By this I know that you favor me, because my enemy does not triumph over me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)By this I know.—Better, shall know. His restoration would be a sign of the Divine favour, and a pledge of his victory over his enemies.
Triumph.—Literally, shout; “sing a paean.”Psalm 41:11-12. By this I know that thou favourest me — Bearest a good will to me, and art resolved to make good thy promises to me, and wilt plead my righteous cause; because mine enemy doth not triumph over me — Because hitherto thou hast supported me, and prolonged my days to the disappointment of his hopes, and designed triumphs. This mercy I thankfully receive as a token of further mercy. Thou upholdest me in mine integrity — As, through thy grace, I have kept my integrity, so thou hast kept me in and with it. Or, thou upholdest me for my integrity; that is, because thou hast seen my innocence, notwithstanding all the calumnies of mine enemies; and settest me before thy face for ever — Hebrew, ותציבני, vetatzibeeni, wilt set, confirm, or establish me in thy presence, under thine eye and special care; to minister unto thee, as a king over thy people. And in regard of his posterity, the kingdom was established for ever. Let us learn from hence, if at any time we suffer in our reputation, to make it our chief care to preserve our integrity, and then cheerfully to leave it to God to secure our reputation. We must remember, however, that we cannot hold our integrity any longer than God upholds us in it; for, by his grace we are what we are: if we be left to ourselves we shall not only fall but fall, away. But it may be a comfort to us to know, that, however weak we are, God is able to uphold us in our integrity, and will do it, if we commit the keeping of our souls to him in well doing; and that those whom he now upholds in their integrity, he will set before his face for ever, and make them happy in the vision and fruition of himself. He that endures to the end shall be saved.Psalm 20:6. This indicates a confident assurance that his prayer would be answered, and that he would be restored to health. How he had this assurance we are not informed, but it seems most probable that it was by an intimation conveyed to his mind by God himself. Compare, for a similar case, Philippians 1:25. See the notes at that passage.
That thou favorest me - That thou dost delight in me; that thou art my friend.
Because mine enemy doth not triumph over me - The word here rendered triumph properly means to shout, or to make a noise. As a sign of exultation, more especially in war: 1 Samuel 17:20. Here it means that his enemy would not secure a victory over him; or would not shout as if such a victory were obtained. That is, he felt assured now that all the machinations of his goes would be defeated; that all the hopes which they cherished that he was soon to die would be disappointed; that he himself would be recovered from Iris sickness, contrary to their malicious anticipations and desires. This he regarded as an evidence that God was his friend.
12 And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.
13 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen and Amen.
We all are cheered by tokens for good, and the Psalmist felt it to be an auspicious omen, that after all his deep depression he was not utterly given over to his foe. "By this I know that thou favourest me." Thou hast a special regard to me, I have the secret assurance of this in my heart, and, therefore, thine outward dealings do not dismay me, for I know that thou lovest me in them all. "Because mine enemy doth not triumph over me." What if the believer has no triumph over his foes, he must be glad that they do not triumph over him. If we have not all we would we should praise God for all we have. Much there is in us over which the ungodly might exult, and if God's mercy keeps the dogs' mouths closed when they might be opened, we must give him our heartiest gratitude. What a wonder it is that when the devil enters the lists with a poor, erring, bedridden, deserted, slandered saint, and has a thousand evil tongues to aid him, yet he cannot win the day, but in the end slinks off without renown.
"The feeblest saint shall win the day
Though death and hell obstruct his way."
"And as for me," despite them all and in the sight of them all, "thou up-holdest me in mine integrity;" thy power enables me to rise above the reach of slander by living in purity and righteousness. Our innocence and consistency are the result of the divine upholding. We are like those glasses without feet, which can only be upright while they are held in the hand; we fall, and spill, and spoil all, if left to ourselves. The Lord should be praised every day if we are preserved from gross sin. When others sin they show us what we should do but for grace. "He today and I tomorrow," was the exclamation of a holy man, whenever he saw another falling into sin. Our integrity is comparative as well as dependant, we must therefore be humbled while we are grateful. If we are clear of the faults alleged against us by our calumniators, we have nevertheless quite enough of actual blameworthiness to render it shameful for us to boast. "And settest me before thy face for ever." He rejoiced that he lived under the divine surveillance; tended, cared for, and smiled upon by his Lord; and yet more, that it would be so world without end. To stand before an earthly monarch is considered to be a singular honour, but what must it be to be a perpetual courtier in the palace of the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible?
