By Henry Law
The happy state of the compassionate is depicted. The vindictive malevolence of the ungodly is also shown. Prayer to God and profession of faith follow with warm ascription of praise.
1, 2, 3. "Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth; and You will not deliver him to the will of His enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing; You will make all his bed in his sickness."
Tender compassion for the poor and suffering is the fruit of the Spirit in the minds of believers. It is a sweet feature in the family of faith. The Lord regards such with especial love. But they are not exempt from trouble. Their heavenward march is through much tribulation; sickness often assails their frames, languor depresses them, and weakness detains them to a bed of suffering. But they are not deserted--no, they now are compassed with peculiar mercies. When heart and flesh appear to fail, the inner man is renewed with especial strength. Welcome all sickness which brings Jesus to the bedside!
4. "I said, Lord, be merciful unto me; heal my soul; for I have sinned against You."
The suffering saint draws nearer to his God. He does not hide his sin; he sees in it the cause of soul-disease, and he supplicates for mercy to bring relief.
5, 6, 7, 8. "My enemies speak evil of me; when shall he die, and his name perish? And if he comes to see me, he speaks vanity; his heart gathers iniquity to itself; when he goes abroad, he tells it. All that hate me whisper together against me; against me do they devise my hurt. An evil disease, say they, cleaves fast to him and now that he lies, he shall rise up no more."
Sad is this picture of the treachery and deep malice of false friends. It is a grief to those who the godly live. They long for the day when the grave shall cover them, and their fame no more be heard. This is the very treatment which assailed the holy Jesus. Grievous sins were laid to His charge. Watchful spies marked His words and steps; and base accusations were continually propagated, and when the grave received Him, vigilance guarded the tomb lest His predicted reappearance should be verified.
9. "Yes, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me."
Doubtless, in the first instance, Absalom is here portrayed. But in his heartless and unnatural rebellion he is the type of the vile traitor, whose wickedness can find no parallel in the history of crime. We see in him to what a depth of sin the graceless heart can sink. He walked the familiar friend of Jesus, he was constantly by His side, he witnessed His heavenly walk, and with all knowledge of His truth, he took a paltry bribe to sell Him to His foes. We learn from this foreshadowing of the treason, that our blessed Lord approached redemption's work with full knowledge of the anguish and the sufferings before Him. O blessed Jesus! we adore You that, foreknowing all, You endured all to raise us from sin and sin's punishments to the heights of heavenly glory!
10, 11. "O Lord, be merciful to me, and raise me up, that I may requite them. By this I know that You favor me, because my enemy does not triumph over me."
Predictions still speak. From the dead Jesus was raised. All power in heaven and earth was surrendered to Him. All the enemies who fought against Him were crushed beneath the wheels of His chariot of triumph. Happy are those who meekly bow before Him, and accept His blessed sway!
12, 13. "And as for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and set me before Your face forever. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen."
Jesus was upheld until He returned in triumph to the heaven of heavens, and took His seat as King of Glory on the right hand of the Majesty on High. So each believer may plead with confidence the promise, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Constant smiles will gild the passage to the realms of everlasting light. Let, then, the shout begin on earth, which shall continue through eternity's bright day, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen!"