Remember me, O LORD, with the favor that you bore to your people: O visit me with your salvation;…
I. The psalmist here prays for SALVATION. He says, first, that God saved the people out of Egypt. There they were, a nation of captives and bond-slaves; and He began to work with a high hand and an outstretched arm to bring them out of their captivity; and though they did not understand His wonders, yet, nevertheless, He saved them. That is a salvation in which you and I also delight, — salvation by the sprinkled blood, — salvation by the Paschal Lamb, — salvation by the right hand of God and His stretched-out arm, — a salvation which reveals His faithfulness, His mercy, and His power. Let us bless God if we know experimentally what this salvation means; and if we do not, let this be the prayer of each one of us, "O visit me with Thy salvation." Further on in the psalm, the writer sings of a second salvation when the people were delivered at the Red Sea. Its waves rolled before them, and they could not tell how they were to escape from Pharaoh, who was close behind with all the chariots and horsemen of Egypt pursuing them. So it was when you and I, having cried to God for mercy, at last found it through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Then we saw our sins cast into the depths of the sea, and we were ready to dance for joy as we said, "The depths have covered them; there is not one of them left." It may be that you and I have gone further on than this. We have been saved from our natural ruin, and saved from the power of despair wrought in us by conviction; and now we are fighting with our uprising corruptions. Our inbred sin is like the deep that lieth under, and perhaps, lately, the fountains of the great deep have been broken up within us. We cannot sin without being grieved and troubled by it; it is a vexation even to hear the report of it. Oh, that we could live without sinning at all! Well, now, if you are struggling against it, let this be your prayer to the Most High, "O visit me with Thy salvation." Our text may also be used in another sense, for salvation means deliverance from grievous affliction, just as, in this psalm, when the children of Israel were brought into great distress by their enemies, then God came, and saved them from their foes. So, at this time, you may be in great distress. Whether you are suffering in body, or in mind, or in heart, God knows how to deliver you.
II. VISTATION. Mark the condescension which the psalmist feels that the Lord will thus manifest. "O visit me with Thy salvation." Lord, I cannot be saved unless Thou wilt visit me. Visit me not as a saved one, but "visit me with Thy salvation." I am lost until Thou dost come to me. O come, Lord, and visit me as a Saviour. Come and visit me as a Physician, for I am sick. Pay me a visit of mercy, a visit of grace and tenderness. O thou great and glorious Lord, I beseech Thee, come and visit me. By the remembrance of Bethlehem's manger, come and visit me. And, as the angels sang when Thou didst thus descend to the lowliest of lowliness, so shall my heart sing yet more sweetly if Thou wilt visit me, — even me. It will be a great condescension on Thy part, but 'O visit me with Thy salvation.'" And it will be compassion, too, "'O visit me.' I am a prisoner; yet come, Lord, and visit me. I am lame and very weak. Lord, I have not a leg to carry me to Thy house; so come to my house, Lord. 'O visit me.' My heart is heavy, and sorely burdened; my very wishes lag, my prayers limp, my desires halt. O come and visit me. If I cannot come to Thee, yet come Thou to me, my God." But there is more in it even than that, there is also communion: "O visit me with Thy salvation." A visit from a beloved friend, — oh, what a joy it is! Most of you must have some friends who love you so much that, when they see you at their house, they do not want to know when you are going, but, if they could, they would make you always stop there. Dr. Watts went to see Sir Thomas Abney, at Abney Park, to spend a week; but that week lasted through all the rest of his life, for he never went away from there, and he lies buried in Abney Park, and Sir Thomas is buried there also, so that even in death the friends are not divided from one another. They never meant to part after they once came together. That is the kind of visit we want from the Lord, so let us breathe this prayer now, "O Lord, come and visit me; but do not merely pay me a brief visit, but come to stay with me."
III. PERSONALITY. "Visit me." This petition of the psalmist shows great necessity, great unworthiness, and great concentration of desire. If anybody says that it is selfish to pray for yourself so much, just ask him what he would do if he were drowning? Does anybody say that it is selfish for him to strike out and try to swim, or selfish to seize the lifebouy that is thrown to him? If you were in a fire, and likely to be burned to death, would anybody call you selfish because you looked out for the fire-escape, and climbed on to it as soon as it touched your window? And when your very soul is in danger, it is a hallowed selfishness to seek first its salvation. If your own soul be lost, what can you do for the salvation of other people? If you perish, what benefit can you be to your fellow-men? Therefore, keep to this personal prayer till it is answered, and when it is, then pray for all others as earnestly as you have prayed for yourself.
IV. Notice one thing more in this text, and that is, A SPECIALITY: "O visit me with Thy salvation," — the kind of salvation he has been describing in this psalm, the salvation wrought by omnipotent grace, the salvation of enduring love. The psalmist prayed, "O visit me with Thy salvation," and by that he meant real salvation, a radical change, a thorough work of grace. God's salvation includes a perfect cleansing in the precious blood of Jesus, a supernatural work in renewing the heart, a resurrection work in raising the dead, and giving a new life. This salvation is also complete salvation. It saves the man from the love of sin. It not merely saves him from getting drunk, from lying, and from thieving, and from uncleanness; but it saves him within as well as without. It is a thorough renewal, — a work of grace that takes effect upon every part of his nature, Lastly, and chiefly, God's salvation is eternal salvation. A good old divine was once asked whether he believed in the final perseverance of the saints. "Well," said he, "I do not know much about that matter, but I firmly believe in the final perseverance of God, that where He has begun a good work He will carry it on until it is complete." To my mind, that truth includes the final perseverance of the saints; they persevere in the way of salvation because God keeps them in it.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;