O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.
The believer is not at all times blessed with a spiritual and happy frame of mind, at least not in an equal degree; for there are times when sin lies heavy upon his heart. No wonder, then, if he cries out, when death knocks at the door, "Oh, spare me," etc.
I. ILLUSTRATE THE PASSAGE.
1. Death is represented as a "going hence," or departing from this world — out of time into eternity.
2. When persons go hence, they are said to be "no more."
3. Death is often, even to good men, an object of fear and dread. Those who are tired of the wilderness, and long to see the goodly mountain and Lebanon, would nevertheless wish, if possible, to avoid the Jordan that lies between.
4. Where this fear becomes immoderate, it is criminal, and highly unbecoming the Christian character. Are we not willing to be at rest, to be at home in our Father's house?
5. Yet this is not all he prays for, but that he may "recover strength" before he goes hence, and be no more. This may include the recovery of natural strength, or that he might be raised from his present infirm and languishing state; and such a prayer was offered by Job. But however desirable a revival of bodily strength may be, spiritual strength is still more so; and the prayer of a good man must be supposed to include both. This recovery of strength may embrace —
(1) A more eminent degree of spirituality and devotedness to God.
(2) Assurance of an interest in. the Divine favour.
II. APPLY THE SUBJECT TO OURSELVES.
1. If death be so dreadful to the righteous, what must it be to the wicked and ungodly. Their roots are so fastened in the earth, and their affections so firmly fixed on sensible objects, that it is no wonder they should start, back at the thoughts of dying.
2. Let Christians feel humbled and ashamed that their inordinate love of life should render death so formidable. Have you not forsaken all for Christ; and will you not forsake life itself for him?
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.