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10

If my father and mother forsake me,

the Lord will take me up.

 


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10. When my father and my mother shall forsake me. As it appears from the sacred history, that Jesse, so far as his opportunity admitted, performed his duty to his son David, some are of opinion that the nobles and councillors are here mentioned allegorically; but this is not suitable. Nor is it with any reason that they urge this scruple. David does not complain that he was unnaturally betrayed by his father or mother; but by this comparison he magnifies the grace of God, declaring, that he would ever find him ready to help him, although he might be forsaken of all men. The Hebrew particle כי, ki, for the most part, signifies for, but it is also known to be often employed for the adverb of time, when. David, therefore, meant to intimate, that whatever benevolence, love, zeal, attention, or service, might be found among men, they are far inferior to the paternal mercy with which God encircles his people. The highest degree of love among men, it is true, is to be found in parents who love their children as their own bowels. But God advances us higher, declaring, by the prophet Isaiah, that though a mother may forget the child of her womb, he would always be mindful of us, (Isaiah 49:15.) In this degree does David place him, so that he who is the source of all goodness far surpasses all mortals, who are naturally malevolent and niggardly. It is, however, an imperfect mode of speech, like that in Isaiah 63:16,

“Doubtless, thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not.”

The purport of the whole is this: However inclined by nature earthly parents are to help their children, nay, though they should endeavor to cherish them with the greatest ardor of affection, yet should affection be wholly extinguished in the earth, God would fulfill the duty both of father and mother to his people. From which it follows, that we basely undervalue the grace of God, if our faith rise not above all the affections of nature; for sooner shall the laws of nature be overturned a hundred times, than God shall fail his people.




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