Treasury of DavidCharles Spurgeon
The prevailing theme seems to be the oppression and persecution of the wicked, we will, therefore, for our own guidance, entitle it, THE CRY OF THE OPPRESSED.
DIVISION. The first verse, in an exclamation of surprise, explains the intent of the Psalm, namely, to invoke the interposition of God for the deliverance of his poor and persecuted people.
From verse 2 to 11, the character of the oppressor is described in powerful language.
In verse 12, the cry of the first verse bursts forth again, but with a clearer utterance.
In the next place (verses 13-15), God's eye is clearly beheld as regarding all the cruel deeds of the wicked; and as a consequence of divine omniscience, the ultimate judgment of the oppressed is joyously anticipated (verses 16-18).
To the Church of God during times of persecution, and to individual saints who are smarting under the hand of the proud sinner — this Psalm furnishes suitable language both for prayer and praise.
Verse 1."Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide in times of trouble?"
To the tearful eye of the sufferer, the Lord seemed to stand still, as if he calmly looked on, and did not sympathize with his afflicted one. Nay, more, the Lord appeared to be afar off, no longer "a very present help in trouble," but an inaccessible mountain, into which no man would be able to climb.
The presence of God is the joy of his people, but any suspicion of his absence is distracting beyond measure. Let us, then, ever remember that the Lord is near us. The refiner is never far from the mouth of the furnace when his gold is in the fire — and the Son of God is always walking in the midst of the flames when his holy children are cast into them. Yet he who knows the frailty of man will little wonder that when we are sharply exercised, we find it hard to bear the apparent neglect of the Lord when he forbears to work our deliverance.
"Why do You hide in times of trouble?" It is not the trouble, but the hiding of our Father's face, which cuts us to the quick. When trial and desertion come together, we are in as perilous a plight as Paul, when his ship fell into a place where two seas met (Acts 27:41). It is but little wonder if we are like the vessel which ran aground, and the fore-part stuck fast, and remained unmovable, while the hinder part was broken by the violence of the waves.
When our sun is eclipsed, it is dark indeed. If we need an answer to the question, "Why do You hide yourself?" it is to be found in the fact that there is a "needs-be," not only for trial, but for heaviness of heart under trial (1 Peter 1:6) But how could this be the case, if the Lord should shine upon us while he is afflicting us? Should the parent comfort his child while he is correcting him — where would be the use of the chastening? A smiling face and a rod are not fit companions. God bares the back, that the blow may be felt; for it is only felt affliction which can become blessed affliction. If we were carried in the arms of God over every stream — then where would be the trial, and where would be the experience — which trouble is meant to teach us?
"Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" The answer to this is not far to seek, for if the Lord did not hide himself it would not be a time of trouble at all. As well ask why the sun does not shine at night, when for certain there could be no night if he did. It is essential to our thorough chastisement, that the Father should withdraw his smile. There is a needs be not only for manifold temptations, but that we be in heaviness through them. The design of the rod is only answered by making us smart. If there is no pain — there will be no profit. If there is no hiding of God — there will be no bitterness, and consequently no purging efficacy in his chastisements.
Verse 2.The second verse contains the formal indictment against the wicked: "The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor." The accusation divides itself into two distinct charges — pride and tyranny; the one is the root and cause of the other.
The second sentence is the humble petition of the oppressed: "Let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined." The prayer is reasonable, just, and natural. Even our enemies themselves being judges, it is but right that men should be done by — as they wished to do to others. We only weigh you in your own scales, and measure your grain with your own bushel.
Terrible shall be your day, O persecuting Babylon! when you shall be made to drink of the wine cup which you yourself have filled to the brim with the blood of saints! There are none who will dispute the justice of God, when he shall hang every Haman on his own gallows — and cast all the enemies of his Daniels into their own den of lions!
That famous persecutor, Domitian, like others of the Roman emperors, assumed divine honors, and heated the furnace seven times hotter against Christians because they refused to worship his image. In like manner, when the popes of Rome became decorated with the blasphemous titles of Masters of the World, and, Universal Fathers — they let loose their blood-hounds upon the faithful. Pride is the egg of persecution.
"Pride," is a vice which cleaves so fast unto the hearts of men, that if we were to strip ourselves of all faults one by one, we would undoubtedly find pride the very last and hardest to put off.
