For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God…
He sometimes does it by infusing into them an extraordinary measure of wisdom and knowledge. Joseph and Daniel appear to have been thus enriched, the faculty of interpreting dreams being conferred upon them, at a momentous juncture, to qualify them for a great and special work; our Lord promised His disciples that, in the critical moment, though not before, they should be supplied with the mouth of wisdom, that might answer all their adversaries. Sometimes the hands of such believers are strengthened by a strange alteration in the feelings of powerful foes towards them, or by an unexpected accession of friends from quarters where, perhaps, they have expected the least. "When a man's ways please the Lord, He maketh even His enemies to be at peace with him." Laban shall be arrested in a dream by night, with the stern command, "See that thou speak not to Jacob good or bad"; the gaoler's heart shall be softened, that he bring forth Paul and Silas "out of their dungeon," and "wash their stripes, and set meat before them"; and the Pharisees, those determined foes of the gospel, moved by their hatred of the Sadducees, take the part of the preacher of the resurrection. God may add to our strength by confounding and debilitating our enemies; as He acted by David, when on his behalf He "turned the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness"; when He struck the inhabitants of Sodom with blindness; when He poured terror on the Syrian army that invaded Judea; and when the host of the Midianites fled in dismay before the lamps and pitchers of Gideon, and not a sword was drawn. And now that miracles are not wrought, we must still recognise in thousands of instances the overruling providence of God, working under the cover of natural causes to strengthen His people's hands.
(J. N. Pearson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.