The heart of the Psalmist overflows with gratitude for
extraordinary mercies. They all demand devoted praise. May the effect on us
be increase of heavenly-mindedness!
1-2. "I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice
and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I
will call upon Him as long as I live."
Senseless is he who ever disregards the answer to the
voice of prayer. These answers sweetly constrain us to love the gracious
Lord, whose ears are never closed. Moreover, we are thus encouraged to grow
more diligent in supplicating cries. The more we pray, the more we gain. The
more we gain, the more should we love and adore.
3-4. "The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains
of hell got hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the
name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech you, deliver my soul."
Believers are often brought into the lowest depths of
distress. Life seems as a flickering spark; but in all extremities prayer
can seek aid and never seeks in vain.
5-6. "Gracious is the Lord and righteous; yes, our God
is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He helped
The God to whom we thus draw near is full of grace.
Tender compassion is ever warm within Him. Experience of this truth is the
believer's firmest prop. In frequent need he has never found that help to
7-9. "Return to your rest, O my soul; for the Lord has
dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, my
eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in
the land of the living."
Troubles may tend to bring anxiety; but the knowledge of
near deliverance keeps peace undisturbed. Under Christ's shadow the soul
delights in sweet repose. "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is
stayed on You." Can he be tossed with fears and doubts who rests in Christ
as his ark? Where is the fear of death? It has vanished. A gracious hand,
also, wipes away all tears from the eye; the feet, also, no longer totter,
but walk firmly in the way of life.
10-14. "I believed, therefore have I spoken. I was
greatly afflicted. I said in my haste, All men are liars. What shall I
render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of
salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the
Lord now in the presence of all His people."
Faith is no silent grace. When it is lively in the heart
the mouth will celebrate God's praise. Severity of affliction awakens its
powers. It is not slow to confess that when it slumbered, hastiness and
unseemly utterances found vent. In disregard of all assurances, pettishness
prevailed; but the Psalmist in dark hours had thought that fulfillment would
not come. But now he felt shame for such distrust. He remembers the holy
rites; he vows that he will gladly drink the cup of blessing, and publicly
redeem his promises of holy service.
15. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of
Persecution may wildly rage against God's servants. Their
lives may be regarded as mere chaff; but different is God's estimate! They
are precious in His sight and the high value placed upon them will be
evidenced by the signal retribution which will overtake the cruel murderers.
16-19. "O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your
servant, and the son of Your handmaid; You have loosed my bonds. I will
offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of
the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His
people, in the courts of the Lord's house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord."
Happy is the profession, O Lord, truly I am Your servant!
Consecration to God's service is perfect freedom. It is the very happiness
of happiness, and raises to angelic life. But to abound in this occupation,
Satan's chains must be broken. This only can be effected by the might of
Jesus. We are born slaves. He only can set us free. This devotion, also, is
a theme of praise and of holy vows. Let us surrender ourselves to this one
work. We shall find that we obey a blessed Master, who will pay wages now of
abundant happiness and of eternal life hereafter.