Psalm 40:17 Commentaries: Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.
Psalm 40:17
But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks on me: you are my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 40:17. I am poor and needy, &c. — “The church, like her Redeemer, is often poor and afflicted in this world, but Jehovah thinketh upon her, and is solicitous for her support; she is weak and defenceless, but Jehovah is her help and her deliverer. With such a Father, and such a friend, poverty becometh rich, and weakness itself is strong. In the mean time, let us remember, that he who once came in great humility, shall come again in glorious majesty. Make no tarrying, O our God; but come, Lord Jesus, come quickly,” Revelation 22:20. — Horne. 40:11-17 The best saints see themselves undone, unless continually preserved by the grace of God. But see the frightful view the psalmist had of sin. This made the discovery of a Redeemer so welcome. In all his reflections upon each step of his life, he discovered something amiss. The sight and sense of our sins in their own colours, must distract us, if we have not at the same time some sight of a Saviour. If Christ has triumphed over our spiritual enemies, then we, through him, shall be more than conquerors. This may encourage all that seek God and love his salvation, to rejoice in him, and to praise him. No griefs nor poverty can render those miserable who fear the Lord. Their God, and all that he has or does, is the ground of their joy. The prayer of faith can unlock his fulness, which is adapted to all their wants. The promises are sure, the moment of fulfilment hastens forward. He who once came in great humility, shall come again in glorious majesty.But I am poor and needy - More literally, "I am afflicted and poor." The language would describe the condition of one who was afflicted and was at the same time poor; of one who had no resource but in God, and who was passing through scenes of poverty and sorrow. There were undoubtedly times in the life of David to which this language would be applicable; but it would be far more applicable to the circumstances in which the Redeemer was placed; and, in accordance with the interpretation which has been given of the other parts of the psalm, I suppose that this is designed to represent his afflicted and humble condition as a man of poverty and sorrow.

Yet the Lord thinketh upon me - The Lord cares for me; he has not forgotten me. Man forsakes me, but he will not. Man leaves me to poverty and sorrow, but, he will not. How true this was of the Redeemer, that the Lord, the Father of mercies; thought on him, it is not needful now to say; nor can it be doubted that in the heavy sorrows of his life this was a source of habitual consolation. To others also - to all his friends - this is a source of unspeakable comfort. To be an object of the thoughts of God; to be had in his mind; to be constantly in his remembrance; to be certain that he will not forsake us in our trouble; to be assured in our own minds that one so great as God is - the infinite and eternal One - will never cease to think on us, may well sustain us in all the trials of life. It matters little who does forsake us, if he does not; it would be of little advantage to us who should think on us, if he did not.

Thou art my help and my deliverer - Implying the highest confidence. See the notes at Psalm 18:2.

Make no tarrying, O my God - Do not linger or delay in coining to my assistance. The psalm closes with this prayer. Applied to the Redeemer, it indicates strong confidence in God in the midst of his afflictions and sorrows, with earnest pleading, coming from the depth of those sorrows, that God would interpose for him. The vision of the psalmist extended here no farther. His eye rested on a suffering Messiah - afflicted, crushed, broken, forsaken - with all the woes connected with the work of human redemption, and all the sorrows expressive of the evil of sin clustering upon him, yet confident in God, and finding his last consolation in the feeling that God "thought" on him, and in the assurance that He would not ultimately forsake him. There is something delightful, though pensive, in the close of the psalm. The last prayer of the sufferer - the confident, earnest pleading - lingers on the ear, and we almost seem to behold the Sufferer in the depth of his sorrows, and in the earnestness of his supplication, calmly looking up to God as One that "thought" on him when all others had forgotten him; as a last, safe refuge when every other refuge had failed. So, in our sorrows, we may lie before the throne, calmly looking up to God with a feeling that we are not forgotten; that there is One who "thinks" on us; and that it is our privilege to pray to him that he would hasten to deliver us. All sorrow can be borne when we feel that God has not forgotten us; we may be calm when all the world forsakes us, if we can feel assured that the great and blessed God thinks on us, and will never cease to remember us.

