Verse 6. Natural enough is this closing prayer, for what would so effectually convince atheists, overthrow persecutors, stay sin, and secure the godly, as the manifest appearance of Israel's great Salvation? The coming of Messiah was the desire of the godly in all ages, and though he has already come with a sin offering to purge away iniquity, we look for him to come a second time, to come without a sin offering unto salvation. O that these weary years would have an end! Why tarries he so long? He knows that sin abounds and that his people are down trodden; why comes he not to the rescue? His glorious advent will restore his ancient people from literal captivity, and his SPIRITUAL seed from spiritual sorrow. Wrestling Jacob and prevailing Israel shall alike rejoice before him when he is revealed as their salvation. O that he were come! What happy, holy, halcyon, heavenly days should we then see! But let us not count him slack, for behold he comes, he comes quickly! Blessed are all they that wait for him.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 7. O that salvation, etc. Like as when we be in quiet, we do pray either nothing at all, or very coldly unto God; so in adversity and trouble, our spirit is stirred up and enkindled to prayer, whereof we do find examples everywhere in the Psalms of David; so that affliction is as it were the sauce of prayer, as hunger is unto meat. Truly their prayer is usually unsavoury who are without afflictions, and many of them do not pray truly, but do rather counterfeit a prayer, or pray for custom. Wolfgang Musculus, 1497-1563.
Verse 7. Out of Zion. Zion, the church is no Saviour, neither dare we trust in her ministers or ordinances, and yet salvation comes to men through her. The hungry multitudes are fed by the hands of the disciples, who delight to act as the servitors of the gospel feast. Zion becomes the site of the fountain of healing waters which shall flow east and west till all nations drink thereat. What a reason for maintaining in the utmost purity and energy all the works of the church of the living God! C.H.S.
Verse 7. When the Lord turneth the captivity of his people: then shall Jacob rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. Notice that by Israel we are to understand those other sheep which the Lord has that are not of this fold, but which he must also bring, that they may hear his voice. For it is Israel, not Judah; Sion, not Jerusalem. When the Lord turneth the captivity of his people. Then, as it is in the parallel passage, were we like unto them that dream. A glorious dream indeed, in which, fancy what we may, the half of the beauty, the half of the splendour, will not be reached by our imagination. The captivity of our souls to the law of concupiscence, of our bodies to the law of death; the captivity of our senses to fear; the captivity, the conclusion of which is so beautifully expressed by one of our greatest poets: namely, Giles Fletcher (1588-1623), in his "Christ's Triumph over Death."
"No sorrow now hangs clouding on their brow; No bloodless malady impales their face;
No age drops on their hairs his silver snow; No nakedness their bodies doth embase; No poverty themselves and theirs disgrace; No fear of death the joy of life devours; No unchaste sleep their precious time deflower; No loss, no grief, no change, wait on their winged hours."
John Mason Neale, in loc.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 7. Longings for the advent.
Verse 7. Out of Zion. The church, the channel of blessings to men.
Verse 7. Discourse to promote revival.
- Frequent condition of the church, captivity.
- Means of revival -- the Lord's coming in grace.
- Consequences, rejoice, be glad.
Verse 7. Captivity of soul. What it is. How provided for. How accomplished. With what results.