Remember, O LORD, what is come on us: consider, and behold our reproach.
I. HER ENTREATIES.
II. HER MISERIES.
1. What is befallen her, captivity; it is not coming, it is already come upon her.
2. Her bright Sun gives not out its rays. Ignominy, like a black cloud, now covers its face.Lessons:
1. God hath thoughts of His people, when they cannot apprehend His purposes. He thinks upon their souls.
2. God's thoughts are affectionate, and hold out help unto His saints. Men many times think of their friends in the day of their distress, yet endeavour not to make their help their comfort, the product of their thoughts, but whom God remembers He relieves (Leviticus 26:44, 45).
3. God's forgetting is an aggravation of the soul's affliction. Questionless, it is the great, yea one of the greatest aggravations of trouble to an afflicted soul, to apprehend itself not to be in the thoughts of God (Psalm 42:9-44:24).
(1) They are things of value that we commit to memory (Isaiah 43:4, 26).
(2) Special affection is demonstrated by God's remembering (Malachi 3:16, 17).Lessons:
1. God's remembrance ever speaks a Christian's advantage. Whosoever forgets you, let your prayers demonstrate your desires to be in the heart, in the thoughts of God. This was Nehemiah's request, and he made it the very upshot of his prayers (Nehemiah 13:31). Do you likewise. For men may fail us though they think of us, but God will help us if He but have us in His mind (Jeremiah 2:2, 3).
2. They that put us in mind of our friends in misery, are many times instrumental for the alleviating of their sorrow; their excitements may stir up earnest resolves for their freedom, they may become messengers to proclaim their peace, to publish tidings of their salvation. O let us be God's remembrancers, let us expostulate the Church's case with His sacred self, this is our duty (Isaiah 43:26). Let us beseech the Lord —
(1) Not to remember her iniquities (Psalm 79:8).
(2) Not to continue her distress (Psalm 74:2).Israel's freedom from thraldom hath been the product of God's remembering (Exodus 6:5, 6). O let us rather beseech Him to think of —
(1) Her former prosperity (Psalm 25:6; Psalm 89:49, 50). Men commiserate them in penury that have lived in plenty.
(2) Her present afflictions (Psalm 132:1; Job 10:9; Isaiah 64:10-12). The Church's sorrows make her an object of pity in the Lord's thoughts.
(3) His Covenant for mercy to His people in distress (Psalm 74:20, 21; Jeremiah 14:21; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 50:15).
(4) Her enemies for execution of Divine justice (Psalm 137:7).
(5) The sadness of her spirit to speak cheering to her heart (Psalm 106.). Relief is the best remembrance of a friend.
3. Fervency must accompany our prayers. This interjective particle denotes the vehemency, the earnestness of her desire (Genesis 17:18; Deuteronomy 5:29; 2 Samuel 23:15; Job 6:8). Want of mercy with sense of misery will make the soul cry O unto its God. Christians, be not like glowworms, fiery in appearance and cold when you come to the touch; take heed of lukewarmness, Laodicea's temper; remember that as prayer is set out by wrestling, which is the best way for prevailing (Genesis 32:26; Hosea 12:4), so under the law the sweet perfumes in the censers were burnt before they ascended; for believers' prayers go up in pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh, to the throne of God (Song of Solomon 4:6). Therefore get spiritual fire into your hearts, as fast as you can kindle and inflame your affections, that they may flame up in devout and religious ascents to the Lord Himself. Sometimes "Lord" will not serve your turn, you must go with "O Lord" unto your God.
4. We must only have recourse to God in distress. The Church's affliction is now become to her the school of devotion. Where should we make our addresses, but where we may find relief?
5. Heavy sorrows make Christians moderate in their desires. She doth not desire the Lord forthwith to cause the fulgent and glorious beams of prosperity to shine upon her, or immediately by some heavy judgment upon her enemy, to complete her own delivery, she only calls for a memento, a remembrance, some thoughts of her unto her God. That great sufferings make Christians modest and moderate in their demands. Beggars in their extremest exigence cry not for pounds but pence. A little relief goes far in the apprehension of a distressed soul.
6. Grievous miseries may fall upon God's precious saints.
7. God eyes our particular exigence. The original denotes such a consideration as is conjoined with seeing and looking upon. The eye presenting the object to the thoughts, makes the deeper impress upon the spirit. When God takes the Church's sorrows into His thoughts, He looks down from heaven to see the particulars of her distress.
8. Prayer the means to get a reflex from God.
9. As reproach is heavy so it quickens the prayers of saints. The saints are not hopeless under the greatest evils, they sing not the doleful ditty of accursed Cain, they despair not of Divine hope, and therefore because they conceive hope of favour, they betake themselves unto fervent prayer (Job 13:15; Proverbs 14:32; Psalm 27:12, 13).
10. Sense of misery would have God to make present supply. Equity in the Lord's administration of justice, hath ever been their encouragement, as for appeal, so for this request unto Himself (Jeremiah 12:1-3). Learn what to do when the wicked with the most violent evils are stinging and piercing your very souls.
(1) Present your troubles, your reproaches upon your bended knees in the Lord's presence (Psalm 69:19, etc.).
(2) Plead mercies and promises for yourselves (Daniel 9:15-17; 1 Kings 8:5-7).
(3) Multiply prayers for your enlargement (Nehemiah 4:4, 5; Joel 2:17). 11. Christians are gradual, they have their ascents in their earnest prayers. Remember, consider, behold. As God goes out gradually in giving out the dispensations of Divine goodness, so His people in their afflictions, when they are most earnest petitioners, are gradual in their prayers (Psalm 41:4; Psalm 106:4, 5; Daniel 9:19).
Parallel VersesKJV: Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach.