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9

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,

a stronghold in times of trouble.


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9. And Jehovah will be a refuge for the poor. David here furnishes a remedy for the temptation which greatly afflicts the weak, when they see themselves, and those who are like them, abandoned to the will of the ungodly, while God keeps silence. 173173     “Exposez a l’appetit et cruaute des meschans, sans que Dieu fkee semblant d’en rien veoir ne scavoir.” — Fr. “Exposed to the desire and cruelty of the wicked, while God seems neither to see nor to know any thing about it” He puts us in mind that God delays his aid, and to outward appearance forsakes his faithful ones, in order at length to succor them at a more convenient season, according to the greatness of their necessity and affliction. From this it follows, that he by no means ceases from the exercise of his office, although he suffer the good and the innocent to be reduced to extreme poverty, and although he exercise them with weeping and lamentations; for by doing this he lights up a lamp to enable them to see his judgments the more clearly. Accordingly, David expressly declares, that God interposes his protection seasonably in the afflictions of his people. The Lord will be a protection to the poor in seasonable times in trouble From this we are taught the duty of giving his providence time to make itself at length manifest in the season of need. And if protection by the power of God, and the experience of his fatherly favor, is the greatest blessing which we can receive, let us not feel so uneasy at being accounted poor and miserable before the world, but let this consolatory consideration assuage our grief, that God is not far from us, seeing our afflictions call upon him to come to our aid. Let us also observe, that God is said to be at hand in seasonable times when he succours the faithful during their affliction. 174174     “Notons aussi que Dieu est dit estre prest en temps opportun quand il subvient aux fideles lors qu’ils sour, affligez.” — Fr. The Hebrew word בצרה, batsarah, which occurs in the end of the 9th verse, is understood by some as if it were the simple word which signifies defense; but here they render it metaphorically distress, denoting those trying circumstances in which a person is so closely shut up, and reduced to such extremity, that he can find no escape. I, however, think there is more probability in the opinion of those who take ב, the first letter of בצרה, batsarah, as a servile letter meaning in, which is its ordinary signification. 175175     “In critical times, לעתות, leitoth; in [the season of] distress, בצרה, batsarah, בצרה is the substantive צרה under its own preposition ב, and is not so well rendered as a genitive following עתות.” — Horsley What is here said, then, is, that God assists his own people in the time of need, namely, in affliction, or when they are weighed down with it, for then assistance is most necessary and most useful.




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