sorrowful complaint of great afflictions. (1-11)
Encouragement by expecting the performances of God's promises to
his church. (12-22) The unchangeableness of God. (23-28)
Verses 1-11: The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer;
but here, is often elsewhere, the Holy Ghost has put words into
our mouths. Here is a prayer put into the hands of the
afflicted; let them present it to God. Even good men may be
almost overwhelmed with afflictions. It is our duty and interest
to pray; and it is comfort to an afflicted spirit to unburden
itself, by a humble representation of its griefs. We must say,
Blessed be the name of the Lord, who both gives and takes away.
The psalmist looked upon himself as a dying man; My days are
like a shadow.
Verses 12-22: We are dying creatures, but God is an everlasting God,
the protector of his church; we may be confident that it will
not be neglected. When we consider our own vileness, our
darkness and deadness, and the manifold defects in our prayers,
we have cause to fear that they will not be received in heaven;
but we are here assured of the contrary, for we have an Advocate
with the Father, and are under grace, not under the law.
Redemption is the subject of praise in the Christian church; and
that great work is described by the temporal deliverance and
restoration of Israel. Look down upon us, Lord Jesus; and bring
us into the glorious liberty of thy children, that we may bless
and praise thy name.
Verses 23-28: Bodily distempers soon weaken our strength, then what can
we expect but that our months should be cut off in the midst;
and what should we do but provide accordingly? We must own God's
hand in it; and must reconcile this to his love, for often those
that have used their strength well, have it weakened; and those
who, as we think, can very ill be spared, have their days
shortened. It is very comfortable, in reference to all the
changes and dangers of the church, to remember that Jesus Christ
is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. And in reference to
the death of our bodies, and the removal of friends, to remember
that God is an everlasting God. Do not let us overlook the
assurance this psalm contains of a happy end to all the
believer's trials. Though all things are changing, dying,
perishing, like a vesture folding up and hastening to decay, yet
Jesus lives, and thus all is secure, for he hath said, Because I
live ye shall live also.