Verse 134. Deliver me from the oppression of man. David had tasted all the bitterness of this great evil. It had made him an exile from his country, and banished him from the sanctuary of the Lord: therefore he pleads to be saved from it. It is said that oppression makes a wise man mad, and no doubt it has made many a righteous man sinful. Oppression is in itself wicked, and it drives men to wickedness. We little know how much of our virtue is due to our liberty; if we had been in bonds under haughty tyrants we might have yielded to them, and instead of being confessors we might now have been apostates. He who taught us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation," will sanction this prayer, which is of much the same tenor, since to be oppressed is to be tempted.
So will I keep thy statutes. When the stress of oppression was taken off he would go his own way, and that way would be the way of the Lord. Although we ought not to yield to the threatenings of men, yet many do so; the wife is sometimes compelled by the oppression of her husband to act against her conscience: children and servants, and even whole nations have been brought into the same difficulty. Their sins will be largely laid at the oppressor's door, and it usually pleases God ere long to overthrow these powers and dominions which compel men to do evil. The worst of it is that some persons, when the pressure is taken off from them, follow after unrighteousness of their own accord. These give evidence of being sinners in grain. As for the righteous, it happens to them as it did to the apostles of old, "Being let go, they went to their own company. "When saints are freed from the tyrant they joyfully pay homage to their king.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 134. -- Deliver me from the oppression of man.
- "Man" by way of distinction. There is the oppression and tyranny of the Devil and sin; but the Psalmist doth not mean that now: Heminum non daemonum, saith Hugo.
- "Man" by way of aggravation. Homo homini lupus: no creatures so ravenous and destructive to one another as man. It is a shame that one man should oppress another. Beasts do not usually devour those of the same kind; but, usually, a man's enemies are those of his own household: Matthew 10:36 . The nearer we are in bonds of alliance, the greater the hatred.
- "Man" by way of diminution. And to lessen the fear of this evil, this term Adam is given them, to show their weakness in comparison of God. Thou art God; but they that are so ready and forward to oppress and injure us are but men; thou canst easily overrule their power and break the yoke. I think this consideration chiefest, because of other places. "Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?" Isaiah 41:12-13 . --Thomas Manton.
Verse 134. -- From the oppression of man. Some render it, "from the oppression of Adam;" as Jarchi observes; and Arama interprets it of the sin of Adam, and as a prayer to be delivered or redeemed from it; as the Lord's people are by the blood of Christ. -- John Gill.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 134. -- What sins may be produced by oppression. What obedience ought to come from those who are set free.
Verse 134. --
- The course to he pursued: "thy precepts."
- The opposition to that course: "the oppression of men."
(a) Human opinions.
(b) Human examples.
- Human sympathies.
- The resistance to that opposition: "Deliver me, so will I," etc. --G.R.
Verse 134. -- Hindrances removed.
- The impeding influence of persecution.
- The prayer of the persecuted one.
- The conduct of the delivered one ( Luke 1:74 Luke 1:75 ). --G.A.D.
Verse 134. --
- How some men oppress their fellows. By the laws they make -- as statesmen. By the books they write -- as authors. By the tyranny they exercise -- as masters. By the lives they live -- as professors. By the sermons they deliver -- as ministers!
- How the prayer of the oppressed may be answered. By the gift of wise and good statesmen. By increase of sound literature. By the conversion or removal of hard masters. By a baptism of the Spirit on the church. --W.W.