David’s Prayer in the Midst of Persecution.
A prayer of David, the only hymn by the great king and prophet which was included by the collectors in this book of the psalter. We find here the same terms and phrases which are so familiar from the other psalms of David, particularly those written during the period of persecution. V. 1. Bow down Thine ear, in the attitude of the very closest attention, O Lord, hear me; for I am poor and needy. Cp. Ps. 40, 17. V. 2. Preserve my soul, in the midst of persecution and suffering; for I am holy, a saint of God, under His favor. O Thou, my God, save Thy servant that trusteth in Thee, clinging to Jehovah with the full confidence of his heart. Note the expression of faith in the emphatic “my God.” V. 3. Be merciful unto me, O Lord, all claim of merit and worthiness being set aside by the psalmist; for I cry unto Thee daily, pleading for Jehovah’s grace all day long. V. 4. Rejoice the soul of Thy servant, filling it with happy exultation; for unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul, raising it to the All-powerful in importunate and confident pleading. The reason for this bold approach is now given. V. 5. For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, willing, not to ignore, but to remit sins; and plenteous in mercy, abundant in grace, unto all them that call upon Thee, in the true worship of the heart. V. 6. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer, the psalmist returning once more to his opening petition, and attend to the voice of my supplications, literally, “of my urgent pleading.” V. 7. In the day of my trouble I will call upon Thee, that is, in every time of deep need; for Thou wilt answer me, this confidence being the necessary concomitant of a right prayer. V. 8. Among the gods, those designated with this honoring name by the ignorant heathen, there is none like unto Thee, O Lord, Jehovah being the only true God; neither are there any works, no matter what miracles are by the heathen falsely ascribed to their idols, like unto Thy works. V. 9. All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord, the prophet, in this vision, seeing representatives of every people on earth bowing before Messiah’s throne; and shall glorify Thy name, praising the true God as He has revealed Himself, chiefly in His Word. The universality of the one true, the revealed religion, now known as the Christian religion, is here plainly taught. V. 10. For Thou art great and doest wondrous things, the only miracles really worthy of the name being those performed by Jehovah; Thou art God alone. This being the case, the psalmist longs to be more closely united with God by the bands of faith. V. 11. Teach me Thy way, O Lord, pointing out how the believer may arrange his entire life in conformity with the will of Jehovah; I will walk in Thy truth, in line with the faithfulness of the covenant God; unite my heart to fear Thy name, uniting all the believer’s powers to give the Lord his whole, undivided heart in showing Him reverence by a life of sanctification. V. 12. I will praise Thee, O Lord, my God, the All-powerful, with all my heart; and I will glorify Thy name forevermore, praising and proclaiming the perfections of God’s essence and attributes as revealed in His Word. V. 13. For great is Thy mercy, God’s unmerited favor, toward me, and Thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell, from the lowest regions of the realm of death, said of the extremely perilous situation in which David had found himself on account of the persecution of his enemies. V. 14. O God, the proud, insolent, arrogant persons, are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men, a band of tyrants, have sought after my soul, to take his life, and have not set Thee before them, purposely ignoring Jehovah’s attributes and His holy will, lest they be kept from their wickedness. V. 15. But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, as contrasted with the cruelty, insolence, and violence of the enemies, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth, as He Himself had testified when passing before the face of Moses, Ex. 34, 6. V. 16. O turn unto me, with His face full of divine favor, and have mercy upon me; give Thy strength, the divine power being the source of all the believer’s strength, unto Thy servant, and save the son of Thine handmaid, born into the inheritance of the children of God, possessing the blessings of the true worship of Jehovah from his birth. V. 17. Show me a token for good, an evidence of divine favor, a special measure of His blessings, that they which hate me may see it and be ashamed, covered with shame on account of the favor of the Lord so manifestly resting upon the faithful; because Thou, Lord, hast holpen me and comforted me. The same help and comfort on the part of God may freely be asked by all believers, for He is truly the God of everyone who puts his faith in Him.