Verse 10. I believed, therefore have I spoken. I could not have spoken thus if it had not been for my faith: I should never have spoken unto God in prayer, nor have been able now to speak to my fellow men in testimony if it had not been that faith kept me alive, and brought me a deliverance, whereof I have good reason to boast. Concerning the things of God no man should speak unless he believes; the speech of the waverer is mischievous, but the tongue of the believer is profitable; the most powerful speech which has ever been uttered by the lip of man has emanated from a heart fully persuaded of the truth of God. Not only the Psalmist, but such men as Luther, and Calvin, and other great witnesses for the faith could each one most heartily say, "I believed, therefore have I spoken."
I was greatly afflicted. There was no mistake about that; the affliction was as bitter and as terrible as it well could be, and since I have been delivered from it, I am sure that the deliverance is no fanatical delusion, but a self evident fact; therefore am I the more resolved to speak to the honour of God. Though greatly afflicted, the Psalmist had not ceased to believe: his faith was tried but not destroyed.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 10. I believed, therefore have I spoken. It is not sufficient to believe, unless you also openly confess before unbelievers, tyrants, and all others. Next to believing follows confession; and therefore, those who do not make a confession ought to fear; as, on the contrary, those should hope who speak out what they have believed. Paulus Palanterius.
Verse 10. I believed, therefore have I spoken. That is to say, I firmly believe what I say, therefore I make no scruple of saying it. This should be connected with the preceding verse, and the full stop should be placed at "spoken." Samuel Horsley.
Verse 10. I believed, etc. Some translate the words thus: "I believed when I said, I am greatly afflicted: I believed when I said in my haste, all men are liars"; q.d., Though I have had my offs and my ons, though I have passed through several frames of heart and tempers of soul in my trials, yet I believed still, I never let go my hold, my grip of God, in my perturbation. John Trapp.
Verse 10. The heart and tongue should go together. The tongue should always be the heart's interpreter, and the heart should always be the tongue's suggester; what is spoken with the tongue should be first stamped upon the heart and wrought off from it. Thus it should be in all our communications and exhortations, especially when we speak or exhort about the things of God, and dispense the mysteries of heaven. David spake froth his heart when he spake from his faith. I believed, therefore have I spoken. Believing is an act of the heart, "with the heart man believeth"; so that to say, "I believed, therefore have I spoken," is as if he had said, I would never have spoken these things, if my heart had not been clear and upright in them. The apostle takes up that very protestation from David ( 2 Corinthians 4:13 ): "According as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak"; that is, we move others to believe nothing but what we believe, and are fully assured of ourselves. Joseph Caryl.
Verse 10. I was greatly afflicted. After that our minstrel hath made mention of faith and of speaking the word of God, whereby are to be understood all good works that proceed and come forth out of faith, he now singeth of the cross, and sheweth that he was very sore troubled, grievously threatened, uncharitably blasphemed, evil reported, maliciously persecuted, cruelly troubled, and made to suffer all kinds of torments for uttering and declaring the word of God. "I believed," saith he, "therefore have I spoken; but I was very sore troubled." Christ's word and the cross are companions inseparable. As the shadow followeth the body, so doth the cross follow the word of Christ: and as fire and heat cannot be separated, so cannot the gospel of Christ and the cross be plucked asunder. Thomas Becon (1511-1567 or 1570).
Verse 10-11. The meaning seems to be this -- I spake as I have declared ( Psalms 116:4 ) because I trusted in God. I was greatly afflicted, I was in extreme distress, I was in great astonishment and trembling (as the word rendered "haste" signifies trembling as well as haste, as it is rendered in Deuteronomy 20:3 ;) and in these circumstances I did not trust in man; I said, "all men are liars" -- i.e., not fit to be trusted in; those that will fail and deceive the hopes of those who trust in them, agreeable to Ps 62:8-9. Jonathan Edwards.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The rule: "I believed," etc. In general the Psalmist spoke what he had well considered and tested by his own experience, as when he said, "I was brought low and he helped me." "The Lord hath dealt bountifully with me."
- The exception; "I was greatly afflicted, I said," etc.
- He spoke wrongfully: he said "All men are liars," which had some truth in it, but was not the whole truth.
- Hastily: "I said in my haste," without due reflection.
- Angrily, under the influence of affliction, probably from the unfaithfulness of others. Nature acts before grace -- the one by instinct, the other from consideration. G. R.