Psalm 118:10

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 10. All nations compassed me about. The hero of the Psalm, while he had no earthly friend upon whom he could thoroughly rely, was surrounded by innumerable enemies, who heartily hated him. He was hemmed in by his adversaries, and scarce could find a loophole of escape from the bands which made a ring around him. As if by common consent all sorts of people set themselves against him, and yet he was more than a match for them all, because he was trusting in the name of the Lord. Therefore does he joyfully accept the battle, and grasp the victory, crying, but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them, or "cut them in pieces." They thought to destroy him, but he was sure of destroying them; they meant to blot out his name, but he expected to render not only his own name but the name of the Lord his God more illustrious in the hearts of men. It takes grand faith to be calm in the day of actual battle, and especially when that battle waxes hot; but our hero was as calm as if no fight was raging. Napoleon said that God was always on the side of the biggest battalions, but the Psalmist warrior found that the Lord of hosts was with the solitary champion, and that in his name the battalions were cut to pieces. There is a grand touch of the ego in the last sentence, but it is so overshadowed with the name of the Lord that there is none too much of it. He recognized his own individuality, and asserted it: he did not sit still supinely and leave the work to be done by God by some mysterious means; but he resolved with his own trusty sword to set about the enterprise, and so become in God's hand the instrument of his own deliverance. He did all in the name of the Lord, but he did not ignore his own responsibility, nor screen himself from personal conflict, for he cried, "I will destroy them." Observe that he does not speak of merely escaping from them like a bird out of the snare of the fowler, but he vows that he will carry the war into his enemies' ranks, and overthrow them so thoroughly that there should be no fear of their rising up a second time.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 10. All nations compassed me about. A multitude of enemies everywhere cannot hinder the presence of God with us. Acts 17:28 . They are without; He is within, in our hearts; they are flesh; He is Spirit: they are frail; He is immortal and invincible. Martin Geier.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 10. Take a wide range and consider what has been done, should be done, and may be done "in the name of the Lord."