|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
55:16-23 In every trial let us call upon the Lord, and he will save us. He shall hear us, and not blame us for coming too often; the oftener the more welcome. David had thought all were against him; but now he sees there were many with him, more than he supposed; and the glory of this he gives to God, for it is he that raises us up friends, and makes them faithful to us. There are more true Christians, and believers have more real friends, than in their gloomy hours they suppose. His enemies should be reckoned with, and brought down; they could not ease themselves of their fears, as David could, by faith in God. Mortal men, though ever so high and strong, will easily be crushed by an eternal God. Those who are not reclaimed by the rod of affliction, will certainly be brought down to the pit of destruction. The burden of afflictions is very heavy, especially when attended with the temptations of Satan; there is also the burden of sin and corruption. The only relief under it is, to look to Christ, who bore it. Whatever it is that thou desirest God should give thee, leave it to him to give it in his own way and time. Care is a burden, it makes the heart stoop. We must commit our ways and works to the Lord; let him do as seemeth him good, and let us be satisfied. To cast our burden upon God, is to rest upon his providence and promise. And if we do so, he will carry us in the arms of his power, as a nurse carries a child; and will strengthen our spirits by his Spirit, so that they shall sustain the trial. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved; to be so shaken by any troubles, as to quit their duty to God, or their comfort in him. He will not suffer them to be utterly cast down. He, who bore the burden of our sorrows, desires us to leave to him to bear the burden of our cares, that, as he knows what is best for us, he may provide it accordingly. Why do not we trust Christ to govern the world which he redeemed?
Verses 16-23. - In conclusion, the psalmist turns altogether to God, whom he now addresses as "Jehovah" (vers. 16, 22), and expresses his confidence that, in answer to his continual prayers (ver. 17), God will come to his aid, will deliver his soul from the machinations of his enemies, and will visit them with "affliction" (ver. 19) and "destruction" (ver. 23). Still grieved chiefly by the defection of his unfaithful friend, he once more describes the treachery and heinousness of his conduct (vers. 20. 21), before winding up with a word of comfort for all the righteous (ver. 22), and of menace against all the ungodly (ver. 23). Verse 16. - As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord (Jehovah) shall save me. The call is upon the God known to man by nature as the Almighty Ruler of the universe; the answer is from the covenant God of Israel, the Self-existent One, in whom Israel trusts. The two are different aspects of one and the same Being.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As for me, I will call upon God,.... Not upon a creature, on idols and images, on angels or saints departed; but upon God, in his time of trouble, for salvation and deliverance from enemies; who is able to save. This is to be understood of calling upon God in prayer; as Psalm 55:17 explains it, and the Targum here renders it; though sometimes invocation of the name of God takes in the whole of divine worship;
and the Lord shall save me; which confidence was founded partly upon his promise to deliver such that call upon him in the day of trouble, Psalm 50:15; and partly upon his power, whose hand is not shortened that it cannot save. The Targum is,
"the Word of the Lord shall redeem me.''
The Treasury of David
16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.
17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
18 He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.
19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
"As for me, I will call upon God." The Psalmist would not endeavour to meet the plots of his adversaries by counterplots, nor imitate their incessant violence, but in direct opposition to their godless behaviour would continually resort to his God. Thus Jesus did, and it has been the wisdom of all believers to do the same. As this exemplifies the contrast of their character, so it will foretell the contrast of their end - the righteous shall ascend to their God, the wicked shall sink to ruin. "And the Lord shall save me." Jehovah will fulfil my desire, and glorify himself to my deliverance. The Psalmist is quite sure. He knows that he will pray, and is equally clear that he will be heard. The covenant name is the pledge of the covenant promise.
"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray." Often, but none too often. Seasons of great need call for frequent seasons of devotion. The three periods chosen are most fitting; to begin, continue, and end the day with God is supreme wisdom. Where time has naturally set up a boundary, there let us set up an altar-stone. The Psalmist means that he will always pray; he will run a line of prayer right along the day and track the sun with his petitions. Day and night he saw his enemies busy (Psalm 55:10), and therefore he would meet their activity by continuous prayer. "And cry aloud." He would give a tongue to his complaint; he would be very earnest in his pleas with heaven. Some cry aloud who never say a word. It is the bell of the heart that rings loudest in heaven. Some read it, "I will muse and murmur;" deep heart-thoughts should be attended with inarticulate but vehement utterances of grief. Blessed be God, moaning is translatable in heaven. A father's heart reads a child's heart. "And he shall hear my voice." He is confident that he will prevail; he makes no question that he would be heard, he speaks as if already he were answered. When our window is opened towards heaven, the windows of heaven are open to us. Have but a pleading heart and God will have a plenteous hand.
"He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me." The deliverance has come. Joab has routed the rebels. The Lord has justified the cause of his anointed. Faith sees as well as foresees; to her foresight is sight. He is not only safe but serene, "delivered in peace" - peace in his inmost soul. "For there were many with me;" many contending against me. Or it may be that he thankfully acknowledges that the Lord raised him up unexpected allies, fetched him succour when he most needed it, and made the friendless monarch once more the head of a great army. The Lord can soon change our condition, and he often does so when our prayers become fervent. The crisis of life is usually the secret place of wrestling. Jabbok makes Jacob a prevailing prince. He who stripped us of all friends to make us see himself in their absence, can give them back again in greater numbers that we may see him more joyfully in the fact of their presence.
"God shall hear, and afflict them." They make a noise as well as I, and God will hear them. The voice of slander, malice, and pride, is not alone heard by those whom it grieves, it reaches to heaven, it penetrates the divine ear, it demands vengeance, and shall have it. God hears and delivers his people, he hears and destroys the wicked. Their cruel jests, their base falsehoods, their cowardly insults, their daring blasphemies are heard, and shall be repaid to them by the eternal Judge. "Even he that abideth of old." He sits in eternity, enthroned judge for evermore; all the prayers of saints and profanities of sinners are before his Judgment-seat, and he will see that justice is done. "Selah." The singer pauses, overwhelmed with awe in the presence of the everlasting God. "Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God." His own reverential feeling causes him to remember the daring godlessness of the wicked; he feels that his trials have driven him to his God, and he declares that their uninterrupted prosperity was the cause of their living in such neglect of the Most High. It is a very manifest fact that long-continued ease and pleasure are sure to produce the worst influences upon graceless men: though troubles do not convert them, yet the absence of them makes their corrupt nature more readily develop itself. Stagnant water becomes putrid. Summer heat breeds noxious insects. He who is without trouble is often without God. It is a forcible proof of human depravity that man turns the mercy of God into nutriment for sin: the Lord save us from this.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16-18. God answers his constant and repeated prayers.
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