workers of iniquity flourish,
It is that they may be destroyed forever.
8 But You, Lord, are on high forevermore.
9 For behold, Your enemies, O Lord,
For behold, Your enemies shall perish;
All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
10 But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox;
I have been anointed with fresh oil.
11 My eye also has seen my desire on my enemies;
My ears hear my desire on the wicked
Who rise up against me.
12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
my desire (v.11) —
To be sung on the Sabbath Day (according to ancient Jewish tradition, this psalm was sung by the Levites in the Second Temple at the time of the daily Sabbath offering). This unique psalmic association with the Sabbath (i.e., seventh day) is underscored by the observation that this is also the only psalm in which the Tetragrammaton (i.e., the divine name “Yahweh,” typically translated “LORD”) is repeated seven times—which number signifies perfection/completion and hence emphasizes the perfection not only of the original pre-Fall Sabbath, but also of the final, perfected Sabbath which the believer has already entered into by faith (Hebrews 4:9-10), and of which the weekly Sabbath was intended to be a continual reminder. — Wechsler, pages 223-224.
The psalmist begins by praising God for the very fact that he is able to give thanks to Him (v.1)—i.e., he recognizes that doing so (like worship in general) is not a right, but a privilege, granted on the basis not of the psalmist’s personal merit, but of God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness. — Wechsler, page 224
Since persecution by the ungodly is an inevitable component in the lives of “all those who desire to live godly” (2 Timothy 2:12), this model of weekly prayer—which is intended to contribute to the spiritual-psychological “recharging” of the believer—here reminds the worshiper that this life is but a drop in the ocean of eternity, and that the “sprouting up” (i.e., flourishing) of the wicked is like the grass. Though God in His forbearance may allow some among those who do iniquity (… indicates an ongoing, undiminished [i.e., unrepentant] lifestyle) a brief time to flourish (that, ideally, they might repent), He will inevitably requite them with destruction forevermore. — Wechsler, page 224.
[This section (vs.10-15) focuses] not only on what God has already done for the psalmist—i.e., that He has exalted his horn (symbolizing the giving of strength, based in God’s salvation) and anointed him with fresh oil (symbolizing the giving of joy)—but also on what God will yet do for him—i.e., that He will be planted (lit. transplanted) in the house of the Lord and flourish in His courts. — Wechsler, page 225.
Travelers through a wilderness soon grow weary. They need rest. So appropriately this third Wilderness Psalm sings of the Sabbath. Israel will be the singer on the morning of the Sabbath day of Hebrews 4. That is the Sabbath intended in the superscription. Then will be fulfilled the promise of the previous Psalm (v.14). “I will set Him on high.” For Christ is God’s Sabbath. God rests with infinite repose in Him, and He invites man to share that rest with Him. … Israel here sins of Him and addresses Him as Jehovah (v.1), Elyon (v.1), and Elohim (v.13). — Williams, page 371