Respite from trouble is not of long duration. The tide
flows back with unabated strength. Earnest prayer is the ready refuge; the
confusion of foes is confidently expected, and faith looks with undimmed eye
for sure deliverance.
1. "Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to
help me, O Lord."
When perils are urgent, destruction seems at hand. If
they are not instantly removed all strength must fail. Unless the storm
abates the little bark must soon be a wreck. Unless the devouring wolves are
stayed the little lamb cannot escape. Unless returning light should dawn the
footsteps will stumble in the darksome course. This sense of imminent
destruction urges the Psalmist to be importunate in prayer. Boldness in
supplication grows very strong. He prays the Lord to awaken from appearance
of indifference—instantly to put forth His strength—without delay to hasten
to his rescue. Blessed be God, such importunity is not forbidden—no, rather,
it is earnestly encouraged.
2-3. "Let those be ashamed and confounded who seek
after my soul; let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, who desire
my hurt. Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha,
The Psalmist clearly saw the wicked malice of his foes.
Nothing would satisfy them but to stain their hands in his blood—to take
away his life was their one object. He as clearly saw how God could defeat
their schemes and lay them low in disappointment and in shame. He spreads
this out before his God, "Let them be ashamed and confounded." They were
rushing forward in all the fury of malignity, reckoning that success would
soon be theirs. The Psalmist's hope was bright, and he appealed to God to
turn them backward, and overwhelm them in confusion. He heard their mocking
and derision. Their insulting cries were anguish to his heart; but he felt
that their noisome sneers and wicked merriment would soon be exchanged for
bitterness of woe.
The deliverance of the godly is just as sure as the
deliverance of our great Head from the cruel taunts of those who mocked Him
in His extremest anguish. They shall shine brightly as the sun in his
strength, while the wicked shall cry in vain for rocks and mountains to
4. "Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in
You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, Let God be
In the extremity of anguish the saint will look beyond
his own sad case. The Psalmist prays not for his own deliverance only, but
for the joy and gladness of the whole family of faith. This prayer should
often swell, also, in our hearts. It will not go forth in vain, for peace
and happiness are secured for us in the covenant of grace.
The desire is added, that one note should be full on the
lips of those who delight to realize salvation's blessedness. That note
should be, Let God be magnified! How can He be praised enough, who has
wrought such wonders for us, and who never ceases to bless us and to do us
5. "But I am poor and needy; make haste unto me, O
God; you are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying."
The sense of need returns, and again the prayer is urged,
that God would speedily put forth His mighty arm to save. Confidence is
added that God would arise when thus importuned; and the Psalmist avows that
he has no other hope of rescue. "You are my help and my deliverer." Surely
the God of our salvation will show Himself to be a God ready to extend all