O LORD, do not withhold Your mercy from me; Your loving devotion and truth will always guard me.
Psalm 70. is the same as the close of Psalm 40. But, of course, at this distance of time, data which would fully explain that cannot be expected to be available. Still, it is a great comfort to be permitted to think of this paragraph as being penned at a different time and under different circumstances from those which called forth the preceding ten verses. It would be discouraging, indeed, if we found that in one and the same breath the psalmist was triumphantly set upon a rock, and then in a minute or two bowed down with a weight of woe! We are not called on to entertain such a doleful supposition; and are glad, therefore, to deal with this piteous prayer and plea as standing by itself. It is not difficult to seize the progress of the thought.
I. HERE IS A SOUL IN DEEP DISTRESS. (Ver. 12.) Whether the "evils" are the iniquities themselves, or the form in which those iniquities are brought home to him, is not absolutely clear. Probably the latter is the case. Very often surrounding circumstances may bring to us bitterly painful reminders of past sin. And this may be one of God's means of bringing a soul to repentance through the avenue of remorse and shame.
II. HERE IS AN UTTER ABSENCE OF SYMPATHY FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD. Yea, something more than a lack of sympathy; for there is ridicule (ver. 15), there is joy over his sorrow (ver. 14, latter part); there is even an effort to destroy his peace, and perchance to further a plot against his life. Note: In the moments of deepest distress, when we look for succour from man, we find that the greater part are so engrossed in their own affairs, that they have never a tear to shed over another's sorrows, nor a hand to help in another's needs. This is hard. But it is a part of the discipline of life; and it is made use of by God to drive us to himself.
III. THE PSALMIST IS SHUT UP TO GOD. (Vers. 11, 13, 17.) It is not for nought that we are sometimes shut off from the sympathies of man. However trying, it is an infinite mercy when we are left with God alone. There, however, we have a perpetual Refuge. There are no fewer than four comforting thoughts specified here.
(1) There is the name - Jehovah;
(2) there is the assurance of having a share in the thoughts of God (ver. 17); there is in God
(3) loving-kindness; and
(4) faithfulness. "Thy truth," i.e. thy fidelity to thy promises. Note: Whoever has such a Refuge to which to flee, is well prepared for the worst of times.
IV. TO GOD HE UTTERS A FERVENT, PLEADING PRAYER.
1. One part of his prayer, and a prominent part too, is against his enemies. (Ver. 15.) We need not imitate David here" (see our homily on Psalm 35.). Let us leave our enemies in the hands of God; or, rather, let us pray for them.
2. A second part of his prayer is on behalf of the godly. (Ver. 16.) Note: This indicates that the psalmist was not moved by private feeling only, but by a pious public spirit.
3. A third part of his prayer is for himself. (Vers. 13 and 17.) Note: It will be very selfish of us if we pray only for ourselves, and very unnatural if we do not include ourselves. - C.
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.
(T. Horton, D. D.)
1. By doing all that in us lies to preserve a peaceful conscience during the day. Begin the day with earnest prayer. Our morning prayers may show us what we wish to be, but the temptations of the day show us what we are. Our consciences cannot but be injured, if we are guilty of faults and errors during the day, and take no account of them at the dose of the day. Self-examination gives an earnestness and a reality to the prayer for pardon. If it be true that the last sleep of all makes the sleep of each night more solemn, it is also true that each night's sleep makes the last sleep of all less strange. What is each day but a picture of the whole life, and each night but a picture of death? Then we must do all that in us lies to preserve a peaceful conscience during the years of life.
(W. H. Ranken, M. A.)
Contributors to, Tracts for the Times.This is one of the many verses in the Bible, especially in the Psalms, which, must come home to every heart of man, if read with any degree of simple faith. It sets full before us the most comfortable and refreshing picture or a devout, sober, honest person, after his day's work is ended, his passions kept in order, his sins repented of, and his prayers seriously said, laying himself down to his night's rest, in the full consciousness that he is neither alone nor unguarded; that as there has. been a merciful Eye watching over him, a mighty Hand stretched out to guard him, through the dangers and temptations of the day, so it will be with him in the night also. This entire rest and tranquillity of God's faithful servants, when they lay them down on their bed at night, is beautifully expressed in the text, "I will lay me down 'all together'"; all my powers of mind and body agreeing, as it were, one with another; not torn by violent passions, by desire on the one hand, and remorse on the other. How catholic, how universal is the thought expressed by the Psalmist. There is no one condition of life that it suits better than another. The need of taking rest is an universal law of God's providence over men here in this lower world. As death, so sleep may be truly called a great leveller. As sleep is the image of death, and as the slumber of every night is a kind of sacramental token of that last long sleep, these words may be used for a dying Christian also. Only a Christian has a warrant from Holy Scripture to regard death as no more than a quiet sleep. The Father, acknowledging them as His children, receives them at their death into the everlasting arms. As all the blessings which we have or hope for depend on the Passion of our Lord and Saviour, so this blessing of taking our rest, whether in our bed or in the grave, seems to bear an especial relation to the mystery of the burial of Jesus Christ. Our warrant for our hope is that the Son of God died for us, bought us to be His own in such sort, that we should be really joined to Him, mystically made members of His body. As members, inseparable members, of the Man Christ Jesus, we hope to have our bodies buried with Him; and for our souls, our true selves, we hope that when they pass away from our bodies they may be with Him that day in Paradise. Except we have this hope in us, we cannot apply to ourselves the comfortable words of this Psalm. How is it that in sleep, and still more in death, Christian men may humbly depend on a peculiar presence of our Lord Jesus Christ to guard them?