17. A summary of his condition and hopes.

thinketh upon—or provides for me. "He was heard," "when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears, unto Him that was able to save him from death" [Heb 5:7].

Verse 17. No text from Poole on this verse. But I am poor and needy,.... As Christ was literally, 2 Corinthians 8:9; and in a spiritual sense, when deserted by his Father, forsaken by his disciples, and surrounded by his enemies; and had the sins of his people, the curse of the law, and the wrath of God upon him;

yet the Lord thinketh upon me; thinketh good for me, as the Targum; or thinks highly of me; has me in great esteem though despised of men, and in such a suffering state;

thou art my help and my deliverer; he believed he should have what he prayed for, Psalm 40:13; see Isaiah 50:7;

make no tarrying, O my God; which is a repetition of the request in Psalm 40:13.

But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. The Psalmist reverts to his own need, but in calm assurance that he is not forgotten.

But I, who am afflicted and needy:—

The Lord will take thought for me.

For afflicted and needy, see Psalm 9:18; Psalm 35:10; Psalm 37:14; Psalm 86:1; Psalm 109:22. With will take thought for me, cp. Psalm 40:5 (thoughts): Jonah 1:6. Psalm 70:5 reads O God, make haste unto me, probably an alteration suggested by the parallelism, make no tarrying. My help, as in Psalm 27:9 : my deliverer, as in Psalm 18:2; Psalm 18:48 (a different word from deliver in Psalm 40:13).

make no tarrying] Cp. Daniel’s prayer, Daniel 9:19 (A.V. defer not); and the promise, Isaiah 46:13Verse 17. - But I am poor and needy. David could say this in time of trouble. No one is more in need than a discrowned king, driven from his throne and land, and not yet restored to either (2 Samuel 9:4-20). Yet the Lord thinketh upon me. The "poor and needy" are those whom God especially considers (see Psalm 9:18; Psalm 10:12, 17, 18; Psalm 34:6; Psalm 35:10, etc.). Thou art my Help and my Deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God (comp. ver. 13, and the comment ad loc.).



The self-presentation before Jahve, introduced by אז אמרתּי, extends from הנה to מעי; consequently בּשּׂרתּי yltn joins on to אמרתי, and the אכלא which stands in the midst of perfects describes the synchronous past. The whole is a retrospect. בּשּׂר, Arab. bššr (root בש), starting from its sensible primary signification to scrape off, scratch off, rub smooth, means: to smooth any one (gltten), Engl. to gladden one, i.e., vultum ejus diducere, to make him joyful and glad, more especially to cheer one by good news (e.g., basharahu or bashsharuhu bi̇maulûdin, bashsharuhu bi-maulûdin, he has cheered him by the intelligence of the birth of a son), in Hebrew directly equivalent to εὐαγγελίζειν (εὐαγγελίζεσθαι). He has proclaimed to all Israel the evangel of Jahve's justifying and gracious rule, which only changes into retribution towards those who despise His love; and he can appeal to the Omniscient One (Jeremiah 15:15), that neither through fear of men, nor through shame and indolence, has he restrained his lips from confessing Him. God's conduct, in accordance with the prescribed order of redemption, is as a matter of fact called צדק, and as an attribute of His holy love, צדקה; just as אמוּנה is His faithfulness which fulfils the promises made and which does not suffer hope to be put to shame, and תּשׁוּעה is His salvation as it is manifested in facts. This rich matter for the preaching of the evangel, which may be comprehended in the two words חסד ועמת, the Alpha and Omega of God's self-attestation in the course of the redemptive history, he has not allowed to slumber as a dead, unfruitful knowledge hidden deep down in his heart. The new song which Jahve put into his mouth, he has also really sung. Thus far we have the first part of the song, which renders thanks for past mercies.
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