Verse 88. Quicken me after thy loving kindness. Most wise, most blessed prayer! If we are revived in our own personal piety we shall be out of reach of our assailants. Our best protection from tempters and persecutors is more life. Lovingkindness itself cannot do us greater service than by making us to have life more abundantly. When we are quickened we are able to bear affliction, to baffle cunning, and to conquer sin. We look to the lovingkindness of God as the source of spiritual revival, and we entreat the Lord to quicken us, not according to our deserts, but after the boundless energy of his grace. What a blessed word is this "loving kindness." Take it to pieces, and admire its double force of love. "So shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth." If quickened by the Holy Ghost we shall be sure to exhibit a holy character. We shall be faithful to sound doctrine when the Spirit visits us and makes us faithful. None keep the word of the Lord's mouth unless the word of the Lord's mouth quickens them. We ought greatly to admire the spiritual prudence of the Psalmist, who does not so much pray for freedom from trial as for renewed life that he may be supported under it. When the inner life is vigorous all is well. David prayed for a sound heart in the closing verse of the last octave, and here he seeks a revived heart; this is going to the root of the matter, by seeking that which is the most needful of all things. Lord, let it be heart work with us, and let our hearts be right with thee.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 88. -- Quicken me after thy lovingkindness. Finally, the man of God appears entreating to be quickened, that so he may be enabled to keep the divine testimony... Here is a last resort, but it is a sure one. Let the living principles of divine grace be imparted to the soul, and the believer will be raised above dismay at the face of men. How does the spiritual mind triumph over even the infirmities of the body! We may behold this from the deathbed of the believer, and we may recall this in the lives and deaths of many eminent ones. The man of pure mind goes right to the fountain of life. He goes, with understanding, for he takes in the character in which the Lord hath spoken of himself: "Quicken me after thy lovingkindness." All at once he lays aside thought of his enemies; he is present with his God. His desire is to rise into higher spiritual existence, that he may hold closer communion with the Father of lights with whom there is no variableness. --John Stephen.
Verse 88. -- Quicken me, etc. He had prayed before, "Quicken me in thy righteousness" ( Psalms 119:40 ); but here "Quicken me after thy lovingkindness." The surest token of God's goodwill towards us is his good work in us. --Matthew Henry.
Verse 88. -- Quicken me. Many a time in this psalm doth David make this petition; and it seems strange that so often he should acknowledge himself a dead man, and desire God to quicken him. But so it is unto the child of God: every desertion and decay of strength is a death. So desirous are they to live unto God, that when they fail in it and find any inability in their souls to serve God as they would, they account themselves but dead, and pray the Lord to quicken them. --William Cowper.
Verse 88. -- The testimony of thy mouth. The title here given to the directory of our duty -- "The testimony of God's mouth," gives increasing strength to our obligations. Thus let every word we read or hear be regarded as coming directly from the "mouth of God" (Joh 6:63). What reverence what implicit submission does it demand! May it ever find us in the posture of attention, humility, and faith! each one of us ready to say, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth." --Charles Bridges.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 88. --
- New life is the cause of new obedience.
- New obedience is the effect of new life. --G.R.
Verse 88. -- Quickening.
- Our greatest need.
- God's most gracious boon.
- The guarantee of our steadfastness; and so,
- The promoter of God's glory.
Verse 88. --
- He closes with a frequent petition: "Quicken thou me -- make me alive." All true religion consists in the LIFE of God in the SOUL of man.
- The manner in which he wishes to be quickened: "After thy lovingkindness." He wishes not to be raised from the death of sin by God's thunder, but by the loving voice of a tender Father.
- The effect it should have upon him: "So shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth." Whatever thou speakest I will hear, receive, love, and obey. --Adam Clarke.