I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
This expression may very properly be associated with David, or at least may be illustrated by certain experiences in his life. When he was hunted by Saul among the hills of the south country, he seems to have fallen into a desponding mood, and to have thought that nobody cared for him (see 1 Samuel 22:1; 1 Samuel 24:3). And as regards the help of man, he certainly then did seem desolate. But in God there still was hope. We may think of those who, with some measures of truthfulness, may nowadays say these words, "No man careth for my soul."
I. THE SO-CALLED HEATHEN. It would, perhaps, be well if we could give up using this term, which makes of those who have other thoughts of God than we have a distinct and lower class of beings. We have no right to put upon them the slur of a bad name. They are our brethren of this humanity, and God is both their Father and ours. They are the vast multitude of men. They are in mental bondage, and in moral degradation. Each one of them is kin with us in nature and destiny. Each one has intense inward desires, of which his particular religion is the wild, wandering expression. We have many interests in them that lie in the range of civilization and commerce, but how little and limited is our concern for their souls!
II. MULTITUDES IN OUR OWN NEIGHBORHOODS. Everywhere we are surrounded with those who do not know God, or do not hold him in personal and saving relations; and, alas! even with those who are living in the wretchedness of sin and vice. Do you think that their souls are altogether silenced? Do not they excuse their degradations by bitterly saying, "No man careth for my soul"? And in the sadly unaggressive character of very much present-day Christian life and labor, have they not a right to say it?
III. MANY OF OUR NEAREST AND DEAREST FRIENDS. Who among us has no unregenerate friends? Who should care for them? Are not some hindered because we have not shown our care for them? They question the worth of our professions if they do not inspire activity in winning and saving others.
1. Cultivate a deeper sense of the worth of souls.
2. Suspect that God's work for us to do will begin with what lies close to our hands. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.