Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for your mercies' sake.
"O Lord, return" implies a former presence, a present absence, and a confidence for the future. This is God's return to us, in a general apprehension. After He hath made us, and blest us in our nature and by His natural means, He returns to make us again, to make us better, first by His preventing grace and then by a succession of His particular graces. In Scripture there are three significations of the word translated "return."
1. To return to that place to which a thing is naturally affected. So heavy things return to the centre, and light things to the expansion. The Church is God's place, God's centre, to which He is naturally affected.
2. The word is also referred to the passion of God, to the anger of God; and so the returning of God — that is, of God's anger — is the allaying, the becalming, the departing of His anger. When God returns, God stays; His anger is returned from us, but God is still with us.
3. The word applies to our returning to Him. There goes no more to salvation but such a turning. So that this returning of the Lord is an operative, an effectual returning, that tunes our hearts, and eyes, and hands, and feet to the ways of God, and produces in us repentance and obedience; for these be the two legs which our conversion to God stands upon. When the Lord comes to us by any way, though He come in corrections, in chastisements, not to turn to Him is an irreverent and unrespective negligence We come now to the reasons of these petitions in David's prayer. His first reason is grounded on God Himself. "Do it for Thy mercy's sake." And in his second reason, though David himself and all men with him seem to have a part, yet at last we shall see the reason itself to determine wholly or entirely in God, too, and in His glory. "Do it, Lord, for in death there is no remembrance of Thee."
Parallel VersesKJV: Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.