he deplorable condition of the people of God. (1-5) A
petition for relief. (6-13)
Verses 1-5: God is complained to: whither should children go but to a
Father able and willing to help them? See what a change sin made
in the holy city, when the heathen were suffered to pour in upon
them. God's own people defiled it by their sins, therefore he
suffered their enemies to defile it by their insolence. They
desired that God would be reconciled. Those who desire God's
favour as better than life, cannot but dread his wrath as worse
than death. In every affliction we should first beseech the Lord
to cleanse away the guilt of our sins; then he will visit us
with his tender mercies.
Verses 6-13: Those who persist in ignorance of God, and neglect of
prayer, are the ungodly. How unrighteous soever men were, the
Lord was righteous in permitting them to do what they did.
Deliverances from trouble are mercies indeed, when grounded upon
the pardon of sin; we should therefore be more earnest in prayer
for the removal of our sins than for the removal of afflictions.
They had no hopes but from God's mercies, his tender mercies.
They plead no merit, they pretend to none, but, Help us for the
glory of thy name; pardon us for thy name's sake. The Christian
forgets not that he is often bound in the chain of his sins. The
world to him is a prison; sentence of death is passed upon him,
and he knows not how soon it may be executed. How fervently
should he at all times pray, O let the sighing of a prisoner
come before thee, according to the greatness of thy power
preserve thou those that are appointed to die! How glorious will
the day be, when, triumphant over sin and sorrow, the church
beholds the adversary disarmed for ever! while that church
shall, from age to age, sing the praises of her great Shepherd
and Bishop, her King and her God.