Verse 3.The indictment being read, and the petition presented, the evidence is now heard upon the first count. The evidence is very full and conclusive upon the matter of pride — and no jury could hesitate to give a verdict against the prisoner at the bar. Let us, however, hear the witnesses one by one.
The first testifies that he is a boaster. "For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire." He is a very silly boaster, for he glories in a mere desire. He is a very brazen-faced boaster, for that desire is villainy. He is a most abandoned sinner, to boast of that which is his shame. Bragging sinners are the worst and most contemptible of men, especially when their filthy desires — too filthy to be carried into act — become the theme of their boastings.
When Mr. Hate-Good and Mr. Heady are joined in partnership — they drive a brisk trade in the devil's wares. This one proof is enough to condemn the prisoner at the bar. Take him away, jailor!
But stay, another witness desires to be sworn and heard. This time, the impudence of the proud rebel is even more apparent; for "he blesses the covetous, whom the Lord abhors." This is insolence, which is pride unmasked. He is haughty enough to differ from the Judge of all the earth, and bless the men whom God has cursed.
So did the sinful generation in the days of Malachi, who called the proud happy, and set up those who worked wickedness (Malachi 3:15). These base pretenders would dispute with their Maker; they would —
"Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
Re-judge his justice, be the God of God."
How often have we heard the wicked man speaking in terms of the honor of the covetous, the grinder of the poor, and the sharp dealer! Our old proverb has it —
"I know well how the world wags;
He is most loved, who has most bags."
Pride meets covetousness — and compliments it as wise, thrifty, and prudent. We say it with sorrow, there are many professors of religion who esteem a rich man, and flatter him, even though they know that he has fattened himself upon the flesh and blood of the poor!
The only sinners who are received as respectable, are covetous men. If a man is a fornicator, or a drunkard — we put him out of the church; but who ever read of church discipline against that idolatrous wretch — the covetous man? Let us tremble, lest we be found to be partakers of this atrocious sin of pride, "blessing the covetous, whom Jehovah abhors."
Verse 4.The proud boastings and lewd blessings of the wicked have been received in evidence against him, and now his own face confirms the accusation, and his empty closet cries aloud against him. "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God."
Proud hearts breed proud looks and stiff knees. It is an admirable arrangement that the heart is often written on the countenance, just as the motion of the wheels of a clock find their record on its face. A brazen face and a broken heart never go together. We are not quite sure that the Athenians were wise when they ordained that men should be tried in the dark, lest their countenances should weigh with the judges; for there is much more to be learned from the motions of the muscles of the face, than from the words of the lips. Honesty shines in the face — but villainy peeps out at the eyes!
See the effect of pride — it kept the man from seeking God. It is hard to pray with a stiff neck and an unbending knee. "God is not in all his thoughts!" He thought much, but he had no thoughts for God. Amid heaps of chaff — there was not a grain of wheat. The only place where God is not — is in the thoughts of the wicked. This is a damning accusation — for where the God of Heaven is not, the Lord of Hell is reigning and raging; and if God is not in our thoughts — then our thoughts will bring us to eternal perdition.
Verse 4. "In his pride, the wicked does not seek him. In all his thoughts, there is no room for God." Psalm 10:4
"The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God."
"The pride of the wicked is the principal reason why they will not seek after the knowledge of God. This knowledge it prevents them from seeking in various ways. In the first place, it renders God a disagreeable object of contemplation to the wicked, and a knowledge of him as undesirable. Pride consists in an unduly exalted opinion of one's self. It is, therefore, impatient of a rival, hates a superior, and cannot endure a master. In proportion as it prevails in the heart — it makes us wish to see nothing above us, to acknowledge no law but our own wills, to follow no rule but our own inclinations.
"Thus it led Satan to rebel against his Creator, and our first parents to desire to be as gods. Since such are the effects of pride, it is evident that nothing can be more painful to a proud heart than the thoughts of such a being as God — one who is infinitely powerful, just, and holy — who can neither be resisted, deceived, nor deluded — who disposes, according to his own sovereign pleasure, of all creatures and events — and who, in an especial manner, hates pride, and is determined to abase and punish it. Such a being pride can contemplate only with feelings of dread, aversion, and abhorrence. It must look upon him as its natural enemy, the great enemy, whom it has to fear.
