Verse 14. The Lead upholdeth all that fall. Read this verse in connection with the preceding, and admire the unexpected contrast: he who reigns in glorious majesty, yet condescends to lift up and hold up those who are apt to fall. The form of the verb shows that he is always doing this; he is Jehovah upholding. His choice of the fallen, and the falling, as the subjects of his gracious help is specially to be noted. The fallen of our race, especially fallen women, are shunned by us, and it is peculiar tenderness on the Lord's part that such he looks upon, even those who are at once the chief of sinners and the least regarded of mankind. The falling ones among us are too apt to be pushed down by the strong: their timidity and dependence make them the victims of the proud and domineering. To them also the Lord gives his upholding help. The Lord loves to reverse things, -- he puts down the lofty, and lifts up the lowly.
And raiseth up all those that be bowed down. Another deed of condescension. Many are despondent, and cannot lift up their heads in courage, or their hearts with comfort; but these he cheers. Some are bent with their daily lead, and these he strengthens. Jesus loosed a daughter of Abraham whom Satan had so bound that she was bowed down, and could by no means lift up herself. In this he proved himself to be the true Son of the Highest. Think of the Infinite bowing to lift up the bowed, and stooping to be leaned upon by those who are ready to fall. The two "alls" should not be overlooked: the Lord has a kindly heart towards the whole company of the afflicted.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 14. The LORD upholdeth all that fall, etc. It is noteworthy how the Psalmist proceeds to exhibit the mightiness of God's kingdom, not by its power "to break in pieces and bruise", like the iron legs of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's vision ( Daniel 2:40 ), but by the King's readiness to aid the weak. Even a heathen could see that this was the noblest use of power.
Regia (crede mihi) res est succurrere lapsis.
Ovid., Ep. de Panto, ii. 9, II.
It is a kingly thing to help the fallen. --Neale and Littledale.
Verse 14. The LORD upholdeth all that fall, etc. sy[kn nophelim the falling, or those who are not able to keep their feet; the weak. He shores them up; he is their prop. No man falls through his own weakness merely; if he rely on God, the strongest foe cannot shake him. --Adam Clarke.
Verse 14. And raiseth up all those that be bowed down, incurvatos. Many who do not actually fall are reduced to distress that may be even more painful; for the struggling are greater sufferers than the actually passive. Men are bowed down physically by infirmity; mentally, by care; spiritually, by remorse; some are even crushed by all three burdens. For all such there is help in a Mighty One. But none can help themselves alone: none are raised but by supernatural interposition -- non nisi opitulante Domino. --Martin Geier.
Verse 14. The LORD upholdeth all that fall. The word here used is a participle, literally, "The Lord sustaining" that is, the Lord is a Sustainer or Upholder of all that fall. --Albert Barnes.
Verse 14. And raiseth up all those that be bowed down. Alphonsus, King of Arragon, is famous for helping with his own hand one of his subjects out of a ditch. Of Queen Elizabeth it is recorded, to her eternal praise, that she hated (no less than did Mithridates) such as sought to crush virtue forsaken of fortune. Christ bruises not the broken reed, but upholdeth it, he quenches not the smoking wick, but cherisheth it. --John Trapp.
Verse 14-19. The Psalmist sets up a splendid argument. Having praised the kingdom, he goes on to display seven glories peculiar to kings, and shows that in Jehovah these shine supremely. Psalms 145:14-19 contain each a royal virtue. --John Lorinus.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 14. The grace of God in his kindness to the undeserving and the miserable, who look to him for help.
- He "upholdeth all that fall."
- A description, embracing
- Sinners who have fallen lowest:
- Backsliders who have tripped most foully.
b) An act implying
- Pity which draws nigh;
- Power which places the fallen upon their feet;
- Preservation which keeps them standing.
- A description, embracing
- He "raiseth up all those that are bowed down." Consolation for those who are --
- Bowed down with shame and penitence.
b) Oppressed with perplexities and cares.
c) Weighted with a sense of weakness in the presence of onerous duties.
d) Depressed because of prevailing error and sin around them. --J. F.
Verse 14. Help for the fallible.
- Whatever our present position we are liable to fall. Sickness. Loss. Friendlessness. Sin.
- However low we fall we are not below the reach of God's hand.
- Within the reach of God's hand we shall experience the action of God's love. "Upholdeth." "Raiseth up." --C.A.D.