It is time for you, LORD, to work: for they have made void your law.…
The psalmist was surrounded, as would appear, by widespread defection from God's law. But instead of trembling as if the sun were about to expire, he turns himself to God, and in fellowship with Him sees in all the antagonism but the premonition that He is about to act for the vindication of His own work.
I. CALM CONFIDENCE THAT TIMES OF ANTAGONISM EVOKE GOD'S WORK FOR HIS WORD. It is ever His method to send His succour after the evil has been developed, and before it has triumphed. Had it come sooner, the priceless benefits of struggle, the new perceptions won in controversy of the many-sided meaning and value of His truth, the vigour from conflict, the wholesome sense of our weakness, had all been lost. Had it come later, it had come too late. So He times His help, in order that we may derive the greatest possible benefit from both the trial and the aid.
II. EARNEST PRAYER WHICH BRINGS THAT DIVINE ENERGY. The confidence that God will work underlies and gives energy to the prayer that God would work. The belief that a given thing is in the line of the Divine purpose is not a reason for saying, "We need not pray; God means to do it," but is a reason for saying on the contrary, "God means to do it; let us pray for it." And this prayer, based upon the confidence that it is His will, is the best service that any of us can render to the Gospel in troublous times.
III. LOVE TO GOD'S WORD MADE MORE FERVID BY ANTAGONISM.
1. Such increase of affection because of gainsayers is the natural instinct of loyal and chivalrous love. If your mother's name were defiled, would not your heart bound to her defence?
2. Such increase of affection because of gainsayers is the fitting end and main blessing of the controversy which is being waged. We never fully hold our treasures till we have grasped them hard, lest they should be plucked from us. No truth is established till it has been denied and has survived.
3. Such increase of attachment to the Word of God because of gainsayers is the instinct of self-preservation. The present conditions of opinion remands us all to our foundations, and should teach us that nothing but firm adherence to God revealed in His Word, and to the world which reveals God, will prevent us, too, from drifting away to shoreless, solitary seas of doubt, barren as the foam, and changeful as the crumbling, restless wave.
IV. HEALTHY OPPOSITION TO THE WAYS WHICH MAKE VOID THE WORD OF THE LORD. Let not the contradiction of many move you from your faith; let it lift your eyes to the hills from whence cometh our help. Let it kindle into fervent enthusiasm, which is calm sobriety, your love for that Word. Let it make decisive your rejection of all that opposes. Driftwood may swim with the stream; the ship that holds to her anchor swings the other way. Send that Word far and wide. It is its own best evidence.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.