"But the knowledge of God directly tends to bring this infinite, irresistible, irreconcilable enemy full to the view of the proud man. It teaches him that he has a superior, a master, from whose authority he cannot escape, whose power he cannot resist, and whose will he must obey — or be crushed before him, and be rendered miserable forever. It shows him what he hates to see, that, in despite of his opposition, God's counsel shall stand, that he will do all his pleasure, and that in all things wherein men deal proudly, God is above them.
"These truths torture the proud unhumbled hearts of the wicked, and hence they hate that knowledge of God which teaches these truths, and will not seek it. On the contrary, they wish to remain ignorant of such a being, and to banish all thoughts of him from their minds. With this view, they neglect, pervert, or explain away those passages of revelation which describe God's true character, and endeavor to believe that he is altogether such a one as themselves.
"How foolish, how absurd, how ruinous, how blindly destructive of its own object — does pride appear! By attempting to soar — it only plunges itself in the mire; and while endeavoring to erect for itself a throne — it undermines the ground on which it stands and digs its own grave!
"Pride plunged Satan from Heaven into Hell; it banished our first parents from paradise; and it will, in a similar manner, ruin all who indulge in it. It keeps us in ignorance of God, shuts us out from his favor, prevents us from resembling him, deprives us in this world of all the honor and happiness which communion with him would confer; and in the next world, unless previously hated, repented of, and renounced, will bar forever against us the door of Heaven, and close upon us the gates of Hell.
"O then, my friends, beware, above all things, beware of pride! Beware, lest you indulge it imperceptibly, for it is perhaps, of all sins, the most secret, subtle, and insinuating. Edward Payson 1783-1827.
Verse 5."His ways are always grievous." To himself they are hard. Men go down a rough road — when they go to Hell. God has hedged-up the way of sin! O what folly to leap these hedges — and fall among the thorns!
To others, also, his ways cause much sorrow and vexation — but what does he care? He sits like the idol god upon his monstrous car — utterly regardless of the crowds who are crushed as he rolls along.
"Your judgments are far above out of his sight." He looks high, but not high enough. As God is forgotten — so are his judgments. He is not able to comprehend the things of God. A swine may sooner look through a telescope at the stars — than this man study the Word of God to understand the righteousness of the Lord.
"Your judgments are far above out of his sight." Because God does not immediately visit every sin with punishment — ungodly men do not see that in due time he judges all the earth. Human tribunals must of necessity, by promptness and publicity, commend themselves to the common judgment — but the Lord's modes of dealing with sin are sublimer and apparently more tardy, hence the bat's eyes of godless men cannot see them, and the groveling wits of ungodly men cannot comprehend them. If God sat in the gate of every village and held his court there, even fools might discern his righteousness — but they are not capable of perceiving that for a matter to be settled in the highest court, even in Heaven itself, is a far more solemn matter. Let believers take heed lest they fall in a degree into the same error, and begin to criticize the actions of The Great Supreme, when they are too elevated for human reason to comprehend them. C.H.S.
"As for all his enemies — he puffs at them." He defies and domineers; and when men resist his injurious behavior, he sneers at them, and threatens to annihilate them with a puff. In most languages there is a word of contempt borrowed from the action of puffing with the lips, and in English we should express the idea by saying, "He cries, 'Pooh! Pooh!' at his enemies."
Ah! there is one enemy who will not thus be puffed at. Death will puff at the candle of his life and blow it out — and the wicked boaster will find it grim work to brag in the tomb!
"As for all his enemies, he puffs at them." David describes a proud man, puffing at his enemies — he is puffed up and swelled with high conceits of himself, as if he had some great matter in him, and he puffs at others as if he could do some great matter against them, forgetting that himself is but, as to his being in this world, a puff of wind which passes away. Joseph Caryl.
Verse 6.The testimony of the sixth verse concludes the evidence against the prisoner upon the first charge of pride — and certainly it is conclusive in the highest degree. The present witness has been prying into the secret chambers of the heart, and has come to tell us what he has heard. "He has said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity."
How impudence runs to seed! The man thinks himself immutable, and omnipotent too — for he is never to be in adversity. He counts himself a privileged man. He sits alone — and shall see no sorrow. His nest is in the stars — and he dreams not of a hand that shall pluck him thence.