1. Because He is King, who has promised, "He that keepeth thee will not sleep."
2. In this act of lying down comes in the remembrance and the power of our Lord's sacrifice. That deep sleep of His, on the Cross and in the grave, has sanctified and blessed the sleep of all penitent Christians for all time to come, whether in their beds or in the bosom of the earth. Sin and its punishment, disease and misery, is the great disturber of sleep. Then to have a reasonable hope, grounded on a good conscience, that blemished as you are with many infirmities, you have not forfeited the blessing of Christ's death; this is the secret of good nights, and a comfortable death time. Again, we are taught in Holy Scripture to regard the Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ as one very especial safeguard for the sleeping, until they wake, and for the dead, until they rise again.
(Contributors to "Tracts for the Times.)
( C. H. Spurgeon.).
Give ear to my words, O Lord.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
1. The prophet prayeth the Lord to hear his prayer; which thing the wicked cannot, or may not hope for.
2. He beseecheth the Lord to direct him, that the enemies might take no advantage of him; whose nature he describeth, praying God to overthrow them; comforting, on the other side, the godly with excellent promises. Ver. 1 teacheth that God's children many times use words in their prayers, many times not. So did Moses, and Anna the mother of Samuel. God's children should strive to earnestness in prayer, and should pray unto none but to Him alone. Ver. 3 teacheth that we should break our sleep in the morning, to the end we might pray unto the Lord. Seeing God cannot away with wickedness, His children should abhor it likewise. In ver. 6 are comprehended judgments against the ungodly, namely, against liars, cruel persons, and deceitful men. We may not appear before God in the trust of our own merits, which indeed we have not, but of His mercies only. Also that with reverence we should repair to the places of God's service, and reverently also there behave ourselves. Unless God guide us, we shall go out of the way; the strength of our corrupted nature carrying us headlong thereto. Also we should pray for a holy life, and to this end, that the mouths of our enemies may be stopped from evil speech. Ver. 9 is a lively description of the qualities of the ungodly: they are inconstant, they imagine mischief, they are given to cruelty and to flattery. It is lawful to pray against the enemies of the Church, that their counsels and desires may be scattered. The faithful may rejoice at the overthrow of God's enemies. From ver. 12 we learn in what assuredness they are, whom the Lord defendeth; those who repose themselves upon the rock of His almighty protection cannot miscarry.
Homilist.I. IN RELATION TO GOD. Here are revealed —
1. His beliefs of God. In His omniscience the Eternal knows our "meditation." In God's moral holiness, God's being is the foundation, God's will the standard, and God's influence the fountain, of all moral excellence in the universe. In the administrative rectitude of God. The holy God must punish unrepenting sinners, wherever they are found. There is administrative justice in the universe which will righteously balance the affairs of humanity one day.
2. His feelings towards God. The feeling of personal interest. My King. He felt that the Guardian of the universe was in a high sense his; his Guardian, his Father, and his Friend. A feeling of earnest supplication. And the feeling of practical expectancy. David "looked up" expecting.
3. His purpose in relation to God. He purposed early prayer; orderly prayer; there is a becoming order in worship.
II. IN RELATION TO SOCIETY.
1. He regards all who are his enemies as enemies to God. See in David's conduct the common mistake of bigots, and the persecuting spirit of bigots.
2. He regards all who were God's friends as his own. God's friends should be our friends, His people our people.
(Homilist.)I. THE ADDRESS AND MANNER OF PRAYER (1-3). Uttered words tell not all the heart meditates. These meditations are the groanings which cannot be uttered, but which the Spirit understands (Romans 8:26, 27). As soon as we awake at early dawn let Us speak to God, "direct," set in order, our prayer. We are not to pray without method; and having prayed, look out for the answer (Habakkuk 2:1). We miss many answers, because we get tired of waiting on the Quays for the returning ships.
II. CONTRASTED CHARACTERS (4-7). There are here severe expressions for the ungodly. They may not even "sojourn" with God, as a wayfaring man (2 John 10). They speak leasing, an old English word for lying. Not in the spirit of boasting, but of humble gratitude does David turn to himself (1 Corinthians 15:10). "Thy holy temple" (Daniel 6:10; 1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 3:3).
III. THE PRAYER (8-12). We may appeal to God's righteousness to vindicate His righteous ones. Because He is what He is, we may count on Him (2 Chronicles 16:9). How terrible is the description of the ungodly (9), yet it is almost entirely concerned with the sins of the tongue. Wicked men are like sepulchres, fair without, corruption within, and exhaling pestilential vapours. Ver. 11. "Trust," and with it goes joy and love (Deuteronomy 33:23).
(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)
(Marvin R. Vincent, D. D.)
Consider my meditation.bin). A parallel passage is, "Thou understandest my thought afar off; for there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether." The petition "Understand my meditation" coming after "Give ear unto my words" is deeply suggestive. It implies that there was a voiceless meaning in his prayer which was not only more than he could express, but more than he himself could, even to himself, perfectly explain. In the profoundest prayer not only more is meant than meets the ear, but more is meant than the mind itself can quite decipher. And expansion in Romans 8 is very wonderful, very touching, and encouraging: "We know not how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the heart knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit."
(B. Gregory, D. D.)
LinksPsalm 40:11 NIV
Psalm 40:11 NLT
Psalm 40:11 ESV
Psalm 40:11 NASB
Psalm 40:11 KJV
Psalm 40:11 Bible Apps
Psalm 40:11 Parallel
Psalm 40:11 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 40:11 Chinese Bible
Psalm 40:11 French Bible
Psalm 40:11 German Bible
Psalm 40:11 Commentaries