Psalm 142:5
This is what the psalmist is here doing; he is putting the Lord in remembrance of his servant's earnest vows.


1. He reminds the Lord how he had "cried unto him. His coming was with all earnestness and sincerity of soul; and he tells the Lord this, as much as to say, Lord, thou knowest that my prayer went not forth out of feigned lips, but it was with true heart that I turned to thee." Such is the prayer the Lord loves, and which alone has power and prevails.

2. He had said, "Thou art my Refuge and my Portion." First, the Lord was his Refuge. Many were his distresses; some of them inward, others outward. But from them all he found refuge in God. And he was but an example of what all may do, for where he found refuge from the sense of guilt, the power of sin, the cares of life, the fear of death, the craft and cruelty of men, there also may we. Blessed is he who hath sincerely said to the Lord, "Thou art my Refuge." And, further, he had said, "Thou art my Portion in," etc. He had chosen the Lord before all else. Many there were who were saying, "Who will show us any good?' but his prayer was, "Lord, lift thou up the light of," etc. He could say, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth," etc. Thus had he taken the Lord for his Portion, for his chief good. Blessed are they who have done the same!

3. And he had said this. To the Lord himself. He had made this confession and profession to him repeatedly, deliberately, solemnly; he was even declaring it when speaking to the Lord. And he had said it to himself, had habitually kept before his mind that he was not his own, but the Lord's. And he had said it before his fellow-men. He was openly and avowedly the Lord's; he made his boast in God.

4. And here he pleads this fact before God. For he felt sure that God would not cast off such as he was, but would assuredly hearken to him when, as now, he was "brought very low." And he was right.

II. HOW IT WAS SAID. Very earnestly. In no light mood, in no formal way, but he had "cried," etc. And he said it, in spite of opposition and persecution; and he means, by thus reminding the Lord of what he had said, to affirm his adherence thereto, and that he would by no means go back therefrom. And the obligation such avowal involved he was ready to meet and fulfill, God helping him. We are wont to make all manner of profession, but is it with this sincerity and resolve of heart?


1. Why did he make such profession at all? He bad felt his need of the Lord to be his Refuge and Portion. He had been brought to that conviction, as many are now. And he believed that God was both able and willing to be what he desired of him; hence he had sought the Lord on the matter, and he had actually found that the Lord was his Refuge and his Portion, his God and his exceeding Joy. Having found that, he could not do otherwise than avow it: "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare," etc.

2. Why does he recall to his mind this that he had said? Doubtless it was, as such a thing ever is, a great delight to him. Thus to recall it, to have said such things sincerely, is one of the facts in one's life that emphatically does bear recollection. It is not so with all life's facts. Then, by such recall, he would tighten their hold upon his own heart, engrave them there yet more deeply. Such is ever the effect of so doing. Every way it helped him. The Lord became more precious. It held him off from other proffered refuges and portions, of which the world pretends to have large store; it quickened in him the resolve to fulfill the obligations of his vow - such as abstaining from all sin, following after holiness, ever looking to the Lord. Anti he pleads what he had said, because he believed the Lord would allow its force, and let it be availing.


1. Let us take the Lord for our Refuge and Portion.

2. Openly avow it. Say out before the Lord and before all men what you have done.

3. And then, as here, often recall to memory what you have said, and that the vows of the Lord are upon you. - S.C.

Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
: —


1. God in Christ is the refuge itself (Isaiah 4:6; Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12; John 1:14; Isaiah 32:2; Deuteronomy 33:27).

2. This refuge is by a legal destination a refuge for lost mankind (2 Corinthians 5:19; John 3:14-16; Titus 3:4).

(1)For the oppressed (Psalm 9:9; Psalm 72:4; Romans 16:20).

(2)For outcasts (Psalm 142:4, 5).

(3)For debtors (Isaiah 25:4).

(4)For criminals liable to death by the law (Hebrews 6:18).

3. The gate of this refuge through which sinners enter is the vail of the flesh of Christ, rent, torn, and opened to let in the guilty creature unto Jehovah as a refuge (Hebrews 10:19, 20).

4. The covert in this refuge is the righteousness of Christ (Jeremiah 23:6; Philippians 3:9).

(1)The satisfaction of Christ's death and sufferings (1 John 2:2).

(2)The righteousness of Christ's life and conversation, who obeyed the commands of the law as a public person, as well as He suffered the penalty of it in that capacity (Romans 5:19).

(3)The holiness of His birth and nature (Hebrews 7:26).

5. The several apartments in this refuge for the various cases of the refugees are all the attributes and perfections of God the Lord Jehovah (Proverbs 18:10).

6. The boundaries of this refuge are the everlasting covenant (Psalm 46:7).

7. The sinner's entering into the refuge is by faith.


1. The same God in Christ, who is the refuge for poor sinners, is also the portion for them to live by.

2. God in Christ is what one may live on (Psalm 16:5, 6). In Him man has a dwelling-place (Psalm 90:1); raiment (Revelation 3:18); meat and drink (John 6:55); and all in a word (Philippians 4:18; 2 Corinthians 6:10). And hereto belongs the sanctification of the soul in the beginning, progress, and consummation of it, as that which is for the perfecting of the soul (1 Corinthians 1:30).

(T. Boston, D. D.)

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