Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
Numbers 11:11). Paul was oppressed with "the care of all the Churches" (2 Corinthians 11:28). But increase the "burden," and multiply the "cares" ten thousand times, and what is it all compared with what falls upon God? What mind but the eternal mind of God could attend to all? What love but the infinite and unchanging love of God would not grow weary by the continual comings and the countless importunities of such multitudes of suppliants? But God bends his ear to all. Not one, not the humblest or the poorest, is neglected. Wherever we are, however great and sore may be our troubles, though weak and sinful and unworthy of the least of God's mercies, yet if we call upon him he will hear us; if we commit our cause to him, he will bring us deliverance. The psalm illustrates the power of prayer in trouble.
I. PRAYER SPRINGING FROM FAITH IN GOD. Like an exile, we may be far off from friends, solitary and sad. But God is always near. Though all help from man should fail, God is with us to deliver us. The enemy may be coming in like a flood. There may seem to be no way to escape. But God will, when we cry to him, stretch forth his mighty arm from above, and lead us to "the Rock" where we shall find safety and peace.
II. PRAYER SUSTAINED BY THE MEMORY OF PAST MERCIES. (Vers. 3-5.) We trust our friends. The remembrance of their kindness in the past emboldens us to confide in them for the future. How much more should we trust in God! "Thou hast been a Shelter for me" is a strong plea. Our past life is not lost. It is gone, but it has left its lessons and its memories. Looking back, we can see the hand of God. Our memories may be turned to hopes. Our remembrance of God's gracious dealings may be converted into inspiration and guidance for the future.
III. PRAYER RISING TO THE HEIGHTS OF ASSURANCE. (Vers. 6, 7.) When we are sincere in our prayers, we feel that we have not only pledged ourselves to God, but that God has pledged himself to us. He will not only give us "the heritage" of his people, but the "life" that will enable us to enjoy it. His white-robed angels of "mercy and truth" will go with us and preserve us, and we shall "abide before God forever."
IV. PRAYER CULMINATING IN JOYFUL CONSECRATION TO GOD. (Ver. 8.) Prayer ends in praise. True praise is not in words only, but in the free and joyous devotion of cur lives. Religion will be a daily duty. Our service here will be a preparation for our service hereafter - forever and ever. - W.F.
I. THE HEART BECOMES "FAINT" WHEN IT IS CONSCIOUS OF BEING FAR FROM GOD. (Ver. 1.)
II. WHEN THUS OVERWHELMED (OR FAINT), OUR DIFFICULTIES ARE TOO GREAT FOR US. (Ver. 2.)
III. WE ARE THEN DRIVEN FOR HELP TO GOD, WHO ALONE CAN ENABLE US TO SURMOUNT THEM. "Land me upon the rock that is too high for me."
IV. PAST EXPERIENCE WARRANTS US TO EXPECT THE INTERPOSITION OF GOD. (Ver. 3.)
V. TO DWELL NEAR GOD ALWAYS AND CONSCIOUSLY IS THE GREATEST BLESSEDNESS. (Ver. 4.) - S.