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71. Psalm 71

In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.

2Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.

3Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

4Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

5For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.

6By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.

7I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.

8Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.

9Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.

10For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,

11Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.

12O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.

13Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt.

14But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

15My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.

16I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.

17O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.

18Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

19Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!

20Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

21Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.

22I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.

23My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

24My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.

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10. For my enemies have said of me, etc. He pleads, as an argument with God to show him mercy, the additional circumstance, that the wicked took greater license in cruelly persecuting him, from the belief which they entertained that he was rejected and abandoned of God. The basest of men, as we all know, become more bold and audacious, when, in tormenting the innocent, they imagine that this is a matter in which they have not to deal with God at all. Not only are they encouraged by the hope of escaping unpunished; but they also boast that all comes to pass according to their wishes, when no obstacle presents itself to restrain their wicked desires. What happened to David at that time is almost the ordinary experience of the children of God; namely, that the wicked, when once they come to believe that it is by the will of God that his people are exposed to them for a prey, give themselves uncontrolled license in doing them mischief. Measuring the favor of God only by what is the present condition of men, they conceive that all whom he suffers to be afflicted are despised, forsaken, and cast off by him. Such being their persuasion, they encourage and stimulate one another to practice every thing harassing and injurious against them, as persons who have none to undertake and avenge their cause. But this wanton and insulting 109109     “Atqui proterva haec eorum insultatio.” — Lat. “Mais cest enrage desdain et outrage.” — Fr. procedure on their part ought to encourage our hearts, since the glory of God requires that the promises which he has so frequently made of succouring the poor and afflicted should be actually performed. The ungodly may flatter themselves with the hope of obtaining pardon from him; but this foolish imagination does not by any means lessen the criminality of their conduct. On the contrary, they do a double injury to God, by taking away from him that which especially belongs to him.




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