14. Deliver me from the mire, that I may not sink: let me be delivered from my adversaries, and from the deep waters. 15. Let not the flood of waters overflow me; and let not the deep swallow me up; and let not the pit1 close its mouth upon me. 16. Answer me, O Jehovah! for thy mercy2 is good: in the multitude of thy compassions3 look upon me. 17. And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hasten! answer me! 18. Draw near to my soul, redeem it; deliver me, on account of my enemies.
14. Deliver me from the mire, that I may not sink. The Psalmist repeats the same similitude which he had used before, but in a different manner. He had previously said that he was sunk in the mire, and now he prays that he may not sink in it. In short, he now prays that those things may not now befall him which he had formerly complained of as having befallen him. But it is very easy to reconcile this diversity of statement; for in the opening of the psalm he spake according to his actual feeling and experience; but now, looking to the issue, although living in the midst of death, he cherishes the hope of deliverance. This is expressed still more clearly in the last clause of the 15th verse, where he prays, Let not the pit close its mouth upon me; which is as if he had said, Let not the great multitude and weight of my afflictions overwhelm me, and let not sorrow swallow me up.
16. Answer me, O Jehovah! for thy mercy is good. The appeal which he here makes to the mercy and compassion of God is an evidence of the distressed condition into which he was brought. There can be no doubt that he sustained a dreadful conflict, when he had recourse to these as the only means of his safety. It is a very difficult matter to believe that God is merciful to us when he is angry with us, and that he is near us when he has withdrawn himself from us. David, aware of this, brings to his view a subject which he may oppose to this distrust, and by pleading for the exercise of the mercy and great compassions of God towards him, shows, that the only consideration which inspired him with hope was the benignant and merciful character of God. When he says, a little after, Look upon me, it is a prayer that God would make it manifest in very deed that he had heard him by granting him succor. In the following verse he utters a similar prayer. And by repeating so often the same things, he declares both the bitterness of his grief and the ardor of his desires. When he beseeches God not to hide his face, it is not from any apprehension which he entertained of being rejected, but because those who are oppressed with calamities cannot avoid being agitated and distracted with mental disquietude. But as God, in a peculiar manner, invites his servants to him, David avows that he is one of their number. In thus speaking, as I have already shown, and will afterwards have occasion to state at greater length, he does not boast of services on account of which he could prefer any claim to a divine reward, but rather depends on the gratuitous election of God; although, at the same time, he is to be understood as adducing the service which he had faithfully yielded to God by whom he was called, as an evidence of his godliness.
18. Draw near to my soul, redeem it. David was doubtless fully persuaded by faith that God was near him; but as we are accustomed to measure the presence or absence of God by the effects, David here tacitly complains, judging according to the flesh, that he is far from him. By the expression, Draw near, he means, that in so far as could be gathered from his actual condition, God appeared to have no regard to his welfare. Again, by calling upon God to draw near to his life, which he seemed to have forsaken, he exhibits a striking proof of the strength of his faith. The more cruelly he is molested by the wicked and proud, the more does he trust that God will appear to deliver him. As has been elsewhere observed, it is always to be held as an undoubted truth, that since "God resisteth the proud" (James 4:6,) he must at length repress the insolence and pride of those who obstinately resist him, although he may seem to connive at them for a time.
1 "The Chaldee interpreter understands by the pit, Gehenna." -- Cresswell.
2 The original word