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5

For he will hide me in his shelter

in the day of trouble;

he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;

he will set me high on a rock.

 


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5. For he shall hide me in his tent. Here the Psalmist promises himself that his prayer would not be in vain. Although he is deprived of the visible sanctuary for a time, he doubts not that, wherever he may be, he shall experience the protecting power of God. And he alludes to the temple, because it was a symbol to the faithful of the divine presence; as if he had said, that in making the request which he mentioned he by no means lost his labor; for every one who shall seek God sincerely, and with a pure heart, shall be safely concealed under the wings of his protection. The figure of the temple, he therefore affirms, was not an unmeaning one, for there God, so to speak, spread forth his wings to gather true believers under his protection. From this he concludes, that as he had no greater desire than to flee for refuge under these wings, there would be a shelter ready for him in times of adversity, under the divine protection, which, under the figure of a rock, he tells us, would be impregnable like towers, which, for the sake of strength, were wont to be built, in ancient times, in lofty places. Although he was, therefore, at this time, environed by enemies on every side, yet he boasts that he shall overcome them. It is, indeed, a common form of speech in the Scriptures to say, that those who are oppressed with grief walk with a bowed down back and dejected countenance, while, on the other hand, they lift up their heads when their joyfulness is restored. Thus David spake, Psalm 3:4, “Thou, Lord, art the lifter up of mine head.” But because besieging is here put in opposition to this, he meant to say, that in that divine refuge he would be as it were lifted on high, so that he might fearlessly disregard the darts of his enemies, which might have otherwise pierced him. And in hoping for victory, though he was reduced to such straits as threatened instant death, he gives us a remarkable proof of his faith; by which we are taught not to measure the aid of God by outward appearances or visible means, but even in the midst of death to hope for deliverance from his powerful and victorious hand.




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