Psalm 55:2

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 2. Attend unto me, and hear me. This is the third time he prays the same prayer. He is in earnest, in deep and bitter earnest. If his God do not hear, he feels that all is over with him. He begs for his God to be a listener and an answerer.

I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise. He gives a loose to his sorrows, permits his mind to rehearse her griefs, and to pour them out in such language as suggests itself at the time, whether it be coherent or not. What a comfort that we may be thus familiar with our God! We may not complain of him, but we may complain to him. Our rambling thoughts when we are distracted with grief we may bring before him, and that too in utterances rather to be called a noise than language. He will attend so carefully that he will understand us, and he will often fulfil desires which we ourselves could not have expressed in intelligible words. "Groanings that cannot be uttered," are often prayers which cannot be refused. Our Lord himself used strong crying and tears, and was heard in that he feared.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 2. I mourn. As one cast down with sorrow, making a doleful noise. Henry Ainsworth, 1662.

Verse 2. I mourn, etc. A mourning supplicant shall neither lose his prayers nor his tears; for, I mourn, is brought for a reason of his hope that God shall attend and hear him. David Dickson.

Verse 2. I mourn in my complaint. The literal translation of these words is, I will suffer to wander in my thinking; i.e., I will let my mind wander, or my thoughts rove as they will. J. A Alexander.

Verse 2. In my complaint. Saints have their complaints on account of their sins and corruptions, their barrenness and unfruitfulness, and the decay of vital religion in them, and because of the low estate of Zion, the declining state of the interest of Christ, and the little success of his gospel; and they mourn, in these complaints, over their own sins, and the sins of others, professors and profane, and under afflictions temporal and spiritual, both their own and the church's. Christ also in the days of his flesh, had his complaints of the perverseness and faithlessness of the generation of men among whom he lived; of the frowardness, pride, and contentions of his disciples; of the reproaches, insult, and injuries of his enemies; and of the dereliction of his God and Father; and he often mourned on account of one or other of these things, being a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs. John Gill.

Verse 2. In my complaint. The word here employed commonly means discourse, meditation. It here occurs in the sense of complaint, as in Job 7:13 9:27 21:4 23:2 Psalms 142:2 1 Samuel 1:16 . It is not used, however, to denote complaint in the sense of fault finding, complaining, accusing, or the idea that we have been dealt with unjustly. This is not the meaning in this place or in the Scriptures generally. It is the language of a troubled, not of an injured spirit. Albert Barnes, 1868.

Verse 2. In confession, when the soul melts into a holy shame and sorrow for the sins he spreads before the Lord, he feels a holy smart and pain within, and doth not act a tragical part with a comical heart. Chrysostom saith, "To paint tears is worse than to paint the face." Here is true fervency, I mourn in my complaint and make a noise. There may be fire in the pan when there is none in the piece; a loud wind but no rain with it. David made a noise with his voice, and mourned in his spirit. William Gurnall, 1617-1679.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 2. The Great Hearer.

  1. What address shall we present to him?
  2. What sort of attention do we desire?
  3. How shall we secure it?
  4. What is the reflex duty on our part? To attend and
    hear him.

Verse 2. (second clause). Allowable complaining.

  1. Not of God but to God.
  2. Mainly of ourselves.
  3. Of the world as against God and right.
  4. Ever with holy grief, and not selfish vexation.