And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.
I. THE SIMPLE PROPOSITION. "This is mine infirmity."
1. The saints and servants of God themselves have their infirmities.
(1) The reliques and remainders of the old man still abiding in them.
(2) Grace is wrought imperfectly in them.
2. Commonly they have some one more especially which they are addicted and inclined unto.
3. From the context we see what to judge of staggering at God's promises and providences. It is a very great weakness and infirmity.
(1) There is ignorance and want of understanding.
II. THE PERSONAL REFLECTION. "I said."
1. The quickness of his apprehension, in that he spies and discerns this weakness and infirmity in himself, while he says it, it is evident he spies it and finds it out.
2. The tenderness of his conscience, not only in that he discerned this distemper and infirmity in himself, but likewise that he checked himself for it, for so we must here take it.
3. The ingenuity of his spirit. I said it not only to myself, and in mine own heart, but as there was occasion for it, I said it to others also, and acknowledged it likewise to them.
4. The ground hereof in the servants of God is —
(1) That wonderful exactness and curiousness and sincerity which is remarkable in them. Tender consciences lament even infirmities, whilst hardened hearts go away with greater sins.
(2) It proceeds from that love and entireness of affection, which a good Christian bears to God. Love is shy of anything which may be offensive to the party beloved, not only of greater injuries, but of smaller unkindnesses. It is troubled when it is anything defective in the expressions of love, where it is due, and it concerns it to be so, and so it is also here. A godly man has his heart and his soul full of the love of Christ, and therefore is troubled for anything which is displeasing to Christ; not only for unsavoury speeches, but for unruly affections, not only for ungodly deeds, but for ungodly thoughts, which have a mark also of sinfulness upon them.
(3) It arises also from Christian prudence, as considering whither infirmities tend, and what they will come to if they be not better prevented.
III. THE PITCHING OR FASTENING UPON THE REMEDY. "I will remember," etc.
1. Take it according to the former translation, as it does exhibit to us the power of God. "The right hand of the Lord can change all this." This was that whereby David did support himself in his present affliction, that the Lord was able to change and alter this his condition to him, and that for the better. Though God Himself be unchangeable considered in His own essence, yet His works and providences and dispensations have a variety in them, and all such as do perfect and accomplish His most unchangeable purpose and decree which He has set down with Himself. God does never less change His mind than when He does most change His carriage and practice and outward administrations, as being able from contrary means to bring about the same gracious ends and effects which He hath appointed to accomplish, so that this expression hath no repugnancy or inconsistency with it at all, but is freely admitted by us, and to be improved as it is here by the psalmist.
2. For this last here before us, that is this, "I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High," where the word remember is borrowed from the next-following verse to supply the sense of this, as otherwise being not in the text. Now, here David fetches a ground of comfort from God's practice, as before he did from His power; there, from what God could do; here, from what He had done already in former times, and ages, and generations; he was resolved to reflect upon this, as a relief to him in his present infirmity. Now, there were two things especially which David here did reflect upon to this purpose, for the quieting of his spirit. The one was God's dealings with His people formerly, as to point of seeming desertion and outward discouragement; and the other was God's dealings with His people formerly, as to seasonable recovery and final acknowledgment. To each of these purposes would he remember the years of the right hand of the Most High, and each of them were a relief unto them. And there is very good ground to do so, because God is still the same; yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. He has the same love to His people still as ever, the same wisdom to advise them, and the same power to be active for them, and He will, therefore, change their conditions, because He does not change Himself.
(T. Horton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.