|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:8-10 What a sudden change is here! Having made his request known to God, the psalmist is confident that his sorrow will be turned into joy. By the workings of God's grace upon his heart, he knew his prayer was accepted, and did not doubt but it would, in due time, be answered. His prayers will be accepted, coming up out of the hands of Christ the Mediator. The word signifies prayer made to God, the righteous Judge, as the God of his righteousness, who would plead his cause, and right his wrongs. A believer, through the blood and righteousness of Christ, can go to God as a righteous God, and plead with him for pardon and cleansing, who is just and faithful to grant both. He prays for the conversion of his enemies, or foretells their ruin.
Verse 8. - Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity! Note the sudden change of tone, very characteristic of the Davidical psalms. The psalmist, having offered his prayer, is so certain of its acceptance that he at once turns upon his adversaries with words of reproach, and almost of menace. "Depart from me!" he exclaims; "get ye gone! do not dare any more to persecute me or plot against me! Your efforts are in vain." For the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. David speaks from an inward conviction. He knows that he has prayed sincerely and fervently. He is certain, therefore, that his prayer is heard and accepted.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity,.... The psalmist being fully assured that God had heard his prayer, that he should recover from his disorder, or be delivered out of his calamities, whether corporeal or spiritual, has on a sudden a spring of joy, faith, and comfort; as sometimes there is a quick transition from comfortable to uncomfortable frames; see Psalm 30:7; so on the contrary, there is as quick a passage from uncomfortable to comfortable ones; see Lamentations 3:18; who may be called "workers of iniquity" See Gill on Psalm 5:5; and these were either his open enemies, as Saul and his men, or Absalom and the conspirators with him, whom he bids to cease from following and pursuing after him; or his secret ones, hypocritical courtiers, that were about him, who were wishing and hoping for his death. It is the lot of God's people to be among the workers of iniquity; Lot was among the Sodomites, David was in Meshech and in the tents of Kedar, Isaiah was among men of unclean lips; Christ's lily is among thorns, and his sheep among goats; and though in some respects a civil conversation with wicked men cannot be avoided, for then good men must needs go out of the world; yet as little company should be kept with them as can be, and no fellowship should be had with them in sinful practices, nor in superstitious worship; and though there will not be a full and final separation from them in the present state of things, there will be hereafter, when these very words will be used by David's antitype, the Lord Jesus Christ; not only to profane sinners, but to carnal professors of religion, who have herded themselves with the people of God, Matthew 25:41. The reason why the psalmist took heart and courage, and ordered his wicked persecutors, or sycophants, to be gone from him, was his assurance of being heard by the Lord;
for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping; referring to what is said Psalm 6:6; he had not only lifted up his voice in prayer, but he had wept and made supplication, as Jacob did, Hosea 12:4; sometimes God brings his people to the throne of grace weeping, and with supplications leads them, Jeremiah 31:9; and then hears their cry and answers them.
The Treasury of David
8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.
9 The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.
10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.
Hitherto, all has been mournful and disconsolate, but now -
"Your harps, ye trembling saints,
Down from the willows take."
Ye must have your times of weeping, but let them be short. Get ye up, get ye up, from your dunghills! Cast aside your sackcloth and ashes! Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
David has found peace, and rising from his knees he begins to sweep his house of the wicked. "Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity." The best remedy for us against an evil man is a long space between us both. "Get ye gone; I can have no fellowship with you." Repentance is a practical thing. It is not enough to bemoan the desecration of the temple of the heart, we must scourge out the buyers and sellers, and overturn the tables of the money changers. A pardoned sinner will hate the sins which cost the Saviour his blood. Grace and sin are quarrelsome neighbours, and one or the other must go to the wall.
"For the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping, "What a fine Hebraism, and what grand poetry it is in English! "He hath heard the voice of my weeping." Is there a voice in weeping? Does weeping speak? In what language doth it utter its meaning? Why, in that universal tongue which is known and understood in all the earth, and even in heaven above. When a man weeps, whether he be a Jew or Gentile, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free, it has the same meaning in it. Weeping is the eloquence of sorrow. It is an unstammering orator, needing no interpreter, but understood of all. Is it not sweet to believe that our tears are understood even when words fail! Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers, and of weeping as a constant dropping of importunate intercession which will wear its way right surely into the very heart of mercy, despite the stony difficulties which obstruct the way. My God, I will "weep" when I cannot plead, for thou hearest the voice of my weeping.
"The Lord hath heard my supplication." The Holy Spirit had wrought into the Psalmist's mind the confidence that his prayer was heard. This is frequently the privilege of the saints. Praying the prayer of faith, they are often infallibly assured that they have prevailed with God. We read of Luther that, having on one occasion wrestled hard with God in prayer, he came leaping out of his closet crying, "Vicimus, vicimus;" that is, "We have conquered, we have prevailed with God." Assured confidence is no idle dream, for when the Holy Ghost bestows it upon us, we know its reality, and could not doubt it, even though all men should deride our boldness. "The Lord will receive my prayer." Here is past experience used for future encouragement. He hath, he will. Note this, O believer, and imitate its reasoning.
"Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed." This is rather a prophecy than an imprecation, it may be read in the future. "All my enemies shall be ashamed and sore vexed." They shall return and be ashamed instantaneously, - in a moment - their doom shall come upon them suddenly. Death's day is doom's day, and both are sure and may be sudden. The Romans were wont to say, "The feet of the avenging Deity are shod with wool." With noiseless footsteps vengeance nears its victim, and sudden and overwhelming shall be its destroying stroke. If this were an imprecation, we must remember that the language of the old dispensation is not that of the new. We pray for our enemies, not against them. God have mercy on them, and bring them into the right way.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8, 9. Assured of God's hearing, he suddenly defies his enemies by an address indicating that he no longer fears them.
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