Verse 19-20. For he hath looked down from the heights of his sanctuary, or "leaned from the high place of his holiness," from heaven did the LORD behold the earth, looking out like a watcher from his tower. What was the object of this leaning lrom the battlements of heaven? Why this intent gaze upon the race of men? The answer is full of astounding mercy; the Lord does not look upon mankind to note their grandees, and observe the doings of their nobles, but to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death. Now the groans of those in prison so far from being musical are very horrible to hear, yet God bends to hear them: those who are bound for death are usually ill company, yet Jehovah deigns to stoop from his greatness to relieve their extreme distress and break their chains. This he does by providential rescues, by restoring health to the dying, and by finding food for the famishing: and spiritually this deed of grace is accomplished by sovereign grace, which delivers us by pardon from the sentence of sin, and by the sweetness of the promise from the deadly despair which a sense of sin had created within us. Well may those of us praise the Lord who were once the children of death, but are now brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God. The Jews in captivity were in Haman's time appointed to death, but their God found a way of escape for them, and they joyfully kept the feast of Purim in memorial thereof; let fill souls that have been set free from the crafty malice of the old dragon with even greater gratitude magnify the Lord of infinite compassion.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The notice which God takes of the world, Psalms 102:19 .
- The place from which he beholds it: "from heaven," not from an earthly point of view.
- The character in which he beholds it; "from the height of his sanctuary," from the mercy-seat.
- What attracts his notice most in the world. The groaning of the prisoner and of those appointed to death.
- The purpose for which he notices them. "To loose," etc.; "to declare," etc.
- For human comfort.
- For his own glory.
- When his notice is thus fixed upon the earth. "When," etc., Psalms 102:22 . G. R.