Verse 10. But thou, O Lord, be merciful unto me. How the hunted and affrighted soul turns to her God! How she seems to take breath with a "but, thou!" How she clings to the hope of mercy from God when every chance of pity from man is gone! And raise me up. Recover me from my sickness, give me to regain my position. Jesus was raised up from the grave; his descent was ended by an ascent. That I may requite them. This as it reads is a truly Old Testament sentence, and quite aside from the spirit of Christianity, yet we must remember that David was a person in magisterial office, and might without any personal revenge, desire to punish those who had insulted his authority and libelled his public character. Our great Apostle and High Priest had no personal animosities, but even he by his resurrection has requited the powers of evil, and avenged on death and hell all their base attacks upon his cause and person. Still the strained application of every sentence of this Psalm to Christ is not to our liking, and we prefer to call attention to the better spirit of the gospel beyond that of the old dispensation.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 10. That I may requite them. Either (1), kindness for injuries (as in Psalms 35:13 ): it is the mark of a good and brave man to do good to all in his power, to hurt no one, even though provoked by wrong: or, (2), punishment for wrong doing -- that I may punish them; for am I not their magistrate, and the executioner of God's justice! Martin Geier.
Verse 10. That I may requite them. David was not as one of the common people, but a king appointed by God and invested with authority, and it is not from an impulse of the flesh, but in virtue of the nature of his office, that he is led to denounce against his enemies the punishment which they had merited. John Calvin.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 7-12. On a sick bed a man discovers not only his enemies and his friends, but himself and his God, more intimately.