1. O Jehovah, my God, in thee do I trust:save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me. 2. Lest he seize upon my soul as a lion, and tear it in pieces, while there is none to deliver it.
At the commencement of the psalm, David speaks of having many enemies, and in the second verse he specifies some one in the singular number. And certainly, since the minds of all men were inflamed against him, he had very good reason for praying to be delivered from all his persecutors. But as the wicked cruelty of the king, like a firebrand, had kindled against him, though an innocent person, the hatred of the whole people, he had good reason also for turning his pen particularly against him. Thus, in the first verse, he describes the true character of his own circumstances--he was a persecuted man; and, in the second verse, the fountain or cause of the calamity he was enduring. There is great emphasis in these words which he uses in the beginning of the Psalms O Jehovah my Godly in thee do I trust. The verb, it is true, is in the past tense in the Hebrew; and, therefore, if literally translated, the reading would be, In thee have I trusted; but as the Hebrews often take one tense for another,1 I prefer to translate it in the present, In thee I do trust, especially since it is abundantly evident that a continued act, as it is termed, is denoted. David does not boast of a confidence in God, from which he had now fallen, but of a confidence which he constantly entertained in his afflictions. And this is a genuine and an undoubted proof of our faith, when, being visited with adversity, we, notwithstanding, persevere in cherishing and exercising hope in God. From this passage, we also learn that the gate of mercy is shut against our prayers if the key of faith do not open it for us. Nor does he use superfluous language when he calls Jehovah his own God; for by setting up this as a bulwark before him, he beats back the waves of temptations, that they may not overwhelm his faith. In the second verses by the figure of a lion, he represents in a stronger light the cruelty of Saul, as an argument to induce God to grant him assistance, even as he ascribes it to Him as his peculiar province to rescue his poor sheep from the jaws of wolves.