Remember me, O LORD, with the favor that you bore to your people: O visit me with your salvation;…
Looked at from the standpoint of a true and sincere Christian, the one great salvation which runs through all his experience presents to his mind three distinct aspects. He contemplates a salvation of the past, a fact complete in itself, the starting-point of his new experiences, the commencement of his new life. But further, he recognizes a salvation of the present, a salvation that is going forward from day to day, a salvation which is as needful to the development and maintenance of the new life as the salvation of the past was to its commencement. And he looks forward to a salvation of the future, in which the life thus received and maintained will be crowned with glory, honour, and immortality, a salvation which shall lift him into a state in which danger is unknown, and in which therefore salvation is required no longer; so we may say, a state in which salvation shall be merged in glory. Let me offer a very simple illustration. We will suppose that this country is at war with some barbarous foe, and that a soldier, in whom our King is specially interested, has been captured by the enemy and condemned to death. Such a man is in present danger, and requires an instant salvation. Our King hears that he is to be executed, and he represents to the king with whom he is at war that he is particularly anxious that this man should not die, and backs the application with the offer of a large ransom. The terms are arranged, and the ransom is accepted. That moment the man is saved, saved by the King's grace. Such is the salvation of the past, to which the believer looks back with feelings of joyous certainty and of deep and fervent gratitude to Him who has rescued him from so great a death. But let us carry our illustration further. We will suppose that on his return home from that scene of terribly close danger the soldier approaches his sovereign to offer his thanks, and that he puts it to him, "I have saved you from death; now are you willing to fight my battles for me?" Surely, if the man has a spark of gratitude in his nature, his reply will be, "I am at your service, my King, from this time. My body and my blood are yours, and all my faculties, to my latest breath. Command what you will, I am ready." "Very well," replies his sovereign, "you shall go to the battle-field and fight my battles once more." But here, to complete our figure, we must suppose a thing impossible under the conditions of modern warfare. We will suppose that the King points to a suit of armour hanging mayhap on the wall. "Put on that suit of armour," he says, "and I will guarantee that as long as you wear it you will be safe, even in the midst of the battle — safe from all danger and death." Watch that man go forth to the battle. Here he is surrounded by danger. You ask the question, "Is he in danger, or is he not?" Look at him outwardly, and he is in great and unquestionable danger. Can you not hear the whistling of the bullets as they fly around him? At any moment he may fall, so you think, until you are let into the secret of that mysterious armour; but then, when you see him wearing that armour in the midst of every danger, you know that, since nothing can touch him or harm him as long as he wears it, in the midst of danger he is being saved. It is clear, then, that his part in this matter of his continuous salvation consists in the carefulness with which he sees to it that he never omits to clothe himself in the panoply of safety. If he becomes careless and despises his foe, or forgets that his safety is dependent upon the provision which his King has made to ensure it, he may still fall, but the fault will be his own. Even so we are being saved so long as we trust to and appropriate to ourselves the Divine provision for our safety; but when we cease to walk by faith we cease to live in safety; we are no longer being saved. Let us look at another picture. The campaign ends at last in victory; the enemy is crushed and slain; the soldier returns in triumph to his native land. His salvation is complete now, because he is not only rescued, not only armed with an impervious suit, but he is saved from all possibilities of carelessness that might have exposed him afresh to the powers of the foe. He is received into the palace, and becomes a member of the royal household, and his perils are of the past. Even so are we to be saved when the long conflict which has run through all human history comes to its close, and the latest foe is crushed under our great Victor's feet; then shall we join the great company that no man can number in the cry — "Salvation unto our God and to the Lamb."
(W. H. M. H. Aitken, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;