Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
I. HE HAD DIVINE WARRANT. The tenor of God's whole Word to man is, "Seek ye my face;" equivalent to "Come unto me for rest, for protection, for salvation." We are but obeying the Divine voice within and without us when we seek for refuge and an escape from all evil in God. Christ emphasized this truth when he cried, "Come unto me, all ye that labour," etc.
II. BECAUSE THERE WAS AN ABIDING RELATION BETWEEN HIM AND GOD. (Ver. 9.) He was God's servant; God had been his Help. The good Master would not cast the servant away in anger. Masters and servants were knit more closely together in early times than now; and the psalmist pleads this relation between them. Then God had helped him in former troubles, and God was too constant to change suddenly and to cast him away. How strong is our claim upon God in Christi He is our Father for ever, and we his children.
III. BECAUSE GOD DRAWS NEARER WHEN THE DEAREST EARTHLY FRIENDS FORSAKE US. (Ver. 10.) Father and mother had forsaken him, and God had taken him up. Trouble often cools the love of human relations, but only increases the Divine pity, and attracts God the more closely to us. The psalmist knew this as a fact of experience, and he could urge it as a plea now in his present distress. Difference between human love, however strong, and the Divine love. No grain or taint of selfishness in the Divine love, which clings to us steadfastly, through all our sins and sorrows.
IV. BECAUSE HE WAS IN DANGER FROM TWO CLASSES OF ENEMIES. (Vers. 11, 12.)
1. The cunning and deceitful. More dangerous than open and violent enemies. Just as we are in more danger from those sins which try to look like virtues, than from sins which we know to be sins. Avarice is thought prudence; pride is self-respect; cruelty claims to be justice, etc.
2. Those who employ open violence. This is dangerous, because urged on by unrestrained passion. Our passions, yielded to and indulged, are dangerous enemies. We have need to pray, "Teach me thy way, and lead me in an even path." - S.
1. The love of our heavenly Father towards all men, but especially His children by adoption and grace, is infinitely beyond the love of earthly parents towards their children.(1) They may prove unnatural; their bowels may be crusted up against the fruit of their own bowels. But the Lord cannot but love His people. He can as well cease to be, as to love.(2) Their love may be alienated by needless jealousies, or false suggestions, and so lost. But His love is durable; He loveth His own unto the end. He knoweth the singleness of their hearts, and will receive no accusation against them. They, alas, are negligent enough; unthankful, undutiful children: nay, stubborn and rebellious. But as David's heart longed after Absalom, because he was his son, though a very ungracious one: so His bowels yearn after those that are no ways worthy to be called His sons. Forgiving all their by-past miscarriages upon their true repentance; receiving them with gladness, though they have squandered away all their portion with riotous living, if they return to Him in any time with humble, obedient, and perfect hearts; and in the meantime using very many admonitions, entreaties, and other artifices to win them to repentance; and forbearing them with much patience; that they may have space enough to repent in. And if upon such indulgences and insinuations they shall come in; He will not only welcome them with kind embraces, but do His part also to hold them in, when they are even ready to fly out again, and were it not for that hold, would in all likelihood so do.(3) Parents' affections may be so strongly biassed another way, that in the pursuit of other delights they may either forget or disregard their children. But no such thing can befall our heavenly Father, who taketh pleasure in His people and in their prosperity,
I. THAT DAVID'S FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SO HIS NEAREST AND DEAREST FRIENDS, MIGHT LEAVE AND FORSAKE HIM.
When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.
I. THE PRECARIOUS TENURE IN WHICH WE HOLD EVERY EARTHLY BLESSING. Health, life, possessions, intellect, home affections — what security have we that any of these things will last? Do we not know how easily they may, any or all of them, be broken in upon and lost?
II. THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE CHRISTIAN'S PORTION WHEN ALL OTHER BLESSINGS FAIL. God seems to say, "I must remind them that this is not their home: I must cause that cherished object to forsake them, in order that My infinite mercy may take them up." But we may be certain that the Christian's portion is sufficient because:
1. Of the comprehensiveness of the Divine assurances.
2. Of the perfections of the Divine character.
3. The intercession of our great High Priest, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Daniel Moore, M. A.)
1. Through fear of Saul.
2. By Divine disposition, for the trial of David's faith and patience. Uses —
1. For instruction.(1) It shows most plainly how vain and uncertain the help of man is in time of need (Psalm 60:11; Psalm 62:9). The mutability of his affection. The instability of his condition.(2) See in David what may be the case of God's own dear children, even to be forsaken of their nearest and dearest earthly friends in time of distress (Psalm 68:9, 20; 2 Timothy 4:16).
2. For admonition.(1) That, seeing father and mother may forsake us, we put not our trust in men, be they never so near or dear unto us (Psalm 146:3, 4).(2) That we be not dismayed when our friends do fail us (Matthew 10:24, 25).
II. THAT WHEN DAVID'S NEAREST AND DEAREST FRIENDS FORSOOK HIM, THEN THE LORD WOULD GATHER HIM UP.
1. David stood rightly and truly in covenant with God, and so was interested in God's special providence.
3. David was holy in life and conversation, which gave him good assurance of special preservation (Psalm 18:17, 23).Uses —
2. For admonition. It serves effectually to move every one that desires this comfortable state both to get and preserve those graces in his soul, and also to testify that behaviour in life which entitled David to it.
3. For comfort. The godly, in times of distress, must call to mind this property in God, to be more firm and faithful to those that are His than natural parents are to their dearest children.
2. Fathers and mothers, through human ignorance, cannot perfectly understand the griefs of their children, nor infallibly know how to remedy them if they did. But God, who dwelleth in light, nay, who is light, knoweth the inmost recesses, the darkest thoughts and secrets of all men's hearts, better than themselves do lie perfectly understandeth all their wants, and what supplies are fittest in their respective conditions. His blessings are our daily food, His corrections our physic.
3. Whereas our earthly parents have a limited and very narrow power, and cannot therefore do their children the good they would; our heavenly Father's power is infinite: not hindered by any resistance, or retarded by any impediments; not disabled by any casualties, occurrences, or straitness of time.
4. Our fathers and mothers, where are they? And do prophets, or Princes, or any sort of men live for ever? They all pass like a shadow, wither as grass, and are driven away as the grasshopper. When they must go, they cannot help them. selves: and when they are gone, they cannot help us. They are mortal men; lie the immortal God: they are dying men; He the living God. Life is one of His prerogatives royal. And therefore, when our fathers and mothers, and friends forsake us, because either their love faileth, or their skill faileth, or their power faileth, or their life faileth: our heavenly Father, who wanteth neither love, nor wisdom, nor power, nor life, but is infinite in all; we may rest assured in every way accomplished to succour us at all assays, and to take us up. And that He will engage all these for our relief, if we will but cast ourselves wholly upon Him; we have His gracious promise to fill up the measure of our assurance.
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