This hymn commences with a general prayer for acceptance.
It then branches into diverse petitions. Thus it stands a tree of solid stem
bearing variety of fruit.
1-2. "Lord, I cry to You; make haste to me; give ear
to my voice, when I cry to You. Let my prayer be set forth before You as
incense, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."
Free access to the throne of grace is an inestimable
privilege. No words can duly show the condescension of our God in permitting
us to wrestle with Him, and not relax our grasp until responses come. May we
delight in roaming in this field! When we draw near in the name of Jesus,
heaven is fragrant with the perfume of His merits. Such prayer gains
audience. It claims acceptance as the appointed evening service.
3. "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the
door of my lips."
That the words of our mouth may be always acceptable in
His sight, let us pray that the Spirit may ever guard its portals. No
unadvised word will thus escape our lips, or come unwelcome to the bar of
4. "Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to
practice wicked works with men that work iniquity; and let me not eat of
There is contagion in surrounding evil. The atmosphere is
pestilential. Hence let us pray that our hearts may not be beguiled into
evil compliance, or fascinated by the miscalled pleasures of sin. False are
the allurements. To be thus captivated is to sip poison's cup.
5. "Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a
kindness; and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil, which shall
not break my head; for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities."
Life is happy when we are surrounded with godly friends.
Their precious counsels guide from evil. Their pious admonitions are
fragrant as balmy oil. They never inflict a rankling wound. We may claim
such kindness when it is our resolve to pray for mercies on our adversaries.
Let us know no other revenge.
6. "When their judges are overthrown in stony places,
they shall hear my words; for they are sweet."
Calamities to the wicked are portended under a graphic
image. This shall be the season of tender admonition from the righteous, and
gentle words should strive to win from evil.
7-10. "Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth,
as when one cuts and cleaves wood upon the earth. But my eyes are unto You,
O God the Lord; in You is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. Keep me
from the snares which they have laid for me, and the traps of the workers of
iniquity. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I escape."
Heartless is the persecutor's rage. They would hew to
pieces the followers of the Lord with the indifference of a woodman
scattering chips by his ax. But the saints in their utmost distress look to
their God, and so obtain comfort and deliverance. Especially they seek
guidance to keep them safe from the snares so craftily laid in their path.
It is just that those who plot such mischief should themselves be entrapped.
With such pleas to present at the mercy-seat, with God so ready to support,
let us fear no evil. Let us fly with eager wings to spread our need before
our heavenly Lord.