Verse 7. I am for peace. Properly, "I am peace"; desirous of peace, peaceful, forbearing, -- in fact, peace itself.
But when I speak, they are for war. My kindest words appear to provoke them, and they are at daggers drawn at once. Nothing pleases them; if I am silent they count me morose, and if I open my mouth they cavil and controvert. Let those who dwell with such pugilistic company console themselves with the remembrance that both David and David's Lord endured the same trial. It is the lot of the saints to find foes even in their own households. Others besides David dwelt in the place of dragons. Others besides Daniel have been cast into a den of lions. Meanwhile, let those who are in quiet resting places and peaceful habitations be greatly grateful for such ease. "Deus nobis haec otia fecit": God has given us this tranquillity. Be it ours never to inflict upon others that from which we have been screened ourselves.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 7. -- I am for peace, etc. Jesus was a man of peace; he came into our world, and was worshipped at his nativity as the Prince of peace: there was universal peace throughout the world at the time of his birth; he lived to make peace "by the blood of his cross": he died to complete it. When he was going out of the world, he said to his disciples, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid": John 14:27 . When he was risen from the dead, and made his first appearance to his disciples, he said unto them. "Peace be unto you": he is the peace maker: the Holy Ghost is the peace bringer: his gospel is the gospel of peace; it contains the peace of God which passeth all understanding. "I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war". The bulk of the Jewish nation abhorred Christ, they were for putting him to death; to avenge which, the Lord brought the Roman army against them, and many of them were utterly destroyed. So David literally was for peace with Saul; yet, when opportunities made way for any negotiations, it was soon discovered Saul was for war, instead of peace, with him.
May we see how this, which is the introductory psalm to those fourteen which follow, styled Songs of Degrees, hath a concern with our Lord Jesus Christ; and that David the son of Jesse was in many cases a type of him, and several of his enemies, sorrows, and griefs, forerunning figures of what would befall Messiah, and come upon him. Amen. -- Samuel Eyles Pierce.
Verse 7. -- I am for peace. Good men love peace, pray for it, seek it, pursue it, will give anything but a good conscience for it. Compare Matthew 5:9 ; Hebrews 7:14 : W.S. Plumer. "It is a mark of a pious man, as far as in him is, to seek peace": Arnesius. "I would not give one hour of brotherly love for a whole eternity of contention": Dr. Ruffner.
Verse 7. -- When l speak, they are for war. He spoke with all respect and kindness that could be; proposed methods of accommodation; spoke reason, spoke love; but they would not so much as hear him patiently; but cried out, To arms! To arms! so fierce and implacable were they, and so bent on mischief. Such were Christ's enemies: for his love they were his adversaries; and for his good words and good works they stoned him; and if we meet with such enemies we must not think it strange, nor love peace the less for our seeking it in vain. "Be not overcome of evil", no, not of such evil as this; "but", even when thus tried, still try to "overcome evil with good". --Matthew Henry.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 7. -- The character of the man of God. He is at peace. He is for peace. He is peace. He shall have peace.
Verse 7. --
- Piety and peace are united.
- So are wickedness and war.