|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
40:11-17 The best saints see themselves undone, unless continually preserved by the grace of God. But see the frightful view the psalmist had of sin. This made the discovery of a Redeemer so welcome. In all his reflections upon each step of his life, he discovered something amiss. The sight and sense of our sins in their own colours, must distract us, if we have not at the same time some sight of a Saviour. If Christ has triumphed over our spiritual enemies, then we, through him, shall be more than conquerors. This may encourage all that seek God and love his salvation, to rejoice in him, and to praise him. No griefs nor poverty can render those miserable who fear the Lord. Their God, and all that he has or does, is the ground of their joy. The prayer of faith can unlock his fulness, which is adapted to all their wants. The promises are sure, the moment of fulfilment hastens forward. He who once came in great humility, shall come again in glorious majesty.
Verse 11. - Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord. The supplicatory portion of the psalm here commences. David beseeches God, whose loving-kindness is so great (ver. 10), not to withhold from him those "tender mercies" which he lavishes so freely. As he is bent on "not withholding," or "refraining," his lips (ver. 9), so it is fitting that God should not "withhold," or "refrain" (כלא) his kindness. Let thy loving-kindness and thy truth continually preserve me (compare the last clause of ver. 10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord,.... this is a petition of Christ to his Father, when in the midst of his sorrows and sufferings, before related; and particularly when he hid his face from him, and withheld the discoveries of his tender and affectionate love;
let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me; as he had promised; of which promise some notice is given, Isaiah 49:8, in the fulfilment of which the lovingkindness, truth, and faithfulness of God, would appear. Some read these words as expressive of faith in these things, "thou wilt not withhold", &c. "thy lovingkindness and thy truth shall continually preserve me" (o).
(o) "non cohibebis", Gejerus, Michaelis; "custodient me", Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis.
The Treasury of David
11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me.
14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.
16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified.
17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
"Withhold not thou try tender mercies from me, O Lord." Alas! these were to be for awhile withheld from our Lord while on the accursed tree, but meanwhile in his great agony he seeks for gentle dealing; and the coming of the angel to strengthen him was a clear answer to his prayer. He had been blessed aforetime in the desert, and now at the entrance of the valley of the shadow of death, like a true, trustful, and experienced man, he utters a holy, plaintive desire for the tenderness of heaven. He had not withheld his testimony to God's truth, now in return he begs his Father not to withhold his compassion. This verse might more correctly be read as a declaration of his confidence that help would not be refused; but whether we view this utterance as the cry of prayer, or the avowal of faith, in either case it is instructive to us who take our suffering Lord for an example, and it proves to us how thoroughly he was made like unto his brethren. "Let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me." He had preached both of these, and now he asks for an experience of them, that he might be kept in the evil day and rescued from his enemies and his afflictions. Nothing endears our Lord to us more than to hear him thus pleading with strong crying and tears to him who was able to save. O Lord Jesus, in our nights of wrestling we will remember thee.
"For innumerable evils have compassed me about." On every side he was beset with evils; countless woes environed the great Substitute for our sins. Our sins were innumerable, and so were his griefs. There was no escape for us from our iniquities, and there was no escape for him from the woes which we deserved. From every quarter evils accumulated about the blessed One, although in his heart evil found no place. "Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up." He had no sin, but sins were laid on him, and he took them as if they were his. "He was made sin for us." The transfer of sin to the Saviour was real, and produced in him as man the horror which forbade him to look into the face of God, bowing him down with crushing anguish and woe intolerable. O my soul, what would thy sins have done for thee eternally if the Friend of sinners had not condescended to take them all upon himself? Oh, blessed Scripture! "The Lord hath made to meet upon him the iniquity of us all." Oh, marvellous depth of love, which could lead the perfectly immaculate to stand in the sinner's place, and bear the horror of great trembling which sin must bring upon those conscious of it. "They are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me." The pains of the divine penalty were beyond compute, and the Saviour's soul was so burdened with them, that he was sore amazed, and very heavy even unto a sweat of blood. His strength was gone, his spirits sank, he was in an agony.
Came at length the dreadful night;
Vengeance with its iron rod
Stood, and with collected might
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. may be rendered as an assertion, that God will not withhold (Ps 16:1).
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