O LORD, I have heard your speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive your work in the middle of the years…
Time, like eternity, is full of God, and of the glory of His power. God's ceaseless work in nature is maintained unchanging "in the midst of the years." But there is a work of God to which everything in nature is subordinate. It is His work of grace; His work of redemption and recovery in this lost world; His work of establishing His own kingdom in the hearts of men. In the mind of the prophet, this work of God was identified with the welfare of that chosen nation, that peculiar people, which God had placed in covenant relation with Himself. What lessons may we gather from the prophet's words? In the first and second chapters of his prophecy, the prophet sees God's judgments coming upon Israel, then upon Israel's oppressors. We see what years those were of which the prophet speaks in the text. They were years of declension and prevailing wickedness, and years of God's displeasure. The prophet's first and foremost thought is that of the paramount importance of God's spiritual and saving work. Then he knows — the spirit of faith assures him — that God's great work will live, and will outlive every catastrophe. He not only prays that God will make His work to live, but that He will make it known. Learn —
1. The prayer for the revival, or the keeping alive of God's work, is the spontaneous utterance of a heart touched by God's Spirit.
2. God's work is often going on in the world when it is not seen or made known, when even His own people are not permitted to discern its progress.
3. Sometimes it is necessary for God to carry on His work by dispensations of wrath.
4. Blessed are the years in which God makes known His work as a work of power and mercy.
(Leonard Bacon, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.