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140. Psalm 140

Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

2Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.

3They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah.

4Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.

5The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.

6I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord.

7O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.

8Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.

9 As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.

10Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.

11Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.

12I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.

13Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

12. I have known; that God, etc. There can be no question that David here seals or corroborates his prayer by turning his thoughts and discourse to the providential judgments of God, for, as I have already said, doubtful prayer is no prayer at all. He declares it to be a thing known and ascertained that God cannot but deliver the afflicted. As he may connive for a time, however, and suffer good and upright persons to be grievously tried, David suggests as consideration which may meet this temptation, that God does so advisedly, that he may relieve those who are in affliction, and recover those who are oppressed. He accordingly says in express words that he will be the judge of the poor and the afflicted. In this way does he encourage both others and himself under continued troubles, till the time proper for deliverance arrive, intimating that though he might be universally considered an object of pity in being exposed to the fury of the wicked, and in not being immediately delivered by the hand of God, he would not give way to despair, but remember that it was the very part of God to undertake the cause of the poor. It were to weaken the passage if we considered David merely to be speaking of his own individual case.

He infers (Psalm 140:13) that the righteous would give thanks to God, and be safe under his help. For the particle אך, ach, which is often adversative in the Hebrew, is here affirmative, and denotes inference or consequence from what was formerly stated. Though the godly may be silenced for a time, and through the force of trouble may not raise the praises of God, David expresses his conviction that what was taken away would be speedily restored, and they would celebrate the loving kindness of the Lord with joy and alacrity. As this is not easily believed in circumstances of trial, the already referred to is inserted. We must endeavor, though with a struggle, to rise to a confident persuasion, that however low they may be brought, the Lord’s people will be restored to prosperity, and will soon sing his praises. The second clause of the verse gives the reason of their thanksgiving’s. He speaks of this as being the ground of the praises of the righteous, that they experience God’s care of them, and concern for their salvation. For to dwell before God’s face is to be cherished and sustained by his fatherly regards.


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