The Psalm ends with a doxology. "Blessed be the Lord," i.e., let him be glorified. The blessing at the beginning from the mouth of God is returned from the mouth of his servant. We cannot add to the Lord's blessedness, but we can pour out our grateful wishes, and these he accepts, as we receive little presents of flowers from children who love us. Jehovah is the personal name of our God. "God of Israel" is his covenant title, and shows his special relation to his elect people. "From everlasting and to everlasting." The strongest way of expressing endless duration. We die, but the glory of God goes on and on without pause. "Amen and amen." So let it surely, firmly, and eternally be. Thus the people joined in the Psalm by a double shout of holy affirmation; let us unite in it with all our hearts. This last verse may serve for the prayer of the universal church in all ages, but none can sing it so sweetly as those who have experienced as David did the faithfulness of God in times of extremity.Thou favourest me; bearest a good will to me, and art resolved to make good thy promises to me, and wilt plead my righteous cause against them.
Because mine enemy doth not triumph over me; because hitherto thou hast helped and supported me, and prolonged my days to the disappointment of their hopes and designed triumphs. This mercy I thankfully receive as a token of further mercy. Compare 1 Samuel 17:37 2 Corinthians 1:9,10. Psalm 18:19; the token by which Christ knew this was,
because mine enemy doth not triumph over me; Judas could not; he was too short lived, he was quickly taken away, and all the woes fall upon him imprecated on him, Psalm 109:6; nor the Jews; for though they were highly delighted when they had fastened him to the cross, and when he was dead, and laid in the grave; yet they could not sing their jubilee song over him until the third day was past; for they knew he had given out that he should rise again the third day; on which day he did rise, and his apostles preached that he was alive, and through him the resurrection of the dead, to their great grief, vexation, and mortification: nor did Satan, the enemy of Christ, personal and mystical, triumph over him; not in the wilderness, where, after he had tempted him, he was obliged to leave him; nor in the garden, and his agony there, where he was strengthened by an angel; nor even on the cross; for on that Christ himself triumphed over Satan and his principalities, whom he spoiled, and destroyed the devil and all his works; and, at his ascension to heaven, led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men, in token of triumph, and went forth, in the ministration of the Gospel, conquering, and to conquer; turning men from the power of Satan, and causing his servants to triumph in him, while they were in every place diffusing the savour of his knowledge.By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. By this I know that thou delightest in me.
In the confidence of faith he can use the present: I know. Cp. Psalm 20:6. For delightest in me, cp. Psalm 18:19; Psalm 22:8; Psalm 35:27; 2 Samuel 15:26.
doth not triumph] Lit. raise a shout of victory. Cp. Psalm 25:2 (a different Heb. word); Psalm 30:1; Psalm 35:19; Psalm 38:16.Verse 11. - By this I know that thou favourest me; or, delightest in me (comp. Psalm 18:19; Psalm 22:8; 2 Samuel 15:26). Because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. David's enemies had not triumphed over him, and he felt assured that they would not be allowed to triumph. This assurance was so strong that he could make it an argument on which to ground his belief that God" delighted in him." David argues from effect to cause. Isaiah 32:11 (Hitzig). מתי (prop. extension, length of time) has only become a Semitic interrogative in the signification quando by the omission of the interrogative אי (common Arabic in its full form Arab. 'ymtâ, êmata). ואבד is a continuation of the future. In Psalm 41:7 one is singled out and made prominent, and his hypocritically malicious conduct described. ראות of a visit to a sick person as in 2 Samuel 13:5., 2 Kings 8:29. אם is used both with the perf. (Psalm 50:18; Psalm 63:7; Psalm 78:34; Psalm 94:18; Genesis 38:9; Amos 7:2; Isaiah 24:13; Isaiah 28:25) and with the fut. (Psalm 68:14; Job 14:14), like quum, as a blending together of si and quando, Germ. wenn (if) and wann (when). In ידבר לבו two Rebias come together, the first of which has the greater value as a distinctive, according to the rule laid down in Baer's Psalterium, p. xiv. Consequently, following the accents, it must not be rendered: "falsehood doth his heart speak." The lxx, Vulgate, and Targum have discerned the correct combination of the words. Besides, the accentuation, as is seen from the Targum and expositors, proceeds on the assumption that לבּו is equivalent to בּלבּו. But why may it not be the subject-notion: "His heart gathereth" is an expression of the activity of his mind and feelings, concealed beneath a feigned and friendly outward bearing. The asyndeton portrays the despatch with which he seeks to make the material for slander, which has been gathered together, public both in the city and in the country.
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