But let us remember that this man's house is built upon the sand, upon a foundation no more substantial than the rolling waves of the sea. He who is too secure, is never safe. Boastings are not buttresses — and self-confidence is a sorry bulwark. This is the ruin of fools, that when they succeed — they become too big, and swell with self-conceit, as if their summer would last forever, and their flowers bloom on eternally. Be humble, O man! for you are mortal, and your lot is mutable!
The second crime is now to be proved. The fact that the man is proud and arrogant may go a long way to prove that he is vindictive and cruel. Haman's pride was the father of a cruel design to murder all the Jews. Nebuchadnezzar builds an idol, and in pride he commands all men to bow before it — and then he cruelly stands ready to heat the furnace seven times hotter for those who will not yield to his imperious will. Every proud thought is twin brother to a cruel thought. He who exalts himself will despise others — and one step further will make him a tyrant.
"He has said in his heart, I shall not be moved — for I shall never be in adversity." Carnal security opens the door for all impiety to enter into the soul. Pompey, when he had in vain assaulted a city, and could not take it by force, devised this stratagem in way of agreement; he told them he would leave the siege and make peace with them, upon condition that they would let in a few weak, sick, and wounded soldiers among them to be cured. They let in the soldiers, and when the city was secure, the soldiers let in Pompey's army. A carnal settled security will let in a whole army of lusts into the soul. Thomas Brooks.
Verse 7.Let us now hear the witnesses in court. Let the wretch speak for himself, for out of his own mouth he will be condemned. "His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud." There is not only a little evil there — but his mouth is full of it. This three-headed serpent has stowed away its coils and venom, within the den of its black mouth! There is cursing which he spits against both God and men; deceit with which he entraps the unwary; and fraud by which, even in his common dealings, he robs his neighbors.
Beware of such a man — have no dealings with him. None but the silliest of geese, would go to the fox's sermon — and none but the most foolish, will put themselves into the society of deceivers and frauds!
"Under his tongue is mischief and vanity." The striking allusion of this expression is to certain venomous reptiles, which are said to carry bags of poison under their teeth, and, with great subtlety to inflict the most deadly injuries upon those who come within their reach. How affectingly does this represent the sad havoc which minds tainted with infidelity inflict on the community! By their perversions of truth, and by their immoral sentiments and practices, they are as injurious to the mind as the deadliest poison can be to the body. John Morison.
Cursing men are cursed men. John Trapp.
But we must proceed. Let us look under this man's tongue as well as in his mouth — "under his tongue is mischief and vanity." Deep in his throat are the unborn words which shall come forth as mischief and iniquity!
Verse 8.Despite the bragging of this base wretch, it seems that he is as cowardly as he is cruel. "He sits in the lurking places of the villages — in the secret places he murders the innocent. His eyes are privily set against the poor." He acts the part of the highwayman, who springs upon the unsuspecting traveler in some desolate part of the road.
There are always evil men lying in wait for the saints. This is a land of robbers and thieves — let us travel well armed, for every bush conceals an enemy! Everywhere there are traps laid for us — and foes thirsting for our blood. There are enemies at our table — as well as across the sea. We are never safe — except when the Lord is with us.
Verse 9.The picture becomes blacker, for here is the cunning of the lion, and of the huntsman — as well as the stealthiness of the robber. Surely there are some men who come up to the very letter of this description. With watching, perversion, slander, whispering, and false swearing — they ruin the character of the righteous, and murder the innocent! Or, with legal quibbles, mortgages, bonds, writs, and the like — they catch the poor, and draw them into a net.
Take care, brethren, for there are other traps besides these. Hungry lions are crouching in every den, and fowlers spread their nets in every field!
O Lord! keep your servants, and defend us from all our enemies!
Oppression turns princes into roaring lions — and judges into ravening wolves. It is an unnatural sin, against the light of nature. No creatures oppress them of their own kind. Look upon the birds of prey, as upon eagles, vultures, hawks — and you shall never find them preying upon their own kind. Look upon the beasts of the forest, as upon the lion, the tiger, the wolf, the bear — and you shall ever find them favorable to their own kind. And yet men unnaturally prey upon one another, like the fish in the sea, the great swallowing up the small. Thomas Brooks.
