Verse 7. His only hope is in his God, but that is so strong a confidence, that he feels the Lord hath but to arise and he is saved. It is enough for the Lord to stand up, and all is well. He compares his enemies to wild beasts, and he declares that God hath broken their jaws, so that they could not injure him;
Thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Or else he alludes to the peculiar temptations to which he was then exposed. They had spoken against him; God, therefore, has smitten them upon the cheek bone. They seemed as if they would devour him with their mouths; God hath broken their teeth, and let them say what they will, their toothless jaws shall not be able to devour him. Rejoice, O believer, thou hast to do with a dragon whose head is broken, and with enemies whose teeth are dashed from their jaws!
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 7. Arise, O Lord, Jehovah! This is a common scriptural mode of calling upon God to manifest his presence and his power, either in wrath or favour. By a natural anthropomorphism, it describes the intervals of such manifestations as periods of inaction or of slumber, out of which he is besought to rouse himself. Save me, even me, of whom they say there is no help for him in God. Save me, O my God, mine by covenant and mutual engagement, to whom I therefore have a right to look for deliverance and protection. This confidence is warranted, moreover, by experience. For thou hast, in former exigencies, smitten all mine enemies, without exception (on the) cheek or jaw, an act at once violent and insulting. J. A. Alexander, D.D.
Verse 7. Upon the cheek bone. -- The language seems to be taken from a comparison of his enemies with wild beasts. The cheek bone denotes the bone in which the teeth are placed, and to break that is to disarm the animal. Albert Barnes, in loc.
Verse 7. When God takes vengeance upon the ungodly, he will smite in such a manner as to make them feel his almightiness in every stroke. All his power shall be exercised in punishing and none in pitying. O that every obstinate sinner would think of this, and consider his unmeasurable boldness in thinking himself able to grapple with Omnipotence! Stephen Charnock.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- Describe the Lord's past dealing with his enemies; "thou hast."
- Show that the Lord should be our constant resort, "O Lord," "O my God."
- Enlarge upon the fact that the Lord is to be stirred up: "Arise."
- Urge believers to use the Lord's past victories as an argument with which to prevail with him.
Verse 7. (last clause). Our enemies vanquished foes, toothless lions.