Psalm 39:7

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 7. And now, Lord, what wait I for? What is there in these phantoms to enchant me? Why should I linger where the prospect is so uninviting, and the present so trying? It were worse than vanity to linger in the abodes of sorrow to gain a heritage of emptiness. The psalmist, therefore, turns to his God, in disgust of all things else; he has thought on the world and all things in it, and is relieved by knowing that such vain things are all passing away; he has cut all cords which bound him to earth, and is ready to sound "Boot and saddle, up and away." My hope is in thee. The Lord is self existent and true, and therefore worthy of the confidence of men; he will live when all the creatures die, and his fulness will abide when all second causes are exhausted; to him, therefore, let us direct our expectation, and on him let us rest our confidence. Away from sand to rock let all wise builders turn themselves, for if not today, yet surely ere long, a storm will rise before which nothing will be able to stand but that which has the lasting element of faith in God to cement it. David had but one hope, and that hope entered within the veil, hence he brought his vessel to safe anchorage, and after a little drifting all was peace.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 7. Lord, what wait I for?

At first her mother earth she holdeth dear,
And doth embrace the world and worldly things:
She flies close by the ground and hovers here
And mounts not up with her celestial wings.
Yet under heaven she cannot light on ought
That with her heavenly nature doth agree;
She cannot rest, she cannot fix her thought,
She cannot in this world contented bee.
Then as a bee which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet flowers with lustre fresh and gay:
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleased with none, doth rise, and soar away.
So, when the soul finds here no true content,
And like Noah's dove, can no sure footing take,
She doth return from whence she first was sent,
And flies to Him, that first her wings did make.

Sir John Davies.

Verse 7.

O loose this frame, this knot of man untie,
That my free soul may use her wing.
Which is now pinioned with mortality,
As an entangled, hampered thing.
What have I left that I should stay and groan?
The most of me to heaven is fled;
My thoughts and joys are all packed up and gone,
And for their old acquaintance plead.


George Herbert.

Verse 7. My hope is in thee. Sweet is it that our hope should rest in him who is never shaken: should abide in him who never changeth; should bind us to him who can hold us fast to himself, who alone is the full contentment of the soul; should, as it were, enter into him; since in him is our being, who is love. E. B. Pusey, D.D., 1853.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 7. What wait I for?

  1. For what salvation as a sinner? Of works or grace -- from Sinai or Calvary?
  2. For what consolation as a sufferer? Earthly or heavenly?
  3. For what supply as a suppliant? Meagre or bountiful? Present or future?
  4. For what communication as a servant? Miraculous or ordinary? Pleasing or unacceptable?
  5. For what instruction as a pupil? Mental or spiritual? Elating or humbling? Ornamental or useful?
  6. For what inheritance as an heir? Sublunary or celestial? W. Jackson.

Verse 7.

  1. An urgent occasion. And now Lord, etc. There are seasons that should lead us specially to look up to God, and say, Now, Lord. "Father, the hour is come."
  2. A devout exclamation, Now, Lord, what wait I for? Where is my expectation? where my confidence? To whom shall I look? I am nothing, the world is nothing, all earthly sources of confidence and consolation fail: What wait I for? In life, in death, in a dying world, in a coming judgment, in an eternity at hand; what is it that I need?

G. Rogers.