Verse 25. For our soul is bowed down to the dust. Our heart is low as low can be, as low as the dust beneath the soles of men's feet. When the heart sinks, the man is down indeed. Heart sorrow is the very heart of sorrow. Our belly cleaveth unto the earth. The man is prone upon the earth, and he is not only down, but fastened down on the earth and glued to it. It is misery, indeed, when the heart cannot escape from itself, is shut up in its own dejection, and bound with the cords of despondency. God's saints may be thus abject, they may be not only in the dust, but on the dunghill with Job and Lazarus, but their day cometh, and their tide will turn, and they shall have a brave summer after their bitter winter.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 25. For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth. We are as to body and soul, smitten and thrown down, glued as it were to the ground, so that we cannot raise ourselves up. E. W. Hengstenberg.
Verse 25. For our soul is bowed down to the dust, etc. The speech is metaphorical, expressing the depth of their misery, or the greatness of their sorrow and humiliation.
- The depth of their misery, with the allusion to the case of a man overcome in battle, or mortally wounded, and tumbling in the dust, or to a man dead and laid in the earth; as, "Thou hast brought me into the dust of death." Psalms 22:15 . Sure we are, the expression imports the extremity of distress and danger, either as a man dead or near death.
- The greatness of their sorrow and humiliation; and so the allusion is taken from a man prostrate and grovelling on the ground, which was their posture of humbling themselves before the Lord, or when any great calamity befell them. As when Herod Agrippa died, they put on sackcloth and lay upon the earth weeping. Thomas Manton.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 25. The great need, the great prayer, the great plea.