Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
Wait upon God. This is the refrain, which comes so sweetly at the middle (ver. 10), and then with increased force and emphasis at the end (ver. 17). The figure seems that of a sentinel on his tower. He is set there to watch. He must be vigilant and patient. There is much to try him, but not till morning breaks will he find release.
I. WAITING UPON GOD ASSURES DELIVERANCE. Waiting implies faith and hope. "The husbandman waiteth for the harvest." The physician waits for the effect of his remedies. The father waits for the time when his son is educated, and fit to take his place in the world. So we are to have faith, to hold ourselves still, in patient expectancy, till God's will is made known. Waiting does not preclude personal effort. On the contrary, it implies it. God will not do for us what he has made us able to de for ourselves. Our duty is to work, and wait upon God for his blessing. We must do our part, if we expect God to do his part. But there are times when we have, so far as we know, done all in our power, when we have exhausted all lawful efforts, and yet our condition is not bettered, but rather grown worse. Our straits are great. Our needs are urgent. Our enemies press us on every side, and shout as if sure of their prey. What comfort it is, at such a time, to commit ourselves to God, and to wait patiently for him from whom our salvation cometh! Remember what God is, and what he has done. He is our "Strength" and our "Defence." God in us is our Strength - our strength made perfect in weakness. We in God is our "Defence" - our Strong Tower to which we run and are safe.
II. WAITING UPON GOD AWAKENS PRAISE. (Vers. 14 17.) Here is a sweet strain of thanksgiving. The rage and malice of the enemy still continue, but it is malice that is defeated, and rage that is baulked of its prey. The "morning" brings deliverance, and, instead of the shrieks of the victim, there are the songs of the victor. God has saved his servant who trusted in him. How often has the same thing come true! God's people, waiting upon him in the day of their trouble, have found "defence" and "refuge." God's power has delivered them from their enemies; God's "mercy" has brought joy and peace to their hearts. Therefore they, with renewed ardour, say, "Unto thee, O my Strength, will I sing: for God is my Defence, and the God of my mercy." - W.F.