World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
Prayer for Guidance and for Deliverance
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
1. Unto thee, O Jehovah! etc The Psalmist declares at the very outset, that he is not driven hither and thither, after the manner of the ungodly, but that he directs all his desires and prayers to God alone. Nothing is more inconsistent with true and sincere prayer to God, than to waver and gaze about as the heathen do, for some help from the world; and at the same time to forsake God, or not to betake ourselves directly to his guardianship and protection. Those who imagine that David here declares that he had devoted himself entirely to God, as if he had offered up himself in sacrifice, do not properly understand the import of the passage. The meaning rather is, that in order to strengthen the hope of obtaining his request, he declares, what is of the greatest importance in prayer, that he had his hope fixed in God, and that he was not ensnared by the allurements of the world, or prevented from lifting up his soul fully and unfeignedly to God. In order, therefore, that we may pray aright to God, let us be directed by this rule — not to distract our minds by various and uncertain hopes, nor to depend on worldly aid, but to yield to God the honor of lifting up our hearts to him in sincere and earnest prayer. Moreover, although the verb is properly rendered, I will lift up, yet I have followed other interpreters in changing it into the past tense, I have lifted up By the future tense, however, David denotes a continued act.
2. O my God! I have put my trust in thee. By this verse we learn, (what will appear more clearly afterwards,) that David had to do with men; but as he was persuaded that his enemies were, as it were, the scourges of God, he with good reason asks that God would restrain them by his power, lest they should become more insolent, and continue, to exceed all bounds. By the word trust he confirms what he had just said of the lifting up of his soul to God; for the term is employed either as descriptive of the way in which the souls of the faithful are lifted up, or else faith and hope are added as the cause of such an effect, namely, the lifting up of the soul. And, indeed, these are the wings by which our souls, rising above this world, are lifted up to God. David, then, was carried upward to God with the whole desire of his heart, because, trusting to his promises, he thereby hoped for sure salvation. When he asks that God would not suffer him to be put to shame, he offers up a prayer which is taken from the ordinary doctrine of Scripture, namely, that they who trust in God shall never be ashamed. The reason which is added, and which he here pleads, to induce God to have pity upon him, ought also to be noticed. It is this, that he might not be exposed to the derision of his enemies, whose pride is no less hurtful to the feelings of the godly than it is displeasing to God.