"He does catch the poor." The poor man is the beast they hunt, who must rise early, rest late, eat the bread of sorrow, sit with many a hungry meal, perhaps his children crying for food — while all the fruit of his pains is served into Nimrod's table. Indeed, a money-man may not be damnified, but he may be damned. For this is a crying sin, and the wakened ears of the Lord will hear it, neither shall his provoked hands forbear it. If the poor should hold their peace, the very stones would speak. The fines, rackings, enclosures, oppressions, vexations — will cry to God for vengeance. "The stone will cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it." Habakkuk 2:11.
You see the beasts they hunt. Not foxes, not wolves, nor boars, bulls, nor tigers. It is a certain observation, no beast hunts its own kind to devour it. Now, if these should prosecute wolves, foxes, etc., they should then hunt their own kind. But though they are men they hunt, and by nature of the same kind, they are not so by quality, for they are lambs they persecute. In them there is blood, and flesh, and fleece to be had; and therefore on these do they gorge themselves. In them there is weak armor of defense against their cruelties; therefore over these they may domineer. I will speak it boldly: there is not a mighty Nimrod in this land that dares hunt his equal; but over his inferior lamb he insults like a young Nero. In the country he proves a termagant; his very scowl is a prodigy, and breeds an earthquake. He would be a Caesar, and tax all. It is well if he proves not a cannibal! Thomas Adams.
Verse 10."So he crouches, he lies low — that the helpless may fall by his strength." Seeming humility is often armor-bearer to malice. The lion crouches that he may leap with the greater force, and bring down his strong limbs upon his prey. When a pet wolf was old, and had tasted human blood, the old Saxon cried, "Werewolf!" — and we may cry, "Werefox!" They who crouch to our feet — are longing to make us fall. Be very careful of fawners — for friendship and flattery are deadly enemies.
"So he crouches, he lies low — that the helpless may fall by his strength." There is nothing too mean or servile for them, in the attempt to achieve their sinister ends. You shall see his holiness the Pope washing the pilgrims' feet, if such a stratagem be necessary to act in the minds of the deluded multitude; or you shall see him sitting on a throne of purple, if he wishes to awe and control the kings of the earth. John Morison
Verse 11.As upon the former count, so upon this one; a witness is forthcoming, who has been listening at the keyhole of the heart. Speak up, friend, and let us hear your story. "He has said in his heart, God has forgotten — he hides his face — he will never see it." This cruel man comforts himself with the idea that God is blind, or, at least, forgetful — a fond and foolish fantasy, indeed. Men doubt Omniscience, when they persecute the saints. If we had a sense of God's presence with us — it would be impossible for us to ill-treat his children. In fact, there can scarcely be a greater preservation from sin than the constant thought of "You, O God, see me!"
Thus has the trial proceeded.
"He has said in his heart," etc. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Ecclesiastes 8:11. God forbears punishing, therefore men forbear repenting. He does not smite upon their back by correction, therefore they do not smite upon their thigh by humiliation. Jeremiah 31:19. The sinner thinks thus,: "God has spared me all this while, he has eked out patience into longsuffering; surely he will not punish." "He has said in his heart, God has forgotten." God sometimes in infinite patience adjourns his judgments and puts off the sessions a while longer, he is not willing to punish. 2 Peter 3:9. The bee naturally gives honey — but stings only when it is angered. The Lord would have men make their peace with him. Isaiah 27:5. God is not like a hasty creditor that requires the debt, and will give no time for the payment; he is not only gracious, but "waits to be gracious" (Isaiah 30:18); but God by his patience would bribe sinners to repentance; but alas! how is this patience abused. God's longsuffering hardens! Because God stops the vials of his wrath — sinners stop the conduit of tears. Thomas Watson.
"He has said in his heart, God has forgotten: he hides his face; he will never see it." Because the Lord continues to spare them — therefore they go on to provoke him. As he adds to their lives — so they add to their lusts. What is this, but as if a man should break all his bones — because there is a surgeon who is able to set them again? Because justice seems to wink — men suppose her blind. Because she delays punishment — they imagine she denies to punish them. Because she does not always reprove them for their sins — they suppose she always approves of their sins. But let such know, that the silent arrow can destroy as well as the roaring cannon. Though the patience of God be lasting — yet it is not everlasting. William Secker.
The case has been fully stated — and now it is but little wonder that the oppressed petitioner lifts up the cry for judgment, which we find in the following verse:
Verse 12."Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless!" With what bold language will faith address its God — and yet what unbelief is mingled with our strongest confidence. Fearlessly the Lord is stirred up to arise and lift up his hand — yet timidly he is begged not to forget the helpless — as if Jehovah could ever be forgetful of his saints. This verse is the incessant cry of the Church, and she will never refrain therefrom until her Lord shall come in his glory to avenge her of all her adversaries.
