Psalm 94:18
When I said, My foot slips; your mercy, O LORD, held me up.
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Psalm 94:18. When I said, My foot slippeth — I am now upon the point of falling into mischief and utter destruction; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up — A merciful, gracious, and powerful hand was immediately stretched out to support my steps, and establish my goings. Observe, reader, we are beholden, not only to God’s power but to his pity, for spiritual supports, and we are then prepared to receive those supports, when we are sensible of our own weakness and inability to stand by our own strength, and come to God to acknowledge it, and to tell him how our foot slippeth.94:12-23 That man is blessed, who, under the chastening of the Lord, is taught his will and his truths, from his holy word, and by the Holy Spirit. He should see mercy through his sufferings. There is a rest remaining for the people of God after the days of their adversity, which shall not last always. He that sends the trouble, will send the rest. The psalmist found succour and relief only in the Lord, when all earthly friends failed. We are beholden, not only to God's power, but to his pity, for spiritual supports; and if we have been kept from falling into sin, or shrinking from our duty, we should give him the glory, and encourage our brethren. The psalmist had many troubled thoughts concerning the case he was in, concerning the course he should take, and what was likely to be the end of it. The indulgence of such contrivances and fears, adds to care and distrust, and renders our views more gloomy and confused. Good men sometimes have perplexed and distressed thoughts concerning God. But let them look to the great and precious promises of the gospel. The world's comforts give little delight to the soul, when hurried with melancholy thoughts; but God's comforts bring that peace and pleasure which the smiles of the world cannot give, and which the frowns of the world cannot take away. God is his people's Refuge, to whom they may flee, in whom they are safe, and may be secure. And he will reckon with the wicked. A man cannot be more miserable than his own wickedness will make him, if the Lord visit it upon him.When I said, My foot slippeth - I can no longer stand. My strength is gone; and I must sink into the grave. The original here is, "If I say, My foot slippeth," etc. The statement is general; that if at any time he had been, or should be, in such circumstances, then God would interpose. The general remark, however, is founded on his interposition on this particular occasion. His aid was then so marked and timely, that he felt that he could make the declaration general in regard to his whole life - to all circumstances in which he would ever be placed.

Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up - By thy merciful interposition thou didst keep me from falling. It was strength put forth as the expression of "mercy;" not strength to which he had any claim. How often in life may we say this of ourselves, that when just ready to sink; when our strength was almost gone; when a little severer pressure would have brought us to the grave, God by his mercy and his power interposed and saved us! Every such act of mercy - every new interposition in this manner - is a new gift of life, and lays us under obligation as if we had been just created, for it is just so much more of life given us by God.

17-19. a fact fully confirmed by his past experience.

dwelt in silence—as in the grave (Ps 31:17).

My foot slippeth; I am now upon the point of falling into mischief and utter destruction. When I said, my foot slippeth,.... There is no ground for me to stand upon; all is over with me; there is no hope nor help for me; I am just falling into ruin and destruction: such will be the desperate case of the church, at the time before referred to:

thy mercy, O Lord, held me up; the extremity of his people is the Lord's opportunity; then is his set time to arise, and have mercy on them; then mercy steps in, lays a solid ground and foundation for hope, and holds up in its arms a sinking people, and revives a dying cause.

When I said, {l} My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.

(l) When I thought there was no way but death.

18. The A.V. misses the picturesqueness of the tenses. When I said, My foot hath slipped, thy lovingkindness, Jehovah, was supporting me. I gave myself up for lost, but the right hand of love had hold of me all the time. Cp. Psalm 38:16; Psalm 18:35.Verse 18. - When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. Another respect in which the godly, even though suffering affliction, are blessed. God upholds their tottering feet, and, when they are in danger, keeps them from falling. The fourth strophe praises the pious sufferer, whose good cause God will at length aid in obtaining its right. The "blessed" reminds one of Psalm 34:9; Psalm 40:5, and more especially of Job 5:17, cf. Proverbs 3:11. Here what are meant are sufferings like those bewailed in Psalm 94:5., which are however, after all, the well-meant dispensations of God. Concerning the aim and fruit of purifying and testing afflictions God teaches the sufferer out of His Law (cf. e.g., Deuteronomy 8:5.), in order to procure him rest, viz., inward rest (cf. Jeremiah 49:23 with Isaiah 30:15), i.e., not to suffer him to be disheartened and tempted by days of wickedness, i.e., wicked, calamitous days (Ew. 287, b), until (and it will inevitably come to pass) the pit is finished being dug into which the ungodly falls headlong (cf. Psalm 112:7.). יּהּ has the emphatic Dagesh, which properly does not double, and still less unite, but requires an emphatic pronunciation of the letter, which might easily become inaudible. The initial Jod of the divine name might easily lose it consonantal value here in connection with the preceding toneless û,

(Note: If it is correct that, as Aben-Ezra and Parchon testify, the וּ, as being compounded of o (u) + i, was pronounced like the u in the French word pur by the inhabitants of Palestine, then this Dagesh, in accordance with its orthophonic function, is the more intelligible in cases like תיסרנו יּה and קראתי יּה, cf. Pinsker, Einleitung, S. 153, and Geiger, Urschrift, S. 277. In קומו צּאו, Genesis 19:14; Exodus 12:31, קומו סּעו, Deuteronomy 2:24, Tsade and Samech have this Dagesh for the same reason as the Sin in תשׁביתו שּׁאור, Exodus 12:15 (vid., Heidenheim on that passage), viz., because there is a danger in all these cases of slurring over the sharp sibilant. Even Chajug' (vid., Ewald and Dukes' Beitrge, iii. 23) confuses this Dag. orthophonicum with the Dag. forte conjunctivum.)

and the Dag. guards against this: cf. Psalm 118:5, Psalm 118:18. The certainty of the issue that is set in prospect by עד is then confirmed with כּי. It is impossible that God can desert His church - He cannot do this, because in general right must finally come to His right, or, as it is here expressed, משׁפּט must turn to צדק, i.e., the right that is now subdued must at length be again strictly maintained and justly administered, and "after it then all who are upright in heart," i.e., all such will side with it, joyously greeting that which has been long missed and yearned after. משׁפּט is fundamental right, which is at all times consistent with itself and raised above the casual circumstances of the time, and צדק, like אמת in Isaiah 42:3, is righteousness (justice), which converts this right into a practical truth and reality.

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