Verse 11. Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? This is grand faith which can trust the Lord even when he seems to have cast us off. Some can barely trust him when he pampers them, and yet David relied upon him when Israel seemed under a cloud and the Lord had hidden his face. O for more of this real and living faith. The casting off will not last long when faith so gloriously keeps her hold. None but the elect of God who have obtained "like precious faith" can sing --
"Now thou arrayest thine awful face
In angry frowns, without a smile;
We, through the cloud, believe thy grace,
Secure of thy compassion still."
And wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts? Canst thou for ever forsake thine own and leave thy people to be overthrown by thine enemies? The sweet singer is sure that Edom shall be captured, because he cannot and will not believe that God will refrain from going forth with the armies of his chosen people. When we ask ourselves, "Who will be the means of our obtaining a promised blessing?" we need not be discouraged if we perceive no secondary agent, for we may then fall back upon the great Promiser himself, and believe that he himself will perform his word unto us. If no one else will lead us into Edom, the Lord himself will do it, if he has promised it. Or if there must be visible instruments he will use our hosts, feeble as they are. We need not that any new agency should be created, God can strengthen our present hosts and enable them to do all that is needed; all that is wanted even for the conquest of a world is that the Lord go forth with such forces as we already have. He can bring us into the strong city even by such weak weapons as we wield today.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 11. Wilt not thou, O God? His hand shall lead him even to Petra, which seems unapproachable by human strength. That marvellous rock city of the Edomites is surrounded by rocks some of which are three hundred feet high, and a single path twelve in width leads to it. The city itself is partly hewn out of the cloven rocks, and its ruins, which however belong to a later period, fill travellers with amazement. -- Augustus F. Tholuck.
Verse 11. He who came victorious from Edom, and with garments dyed in the blood of his passion from Bozrah, will henceforth now go forth with the armies of the true Israel, -- for what are hosts without the Lord of hosts? -- to subdue their enemy. --Plain Commentary.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 11. (first clause). -- Confidence in a frowning God.
Verse 11. (second clause). Whether God will go forth with our hosts depends upon -- Who they are? What is their object? What is their motive and spirit? What weapons do they use? etc.