Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also on me, and answer me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 27:7-12 are interpolated from another song of quite another kind in contents, art, and period.
I cry with my voice—i.e., aloud.
8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will Iseek.
9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
"Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice." - The pendulum of spirituality swings from prayer to praise. The voice which in the last verse was tuned to music is here turned to crying. As a good soldier, David knew how to handle his weapons, and found himself much at home with the weapon of "all prayer." Note his anxiety to be heard. Pharisees care not a fig for the Lord's hearing them, so long as they are heard of men, or charm their own pride with their sounding devotions; but with a genuine man, the Lord's ear is everything. The voice may be profitably used even in private prayer; for though it is unnecessary, it is often helpful, and aids in preventing distractions. "Have mercy also upon me." Mercy is the hope of sinners and the refuge of saints. All acceptable petitioners dwell much upon this attribute. "And answer me." We may expect answers to prayer, and should not be easy without them any more than we should be if we had written a letter to a friend upon important business, and had received no reply.
In this verse we are taught that if we would have the Lord hear our voice, we must be careful to respond to his voice. The true heart should echo the will of God as the rocks among the Alps repeat in sweetest music the notes of the peasant's horn. Observe, that the command was in the plural, to all the saints, "Seek ye;" but the man of God turned it into the singular by a personal application, "Thy face, Lord, will I seek." The voice of the Lord is very effectual where all other voices fail, "When thou saidst," then my "heart," my inmost nature was moved to an obedient reply. Note the promptness of the response - no sooner said than done; as soon as God said "seek," the heart said, "I will seek." Oh, for more of this holy readiness! Would to God that we were more plastic to the divine hand, more sensitive of the touch of God's Spirit.
"Hide not thy face far from me." The word "far" is not in the original, and is a very superfluous addition of the translators, since even the least hiding of the Lord's face is a great affliction to a believer. The command to seek the Lord's face would be a painful one if the Lord, by withdrawing himself, rendered it impossible for the seeker to meet with him. A smile from the Lord is the greatest of comforts, his frown the worst of ills. "Put not thy servant away in anger." Other servants had been put away when they proved unfaithful, as for instance, his predecessor Saul; and this made David, while conscious of many faults, most anxious that divine long-suffering should continue him in favour. This is a most appropriate prayer for us under a similar sense of unworthiness. "Thou hast been my help." How truly can we join in this declaration; for many years, in circumstances of varied trial, we have been upheld by our God, and must and will confess our obligation. "Ingratitude," it is said, "is natural to fallen man," but to spiritual men it is unnatural and detestable. "Leave me not, neither forsake me." A prayer for the future, and an inference front the past. If the Lord had meant to leave us, why did he begin with us? Past help is but a waste of effort if the soul now be deserted. The first petition, "leave me not," may refer to temporary desertions, and the second word to the final withdrawal of grace, both are to be prayed against; and concerning the second, we have immutable promises to urge. "O God of my salvation." A sweet title worthy of much meditation.
have mercy also upon me; by delivering him out of his temporal distresses, and by forgiving his iniquities;Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. Have mercy] Be gracious.
7–14. The tone of the Psalm changes abruptly to plaintive and anxious supplication. God seems to be on the point of hiding His face.Verses 7-14. - The strain now entirely changes. The rhythm alters from a jubilant double beat to a slow and mournful cadence. A cry is raised for mercy and pity - the wrath of God is deprecated - rejection and desertion are contemplated and prayed against (vers. 7-10). The danger from the enemy appears great and formidable (vers. 11, 12). With an effort of faith, the writer just saves himself from despair (ver. 14), and then, in brave words, braces himself up for further endurance. Verse 7. - Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. There is no "when" in the original. The clauses are short, and broken, "Hear, O Lord; with my voice I call; pity me, and answer me." Isaiah 60:1; cf. φῶς ἐλήλυθα, John 12:46. ישׁעי does not stand beside אורי as an unfigurative, side by side with a figurative expression; for the statement that God is light, is not a metaphor. David calls Him his "salvation" in regard to everything that oppresses him, and the "stronghold (מעוז from עזז, with an unchangeable ) of his life" in regard to everything that exposes him to peril. In Jahve he conquers far and wide; in Him his life is hidden as it were behind a fortress built upon a rock (Psalm 31:3). When to the wicked who come upon him in a hostile way (קרב על differing from קרב אל), he attributes the intention of devouring his flesh, they are conceived of as wild beasts. To eat up any one's flesh signifies, even in Job 19:22, the same as to pursue any one by evil speaking (in Aramaic by slander, back-biting) to his destruction. In בּקרב (the Shebג of the only faintly closed syllable is raised to a Chateph, as in ולשׁכני, Psalm 31:12, לשׁאול, and the like. The לי of איבי לּי may, as also in Psalm 25:2 (cf. Psalm 144:2), be regarded as giving intensity to the notion of special, personal enmity; but a mere repetition of the subject (the enemy) without the repetition of their hostile purpose would be tame in the parallel member of the verse: לי is a variation of the preceding עלי, as in Lamentations 3:60. In the apodosis המּה כּשׁלוּ ונפלוּ, the overthrow of the enemy is regarded beforehand as an accomplished fact. The holy boldness and imperturbable repose are expressed in Psalm 27:3 in the very rhythm. The thesis or downward movement in Psalm 27:3 is spondaic: he does not allow himself to be disturbed; the thesis in Psalm 27:3 is iambic: he can be bold. The rendering of Hitzig (as of Rashi): "in this do I trust, viz., that Jahve is my light, etc.," is erroneous. Such might be the interpretation, if בזאת אני בוטח closed Psalm 27:2; but it cannot refer back over Psalm 27:2 to Psalm 27:1; and why should the poet have expressed himself thus materially, instead of saying ביהוה? The fact of the case is this, בוטח signifies even by itself "of good courage," e.g., Proverbs 11:15; and בזאת "in spite of this" (Coccejus: hoc non obstante), Leviticus 26:27, cf. Psalm 78:32, begins the apodosis, at the head of which we expect to find an adversative conjunction.
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