Verses 11, 12, 13. The atheist denies God's ordering of sublunary matters. "Tush, does the Lord see, or is there knowledge in the Most High?" making him a maimed Deity, without an eye of providence, or an arm of power, and at most restraining him only to matters above the clouds. But he who dares to confine the King of Heaven, will soon after endeavor to depose him, and fall at last flatly to deny him. Thomas Fuller.
Verse 13.In these next verses, the description of the wicked is condensed, and the evil of his character traced to its source — namely, atheistic ideas with regard to the government of the world. We may at once perceive that this is intended to be another urgent plea with the Lord to show his power, and reveal his justice. When the wicked call God's righteousness in question, we may well beg God to teach them terrible things in righteousness.
In verse 13, the hope of the infidel and his heart-wishes are laid bare. He despises the Lord, because he will not believe that sin will meet with punishment: "he has said in his heart — You will not require it." If there were no Hell for other men — then there ought to be one for those who question the justice of it.
"He has said in his heart, You will not require it." As when the desperate pirate, ransacking and rifling a bottom was told by the master, that though no law could touch him for the present, he should answer it at the day of judgment, replied, "If I may stay so long before I come to it — then I will take you and your vessel too." A conceit with which too many land-thieves and oppressors flatter themselves in their hearts, though they dare not utter it with their lips. Thomas Adams.
Verse 14.This vile suggestion receives its answer in verse 14. "But you see the trouble and grief they cause." God is all-eye to see, and all-hand to punish his enemies. From Divine sight, there is no hiding — and from Divine justice, there is no fleeing. Wanton mischief shall meet with woeful misery — and those who harbor trouble shall inherit sorrow. Truly there is a God who judges in the earth!
Nor is this the only instance of the presence of God in the world; for while he chastises the oppressor, he befriends the oppressed. "The helpless commits himself unto you." They give themselves up entirely into the Lord's hands. Resigning their judgment to his enlightenment, and their wills to his supremacy — they rest assured that he will order all things for the best. Nor does he deceive their hope. He preserves them in times of need, and causes them to rejoice in his goodness.
"You are the helper of the fatherless." God is the parent of all orphans. When the earthly father sleeps beneath the sod — a heavenly Father smiles from above. By some means or other, orphan children are fed — and well they may, when they have such a Father.
Verse 15.In this verse we hear again the theme of the psalmist's prayer: "Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man." Let the sinner lose his power to sin — stop the tyrant, arrest the oppressor, weaken the loins of the mighty, and dash in pieces the terrible.
They deny your justice — let them feel it to the full. Indeed, they shall feel it, for God shall hunt the sinner forever. So long as there is a grain of sin in him — it shall be sought out and punished!
It is worthy of note, that very few great persecutors have ever died in their beds — the curse has manifestly pursued them, and their fearful sufferings have made them own that divine justice at which they could at one time launch defiance.
God permits tyrants to arise as thorn-hedges to protect his church from the intrusion of hypocrites, and that he may teach his backsliding children by them, as Gideon did the men of Succoth with the briers of the wilderness. But he soon cuts up these Herods, like the thorns, and casts them into the fire!
Thales, the Milesian, one of the wise men of Greece, being asked what he thought to be the greatest rarity in the world, replied, "To see a tyrant live to be an old man." See how the Lord breaks, not only the arm, but the neck of proud oppressors! To the men who had neither justice nor mercy for the saints — there shall be rendered justice to the full, but not a grain of mercy.
Verses 16, 17, 18."The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more!"
The Psalm ends with a song of thanksgiving to the great and everlasting King, because he has granted the desire of his humble and oppressed people, has defended the fatherless, and punished the heathen who trampled upon his poor and afflicted children. Let us learn that we are sure to speed well, if we carry our complaint to the King of kings. Rights will be vindicated, and wrongs redressed — at his throne. His government neglects not the interests of the needy — nor does it tolerate oppression in the mighty.
Great God, we leave ourselves in your hand; to you we commit your church afresh. Arise, O God, and let the man of the earth — the creature of a day — be broken before the majesty of your power. Come, Lord Jesus, and glorify your people. Amen and Amen.