[If] thou faint in the day of adversity
When under bodily afflictions, stripping providences, reduced to great straits and wants; or under the violent persecutions of men, which is sometimes the case of the people of God; whose times are in his hands, times of adversity, as well as prosperity; and which are appointed by him, when they shall come, and how long they shall last; which is but for a short time, it is but a "day", and yet they are apt to "faint" under them, through the number and continuance of their afflictions; and especially when they apprehend them to be in wrath; when they have a sense of their sins at such a time, and no view of pardon; when they are under the hidings of God's face, their prayers do not seem to be heard, and salvation and deliverance do not come so soon as they expected; which, notwithstanding, shows the truth of what is next observed; thy strength [is] small;
such who are truly gracious are not indeed at such times wholly without strength; they are in some measure helped to bear up; but yet their sinkings and faintings show that they have but little strength: they have some faith that does not entirely fail, Christ praying for it; yet they are but of little faith; they have but a small degree of Christian fortitude and courage; there is a want of manliness in them; they act the part of children and babes in Christ; they do not quit themselves like men, and much less endure hardness, as good soldiers of Christ, as they should; they are, Ephraim like, without a heart, a courageous one, ( Hosea 7:1 ) . Some think the words have reference to what goes before, and the sense to be this, "if thou art remiss" F7; that is, if thou art careless and negligent in time of health and prosperity, in getting wisdom, as thinking it too high for thee, ( Proverbs 24:7 ) ; "in the day of adversity thy strength [will be] small"; thou wilt not have that to support thee which otherwise thou wouldest have had. Aben Ezra connects the sense with the following, "if thou art remiss", in helping and delivering thy friend in affliction, ( Proverbs 24:11 Proverbs 24:12 ) ; "in the day of adversity", or "of straitness, thy strength shall be strait"; thou shalt be left in thy distress and difficulties, and have none to help thee.