Psalm 119:114

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 114. Thou art my hiding place and my shield. To his God he ran for shelter from vain thoughts; there he hid himself away from their tormenting intrusions, and in solemn silence of the soul he found God to be his hiding place. When called into the world, if he could not be alone with God as his hiding place, he could have the Lord with him as his shield, and by this means he could ward off the attacks of wicked suggestions. This is an experimental verse, and it testifies to that which the writer knew of his own personal knowledge: he could not fight with his own thoughts, or escape from them, till he flew to his God, and then he found deliverance. Observe that he does not speak of God's word as being his double defence, but he ascribes that to God himself. When we are beset by very spiritual assaults, such as those which arise out of vain thoughts, we shall do well to fly distinctly to the person of our Lord, and to cast ourselves upon his real presence. Happy is he who can truly say to the triune God, "Thou art my hiding place." He has beheld God under that glorious covenant aspect which ensures to the beholder the surest consolation.

I hope in thy word. And well he might, since he had tried and proved it: he looked for protection from all danger, and preservation from all temptation to him who had hitherto been the tower of his defence on former occasions. It is easy to exercise hope where we have experienced help. Sometimes when gloomy thoughts afflict us, the only thing we can do is to hope, and, happily, the word of God always sets before us objects of hope and reasons for hope, so that it becomes the very sphere and support of hope, and thus tiresome thoughts are overcome. Amid fret and worry a hope of heaven is an effectual quietus.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 114. -- Thou art my hiding place and my shield, etc. From vain thoughts and vain persons the Psalmist teaches us to fly, by prayer, to God, as our Refuge and Protector. This course a believer will as naturally take, in the hour of temptation and danger, as the offspring of the hen, on perceiving a bird of prey hovering over their heads, retire to their "hiding place," under the wings of the dam; or as the warrior opposeth his "shield" to the darts which are aimed at him. --George Horne.

Verse 114. -- Thou art my hiding place. Christ hath all qualifications that may fit him for this work of being a hiding place to believers].

  1. He hath strength. A hiding place must be locus munitissimus. Paper houses will never be good hiding places. Houses made of reeds or rotten timber will not be fit places for men to hide themselves in. Jesus Christ is a place of strength. He is the Rock of Ages: His name is "the Mighty God," Isaiah 9:6 .
  2. He hath height. A hiding place must be locus excelsissimus. Your low houses are soon scaled. Jesus Christ is a high place; he is as high as heaven. He is the Jacob's ladder that reacheth from earth to heaven: Genesis 28:12 . He is too high for men, too high for devils; no creature can scale these high walls.
  3. He hath secret places. A hiding place must be locus abditissimus. The more secret, the more safe. Now, Jesus Christ hath many secret chambers that no creatures can ever find: Song of Solomon 2:14 , "O my dove, that art in the secret places of the stairs." As Christ hath hidden comforts which no man knows but he that receiveth them; so he hath hidden places of secrecy which none can find out but he that dwells in them. "Come, my people, outer into thy chambers, and shut the doors upon thee" ( Isaiah 26:0 ).
  4. Christ is faithful. He that will hide others had need be very faithful. A false hearted protector is worse than an open pursuer. "Will the men of Keilah deliver me up?" saith David; "They will deliver thee up," saith the Lord. But now Christ is faithful: Revelation 3:14 , he is "the faithful witness;" he cannot be bribed to surrender up any creature that comes to hide himself with him. Christ will die before he will betray his trust.
  5. Christ is diligent. Diligence is as necessary in those that will hide others, as faithfulness. A sleepy guard may betray a castle or garrison as well as a faithless guard. But Jesus Christ is very diligent and watchful, he hath his intelligencers abroad; yea, his own eyes run to and fro in the earth, to see what contrivances are made and set on foot against those who are hid with him: Psalms 121:3 - 4, "He that keepeth Israel neither slumbereth nor sleepeth." --Ralph Robinson (1614-1655), in "Christ All in All."

Verse 114. -- Hiding place. The first word in the verse means properly a secret, or a secret place. --Joseph Addison Alexander.

Verse 114. -- My shield. Good people are safe under God's protection; he is their "strength and their shield"; their "help and their shield"; their "sun and their shield"; their "shield and their great reward"; and here, their "hiding place and their shield" --Matthew Henry.

Verse 114. -- Shield. The excellency and properties of a shield lie in these things: --

  1. In the largeness and breadth of it, in that it hides and covers the person that weareth it from all darts that are flung at him, so as they cannot reach him: Thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield ( Psalms 5:12 ).
  2. The excellence of a shield lies in that it is hard and impenetrable. So this answers to the invincible power of God's providence, by which he can break the assaults of all enemies; and such a shield is God .to his people: "My shield, and he in whom I trust" ( Psalms 144:2 ).
  3. Shall I add one thing more? Stones and darts flung upon a hard shield are beaten back upon him that flings them; so God beats back the evil upon his enemies and the enemies of his people: "Bring them down, O Lord, our shield" ( Psalms 59:11 ). --Thomas Manton.

Verse 114. -- I hope in thy word. Of all the ingredients that sweeten the cup of human life, there is none more rich or powerful than hope. Its absence embitters the sweetest lot; its presence alleviates the deepest woe. Surround me with all the joys which memory can awaken or possession bestow, -- without hope it is not enough. In the absence of hope there is sadness in past and present joys -- sadness in the thought that the past is past, and that the present is passing too. But though you strip me of all the joys the past or the present can confer, if the morrow shineth bright with hope, I am glad amid my woe. Of all the busy motives that stir this teeming earth, hope is the busiest. It is the sweetest balm that soothes our sorrows, the brightest beam that gilds our pleasures. Hope is the noblest offspring, the first born, the last buried child of foreseeing and forecasting man. Without it the unthinking cattle may be content amid present plenty. But without it reflecting man should not, cannot be truly happy. --William Grant (1814-1876), in "Christ our Hope, and other Sermons"

Verse 114-115. -- Thou art my hiding place. "Depart from me, ye evil doers." Safe and quiet in his hiding place, David deprecates all attempts to disturb his peace. The society, therefore, of the ungodly is intolerable to him, and he cannot forbear frowning them from his presence. He had found them to be opposed to his best interests; and he feared their influence in shaking his determination of obedience to his God. Indeed, when have the Lord's people failed to experience such society to be a prevailing hindrance alike to the enjoyment and to the service of God? --Charles Bridges.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 114. -- Our protection from danger -- "hiding-place"; in danger -- "shield"; before danger -- "I hope."

Verse 114. -- Hiding place. Secrecy to conceal us. Capacity to hold us. Safety. Comfort. -- T. Manton.

Verse 114. -- Hiding and hoping.

  1. A hiding place needed.
  2. A hiding place provided ( Isaiah 25:14 32:2).
  3. A hiding place used. --C.A.D.

Verse 114. --

  1. The refuge provided: "Thou art," etc.
  2. The refuge revealed: "In thy word."
  3. The refuge found: "I hope," etc. --G.R.

Verse 114. -- Thou art my hiding place.

  1. In thy grace, from condemnation.
  2. In thy compassion, from sorrow.
  3. In thy succour, from temptation.
  4. In thy power, from opposition.
  5. In thy fulness, from want. --W.J.