Psalm 17:12

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 12. Lions are not more greedy, nor their ways more cunning than are Satan and his helpers when engaged against the children of God. The blood of souls the adversary thirsts after, and all his strength and craft are exerted to the utmost to satisfy his detestable appetite. We are weak and foolish like sheep; but we have a shepherd wise and strong, who knows the old lion's wiles, and is more than a match for his force; therefore will we not fear, but rest in safety in the fold. Let us beware, however, of our lurking foe; and in those parts of the road where we feel most secure, let us look about us lest, peradventure, our foe should leap upon us.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 12. Like a lion, etc. In "Paradise Lost," we have a fine poetical conception of the arch enemy prowling around our first parents when he first beheld their happiness, and resolved to ruin them.


-- About them round A lion now, he stalks with fiery glare; Then, as a tiger, who by chance hath spied In some purlieu, two gentle fawns at play, Straight crouches close, then rising, changes oft His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground, Whence rushing he might surest seize them both, Gripped in each paw.
John Milton.

Verse 12. We were consulting as to the best means of getting at a rhinoceros cow which we saw standing at some distance under a tree, when a troop of impalas came charging down, with a fine old lioness after them. We went and saw her lying down, but so flat to the ground, head and all, that no man could shoot with any certainty; and she never for a moment took her eyes from us. When we got up to her, she was lying down flat as a plate to the ground; but her head might have been on a pivot, as her watchful eye glared on us all round, without appearing to move her body, as we decreased the circle, in the hopes she would stand up and give us a fair chance of a shot behind the shoulder... I looked for a tree to climb up, near enough to make tolerably sure of my shot, and was just getting up one, when the lioness made off. William Charles Baldwin, F.R.G.S., in "African Hunting," 1863.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

None.