Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before my face.
This second strophe of the psalm is very much like the first in substance, the matter running parallel with vers. 3-7. The fundamental thought on which all is based is that of the righteousness of God. The whole prayer is framed on that conception.
I. A PRAYER FOR RIGHTEOUS DELIVERANCE AND GUIDANCE.
1. For righteous guidance. "Lead me in thy righteousness; make thy way [the right way] plain to me."
2. For righteous deliverance. The unrighteous lay in wait for him - threatened his safety. There was "no faithfulness in their mouth;" they used slander and treachery when they dared not use open violence. Their inward part, their souls. were full of evil designs and purposes. "Their throat is like an open sepulchre," which yawns for his destruction. Their speech, fair and smooth, to flatter and put him off his guard and lure him on. With them, mouth, heart, throat, and tongue are all instruments of evil; and their malice was such that he needed the care and guidance of the righteous power above.
II. A PRAYER FOR RIGHTEOUS RETRIBUTION. (Ver. 10.) Punish. "The word properly signifies such a decision and judgment as would show and manifest what sort of neighbours they are when their ungodly dispositions are disclosed and every one is made known." Show them guilty. Let them fall through or because of their own counsels. Their counsels are of such an evil nature that they must in the end ensure their destruction. By means of their transgressions thrust them away - the same thought in substance as the last. But the great argument for retribution is - they have rebelled against thee. The enemies of the psalmist are the enemies of God. God's cause and that of his people are the same. Whoso toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye; "Saul, Saul, why porsecutest thou me?"
III. PRAYER FOR THE REALIZATION OF A RIGHTEOUS JOY. ("Vers. 11, 12.) This joy proceeds:
1. From the sense of refuge and defence we have in God.
2. From the love we have to God, for his goodness and righteousness.
3. From the knowledge we have that God does assuredly bless the righteous. - S.
Parallel VersesKJV: Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.