Psalm 142:5
I cried to you, O LORD: I said, You are my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) With this verse comp. Psalm 31:3; Psalm 22:8; Psalm 16:5, &c.

Psalm 142:5. I cried, rather I cry, unto thee, O Lord — Thou knowest me and carest for me, when no one else will, and wilt not fail me nor forsake me when men do. Thou art my refuge and my portion — Thou only art both my refuge to defend me from all evil, and my portion to supply me with all the good which I need and desire; in the land of the living — Even in this life, wherein I doubt not to see thy goodness, and more especially in the life to come. There is enough in God to answer all the necessities of this present time; we live in a world of dangers and wants, but what danger need we fear, if God is our refuge; and what wants, if he be our portion? Heaven, which alone deserves to be called the land of the living, will be to all believers both a refuge and a portion.142:1-7 David's comfort in prayer. - There can be no situation so distressing or dangerous, in which faith will not get comfort from God by prayer. We are apt to show our troubles too much to ourselves, poring upon them, which does us no service; whereas, by showing them to God, we might cast the cares upon him who careth for us, and thereby ease ourselves. Nor should we allow any complaint to ourselves or others, which we cannot make to God. When our spirits are overwhelmed by distress, and filled with discouragement; when we see snares laid for us on every side, while we walk in his way, we may reflect with comfort that the Lord knoweth our path. Those who in sincerity take the Lord for their God, find him all-sufficient, as a Refuge, and as a Portion: every thing else is a refuge of lies, and a portion of no value. In this situation David prayed earnestly to God. We may apply it spiritually; the souls of believers are often straitened by doubts and fears. And it is then their duty and interest to beg of God to set them at liberty, that they may run the way of his commandments. Thus the Lord delivered David from his powerful persecutors, and dealt bountifully with him. Thus he raised the crucified Redeemer to the throne of glory, and made him Head over all things for his church. Thus the convinced sinner cries for help, and is brought to praise the Lord in the company of his redeemed people; and thus all believers will at length be delivered from this evil world, from sin and death, and praise their Saviour for ever.I cried unto thee, O Lord - When there was no help; when I saw myself encompassed with dangers; when I looked on every hand and there was no "man" that would undertake for me.

I said, Thou art my refuge -

(a) My "only" refuge. I can go nowhere else.

(b) Thou art "in fact" my refuge. I can and do put my trust in thee. See the notes at Psalm 46:1.

And my portion - See the notes at Psalm 16:5.

In the land of the living - Among all those that live - all living beings. There is no one else among the living to whom I can come but to thee, the living God. My hope is not in human beings, for they are against me; not in angels, for they have not the power to rescue me. It is God only, the living God, whom I make my confidence and the ground of my hope.

5. (Compare Ps 31:14; 62:7). Thou only art both my refuge to defend me from all evil, and

my portion to supply me with all the good which I need and desire.

In the land of the living; even in this life, wherein I doubt not to see God’s goodness, as he said, Psalm 27:13. I cried unto thee, O Lord,.... Finding no help from man, he turns to the Lord, and directs his prayer to him in his distress;

I said, thou art my refuge; as he was, from all his enemies that were in pursuit of him, and from the storm of calamities he apprehended was coming upon him: and a refuge the Lord is to all his people in time of trouble; and where they always meet with sustenance, protection, and safety; he being a strong habitation, a strong hold, a strong refuge, to which they may resort at all times; and such is Christ to all sensible sinners that flee unto him, Hebrews 6:18;

and my portion in the land of the living; and a most excellent one he is, a large, immense, and inconceivable portion; he and all his perfections, purposes, promises, and blessings, being included in it; a soul-satisfying one, and which will never be taken away nor consumed; it is a portion in the present life; it will last as long as life lasts, and continues unto death, and at death, and for evermore, Psalm 73:26.

I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my {b} refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

(b) Though all means failed him, yet he knew that God would never forsake him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. I cried … I said] I have cried … I have said. The perfect tense describes what he has done in the past and is still doing. For the form of expression I have said cp. Psalm 140:6; for my refuge (a different word from that in Psalm 142:4) see Psalm 91:2; Jeremiah 17:17; &c.; for my portion see Psalm 16:5; Psalm 73:26; Psalm 119:57; Lamentations 3:24; for in the land of the living cp. Psalm 27:13; Psalm 116:9. He trusts that he “will not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”

5–7. Reminding God of his devotion in past times, he prays for a speedy answer to his prayer.Verse 5. - I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my Refuge. When men's fathers and mothers forsake them, the Lord taketh them up (Psalm 27:10). David looked to God as a sure Refuge at all times (Psalm 9:9; Psalm 18:1, 2; Psalm 57:1; Psalm 59:9, 16, 17). And my Portion in the land of the living; or, "my inheritance" (comp. Psalm 16:5; Psalm 73:26). If Psalm 141:7 is not merely an expression of the complaint, but at the same time of hope, we now have no need to give the כּי the adversative sense of imo, but we may leave it its most natural confirmatory signification namque. From this point the Psalm gradually dies away in strains comparatively easy to be understood and in perfect keeping with the situation. In connection with Psalm 141:8 one is reminded of Psalm 25:15; Psalm 31:2; with Psalm 141:9., of Psalm 7:16; Psalm 69:23, and other passages. In "pour not out (תּער with sharpened vowel instead of תּער, Ges. ֗75, rem. 8) my soul," ערה, Piel, is equivalent to the Hiph. הערה in Isaiah 53:12. ידי פח are as it were the hands of the seizing and capturing snare; and יקשׂוּ לּי is virtually a genitive: qui insidias tendunt mihi, since one cannot say יקשׁ פח, ponere laqueum. מכמרים, nets, in Psalm 141:10 is another hapaxlegomenon; the enallage numeri is as in Psalm 62:5; Isaiah 2:8; Isaiah 5:23, - the singular that slips in refers what is said of the many to each individual in particular. The plural מקשׁות for מקשׁים, Psalm 18:6; Psalm 64:6, also occurs only here. יחד is to be explained as in 4:9: it is intended to express the coincidence of the overthrow of the enemies and the going forth free of the persecuted one. With יחד אנכי the poet gives prominence to his simultaneous, distinct destiny: simul ego dum (עד as in Job 8:21, cf. Job 1:18) praetereo h.e. evado. The inverted position of the כּי in Psalm 18:10-12 may be compared; with Psalm 120:7 and 2 Kings 2:14, however (where instead of אף־הוּא it is with Thenius to be read אפוא), the case is different.
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