2 Samuel 14:17
Then your handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God…
The Lord thy God be with thee (Revised Version). The "wise woman," in closing her address to David and taking leave, as she thought, of him, pronounces this blessing upon him. It was a usual form of salutation amongst the Israelites; and, like our similar forms ("Adieu," equivalent to "to God [I commend thee];" "Good-bye," equivalent, perhaps, to "God be with thee"), was doubtless often employed without thought or feeling as to its significance. But in its full meaning it is the best blessing we can pronounce on our friends, the most comprehensive prayer we can offer for them. "The Lord Jesus be with thy spirit" (2 Timothy 4:22) is a similar benediction.
I. IT IS A PRAYER OF TRUE FRIENDSHIP. We can desire nothing more or better for our friends than what these words express. For consider:
1. What is included in God being "with" men. Not simply his nearness, but:
(1) His favour. His presence as a Friend with friends. Not merely as he is near to all men, the Upholder of their being and the Source of whatever they enjoy; but as he is near to those who are reconciled to him, whom he has forgiven and received into his spiritual family, who love him and delight in his love.
(2) His constant help. To defend, uphold, guide, supply with all needed and real good, temporal and spiritual; to impart to them wisdom, holiness, strength, and happiness.
(3) His converse with them. The manifestation of his presence and loving kindness; so that they discern his nearness, are conscious of his love and care and cooperation.
2. Whose friendship is thus invoked. That of "Jehovah thy God." The living God, the Eternal, the Almighty, the All-wise, the All-good, etc. Better to have him with us than all the world, all the universe. In fact, if God is with us, all things are really with us (see Romans 8:28, 31-39; 1 Peter 3:13).
II. IT IS A PRAYER NATURAL TO A PIOUS MAN. Springing from his personal experience of the blessedness of those who have God with them, and his desire that all, and especially those in whom he feels the deepest interest, should be partakers of the same blessedness.
III. IT IS A PRAYER ESPECIALLY SUITABLE TO BE OFFERED ON CERTAIN OCCASIONS. To express feelings of friendship, gratitude, benevolence, affection:
(1) To benefactors, whose kindness we feel we cannot requite. "I cannot repay you, but God can. May he be with you!"
(2) To needy persons, whose necessities we feel we cannot meet. Whether the need be temporal or spiritual. The poor, the sick, the perplexed; friends engaged in difficult enterprises or going into perilous circumstances; such as are leaving home or country; friends from whom we are parting, not knowing what may befall them or us.
(3) To dying friends, or those near us when we die." I die, but God shall be with you" (Genesis 48:21). It is a prayer that gives comfort and peace to him who presents it, quieting the tumult excited by the combination of strong desire with conscious helplessness.
IV. IT IS A PRAYER WHICH WILL BE FULFILLED TO THE RIGHTEOUS. The unrighteous can only secure the blessing for themselves by becoming righteous (see 2 Chronicles 15:2), through repentance and faith in Immanuel (equivalent to "God with us"). - G.W.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.