Verse 12. They rewarded me evil for good. This is devilish; but men have learned the lesson well of the old Destroyer, and practise it most perfectly. To the spoiling of my soul. They robbed him of comfort, and even would have taken his life had it not been for special rescues from the hand of God. The wicked would strip the righteous naked to their very soul: they know no pity. There are only such limits to human malice as God himself may see fit to place.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 12. They rewarded me evil for good. For the good David did in killing Goliath, and slaying his ten thousands of Philistines, and thereby saving his king and country, Saul and his courtiers envied him, and sought to slay him: so our Lord Jesus Christ, for all the good he did to the Jews, by healing their bodies of diseases, and preaching the gospel to them for the benefit of their souls, was rewarded with reproaches and persecutions, and at last with the shameful death of the cross; and in like manner are his people used, but this is an evil that shall not go unpunished: see Proverbs 17:13 . John Gill.
Verse 12. To the spoiling of my soul. They robbed not his body of goods but his soul of consolation. They bereaved his soul (that is the word), like a widow who loses her children in whom she delighted and found succour. They were not content with injuring his estate, but they were for ruining the man himself by their undeserved malice, they attacked him in name and reputation, which were as dear to him as his sons and daughters, or even as his soul. It is evermore an injury to the soul to be attacked with slander, it puts a man into a warring attitude, endangers his peace of mind, imperils his enjoyment of quiet contemplation, and tends to interrupt his communion with God. Thus the spiritual nature is despoiled and suffers bereavement. C. H. S.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 12. How a soul may be robbed.