Verse 6. They have prepared a net for my steps. The enemies of the godly spare no pains, but go about their wicked work with the coolest deliberation. As for each sort of fish, or bird, or beast, a fitting net is needed, so do the ungodly suit their net to their victim's circumstances and character with a careful craftiness of malice. Whatever David might do, and whichever way he might turn, his enemies were ready to entrap him in some way or other.
My soul is bowed down. He was held down like a bird in a trap; his enemies took care to leave him no chance of comfort.
They have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. He likens the design of his persecutors to pits, which were commonly dug by hunters to entrap their prey; these were made in the usual path of the victim, and in this case David says, before me, i.e., in my ordinary way. He rejoices because these devices had recoiled upon themselves. Saul hunted David, but David caught him more than once and might have slain him on the spot. Evil is a stream which one day flows back to its source.
Selah. We may sit down at the pit's mouth and view with wonder the just retaliations of providence.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 6. Net. Not having fire arms, the ancients were much more skilful than the moderns in the use of snares, nets, and pits for capturing wild animals. A large class of Biblical figures and allusions necessarily presuppose this state of things. W. M. Thomson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 1,4,6-7. Note the varying condition of the same heart, at the same time. My soul trusteth in thee... My soul is among lions... My soul is bowed down... My heart is fixed.
Verse 6. (first clause).
- Who are they?
- Those who lead us into sin.
- Who argue from worldly philosophy.
- Who proclaim priestly and sacramental superstition.
- Who decoy us from the church of God.
- Who teach Antinomian doctrine.
- How shall we escape them?
- Keep out of their way.
- Keep to God's way.
- Trust daily in the Lord.
Verse 6. My soul is bowed down.
- The prostration.
- Caused by enemies, weakness, fear, pain.
- Deep, agonizing, self revealing.
- Common to the Head and the members.
- The consolation.
- Bowed down, but not condemned.
- Hoping in the promise.
- Trusting in God.
- Expecting a blessing from the trial.