Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth
A godly man, according to the notation of the word F26, is one that has received grace and mercy of the Lord; as pardoning mercy, justifying and adopting grace; and who has principles of grace, goodness, and holiness, wrought in him; who fears the Lord, and serves him acceptably, with reverence and godly fear, and sorrows for sin, after a godly sort; who loves the Lord, and hopes and believes in him; who is regenerated and sanctified by the Spirit of God, and is a true worshipper of God, and lives in all holy conversation and godliness; and, particularly, is "beneficent", "kind", and "merciful" F1 unto men: such may be said to "cease" when there are but few of them; when their number is greatly reduced F2, either by death, or when such who have seemed, and have been thought to be so, prove otherwise: in a view of which, the psalmist prays for help and salvation; "help", or "save"
for the faithful fail from among the children of men;
so that there are none left among them but carnal, unregenerate, ungodly, and unfaithful men. The "faithful" are such who are upright in heart and conversation; who trust in the Lord, and believe in the Messiah; who abide by the truths and ordinances of God; and are faithful in what is committed to their trust, whether they be gifts of nature, Providence, or grace; and to their fellow Christians, in advising, reproving when needful: these may fail in the exercise of grace, and in the discharge of duty, but not so as to perish eternally. The words design the paucity of them, and the sad degeneracy of the times to which they refer: and they may belong either to the times of David, when Saul's courtiers flattered him, and spoke evil of David; when the men of Keilah intended to have delivered him up; when the Ziphites discovered him to Saul, and invited him to come and take him; or when Absalom rose up in rebellion against him, and so many of the people fell off from him: or else to the times of Christ; the people of the Jews in his age were a wicked and faithless generation; and even among his own disciples there was great want of fidelity: one betrayed him, another denied him, and all forsook him and fled; after his death, some doubted his being the Redeemer, and one of them could not believe he was risen from the dead, when he was. And these words may be applied to the antichristian times, the times of the grand apostasy, and falling away from the faith, upon the revealing of the man of sin; since which the holy city is trodden under foot; the witnesses prophesy in sackcloth; and the church is in the wilderness, and is hid there. Yea, to the second coming of Christ, when there will be great carnality and security, and little faith found in the earth. A like complaint with this see in ( Isaiah 57:1 ) ( Micah 7:2 ) .
F26 (dyox) "passive pro beneficiario, sive alterius beneficiis gratiosis cumulato", Gejerus.
F1 "Misericors", Pagninus, Mariana; beneficus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F2 "Rari quippe boni" Juvenal. Satyr. 13. v. 36.
F3 (heyvwh) "serva", Pagninus, Cocceius; "da salutem", Junius & Tremellius.