Psalm 124:6

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 6. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Leaving the metaphor of a boiling flood, he compares the adversaries of Israel to wild beasts who desired to make the godly their prey. Their teeth are prepared to tear, and they regard the godly as their victims. The Lord is heartily praised for not permitting his servants to be devoured when they were between the jaws of the raging ones. It implies that none can harm us till the Lord permits: we cannot be their prey unless the Lord gives us up to them, and that our loving Lord will never do. Hitherto he has refused permission to any foe to destroy us, blessed be his name. The more imminent the danger the more eminent the mercy which would not permit the soul to perish in it. God be blessed for ever for keeping us from the curse. Jehovah be praised for checking the fury of the foe, and saving his own. The verse reads like a merely negative blessing, but no boon can be more positively precious. He has given us to his Son Jesus, and he will never give us to our enemies.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS.

Verse 6,7. -- Two figures are again employed, in order to show how imminent was the destruction, had there been no divine interposition. The first is that of a savage beast which was formerly used. But an addition is made, to describe the urgency of the danger. The wild beast was not only lying in wait for them; he was not merely ready to spring upon his prey; he had already leaped upon it: he had actually seized it: it was even now between his teeth. What a graphic description! A moment's delay, and all help would have been in vain. But Jehovah appears on the ground. He goes up to the ferocious beast, and takes out the trembling prey from between his bloody jaws. The danger is imminent; but nothing is too hard for the Lord. "My soul is among lions." "What time I am afraid I will trust in thee." "He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up." The second figure is that of a fowler. The fowler has prepared his snare in a skilful manner. The bird enters it, unconscious of danger: the net is thrown over it; and in an instant its liberty is lost. There it lies, the poor bird, its little heart throbbing wildly, and its little wings beating vainly against the net. It is completely at the mercy of the fowler, and escape is impossible. But again the Lord appears, and his presence is safety He goes up to the net, lifts it from the ground; the bird flies out, lights on a neighbouring tree, and sings among the branches. "Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler." God rescues his people from the craft and subtlety of their enemies, as he does from their open violence. --N. McMichael.

Verse 6,7. -- We were delivered,

  1. Like a lamb out of the very jaws of a beast of prey: God "hath not given us as a prey to their teeth"; intimating that they had no power against God's people, but what was given them from above. They could not be a prey to their teeth unless God gave them up, and therefore they were rescued, because God would not suffer them to be ruined.
  2. Like "a bird," a little bird, the word signifies a sparrow, "out of the snare of the fowler." The enemies are very subtle and spiteful, they lay snares for God's people, to bring them into sin and trouble, and to hold them there. Sometimes they seem to have prevailed so far as to gain their point, the children of God are taken in the snare, and are as unable to help themselves out as any weak and silly bird is; and then is God's time to appear for their relief; when all other friends fail, then God breaks the snare, and turns the counsel of the enemies into foolishness: "The snare is broken, and so we are delivered." --Matthew Henry.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 6. --

  1. The Lamb.
  2. The Lion.
  3. The Lord.

Verse 6. --

  1. They would gladly devour us.
  2. They cannot devour unless the Lord will.
  3. God is to be praised since he does not permit them to injure us.

Verse 6. --

  1. The ill will of men against the righteous.

    1. For their spoliation.

(b) For their destruction: "As a prey to their teeth."

  1. The goodwill of God. "Blessed be the Lord," etc.

    1. What it supposes -- that good men, in a measure and for a time, may be given into the hands of the wicked.

(b) What it affirms -- that they are not given entirely into their hands:

--G.R.