|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
39:7-13 There is no solid satisfaction to be had in the creature; but it is to be found in the Lord, and in communion with him; to him we should be driven by our disappointments. If the world be nothing but vanity, may God deliver us from having or seeking our portion in it. When creature-confidences fail, it is our comfort that we have a God to go to, a God to trust in. We may see a good God doing all, and ordering all events concerning us; and a good man, for that reason, says nothing against it. He desires the pardoning of his sin, and the preventing of his shame. We must both watch and pray against sin. When under the correcting hand of the Lord, we must look to God himself for relief, not to any other. Our ways and our doings bring us into trouble, and we are beaten with a rod of our own making. What a poor thing is beauty! and what fools are those that are proud of it, when it will certainly, and may quickly, be consumed! The body of man is as a garment to the soul. In this garment sin has lodged a moth, which wears away, first the beauty, then the strength, and finally the substance of its parts. Whoever has watched the progress of a lingering distemper, or the work of time alone, in the human frame, will feel at once the force of this comparison, and that, surely every man is vanity. Afflictions are sent to stir up prayer. If they have that effect, we may hope that God will hear our prayer. The believer expects weariness and ill treatment on his way to heaven; but he shall not stay here long : walking with God by faith, he goes forward on his journey, not diverted from his course, nor cast down by the difficulties he meets. How blessed it is to sit loose from things here below, that while going home to our Father's house, we may use the world as not abusing it! May we always look for that city, whose Builder and Maker is God.
Verse 13. - O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more. The Psalmist, no longer anxious for death, but still expecting it, requests of God, in conclusion, a breathing-space, a short time of refreshment and rest, before he is called on to leave the earth and "be no more ;" i.e. bring his present state of existence to an end. Nothing is to be gathered from the expression used as to his expectation or non-expectation of a future life.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
O spare me,.... Or "look from me" (f); turn away thy fierce countenance from me; or "cease from me (g), and let me alone"; as in Job 10:20; from whence the words seem to be taken, by what follows:
that I may recover strength; both corporeal and spiritual:
before I go hence; out of this world by death:
and be no more; that is, among men in the land of the living; not but that he believed he should exist after death, and should be somewhere, even in heaven, though he should return no more to the place where he was; see Job 10:20, when a man is born, he comes into the world; when he dies, he goes out of it; a phrase frequently used for death in Scripture; so the ancient Heathens called death "abitio", a going away (h).
(f) "respice aliorsum a me", Gejerus; "averte visum a me", Michaelis. (g) "Desine a me", Pagninus; "desiste a me", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "cessa a me", Vatablus. (h) Fest. Pomp. apud Schindler. Lexic. col. 440.
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