By Henry Law
This Psalm depicts the unhappy condition when slanders assail, and the soul is tossed on billows of disquietude. Prayer is the unfailing refuge.
1. "In my distress I cried to the Lord, and He heard me."
Scripture faithfully proclaims that much tribulation is the believer's lot in this world. But it stops not with a mournful note. It also reveals the remedy in every period of distress. The remedy is prayer. This exercise never fails to bring relief. A distinct example stands before us. The Psalmist, mourning in the depths of trouble, lifts up a supplicating voice. God's ears are graciously open. We shall have sorrow. Let us similarly cry, and we shall find that sorrow leads to joy.
2. "Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue."
A particular distress is now named. The exact petition is adjoined. Slander and untruthful reports constitute the trial. The believer is often called to this endurance. If David is the speaker, we hear him mourning the cruel charge of Doeg. If the blessed Jesus is the prominent personage, we know that things were laid to His charge which He knew not of. But whenever such cruelty occurs, God is a sure refuge. No bitter arrow wounds when His shield shelters.
3-4. "What shall be given to you? or what shall be done to you, you false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper."
Admonition is made with the slandering accuser. He is warned that he cannot expect immunity. God will vindicate His children. He will bring fierce destruction on malignant slanderers. Images vividly express the terrible aspect of this punishment. Miseries shall pierce false hearts, as arrows flying from a mighty bow. Fire shall consume them, as the fierce coals of juniper.
5. "Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!"
Here is a lamentation that abode so long continues in the midst of the cruel and idolatrous. Let us seek more the sweet communion of saints. Let us long more for the fellowship of heaven, where love shall be the pervading atmosphere, and praise the never-ending song.
6-7. "My soul has long dwelt with him who hates peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war."
If the blessed Jesus found such to be His case, can His followers expect a better state! But let us never be provoked to render evil for evil, but on the contrary, blessing. Let us pray that the God of peace may give us peace, always and by all means.