Verse 10. The God of my mercy shall prevent me. God who is the giver and fountain of all the undeserved goodness I have received, will go before me and lead my way as I march onward. He will meet me in my time of need. Not alone shall I have to confront my foes, but he whose goodness I have long tried and proved will gently clear my way, and be my faithful protector. How frequently have we met with preventing mercy -- the supply prepared before the need occurred, the refuge built before the danger arose. Far ahead into the future the foreseeing grace of heaven has projected itself, and forestalled every difficulty.
God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies. Observe that the words, my desire, are not in the original. From the Hebrew we are taught that David expected to see his enemies without fear. God will enable his servant to gaze steadily upon the foe without trepidation; he shall be calm, and self possessed, in the hour of peril; and ere long he shall look down on the same foes discomfited, overthrown, destroyed. When Jehovah leads the way victory follows at his heels. See God, and you need not fear to see your enemies. Thus the hunted David, besieged in his own house by traitors, looks only to God, and exults over his enemies.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 10. The God of my mercy shall prevent me. Oh, how the saints sing of the love of Christ! Oh, how they sing that this love was not moved by worthiness, and it disdains all hire and price, but loves us because he loves us! Deuteronomy 7:8 . O sing of his wonderful love, and of the prevention of this love of Christ: The God of my mercy shall prevent me. How,
- It prevents thy love to him. 1 John 4:19 . We love God, because he first loved us.
- It prevents our sins, as in Paul's case. Acts 4:3 : And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven.
- It prevents our calamities. Psalms 79:8 ; Let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us. And,
- It prevents our endeavours. The God of my mercy shall prevent me. John Spalding, in "Synaxis Sacra,"
Verse 10. (first clause). The psalmist was sure of mercy upon these grounds, he knew he was safe, because God was his God, and the God of his mercy: The God of my mercy shall prevent me. Some read it, hath prevented me; others, doth prevent me; and others, as in my text, shall prevent me. Each of these senses is exceedingly sweet and full. Take it in the first sense, hath prevented me; and it implies thus much, that the psalmist never was in any difficulty, temptation, or fear, but God was beforehand with him; having always the mercy ready which he stood in need of; and had given it in due season, and that when he least expected it, and it may be was least prepared for it. Take it in the second sense, doth prevent, it argues the psalmist's ground of confidence when all present appearances were gone; as if he had said, "God is of one mind, his thoughts are thoughts of peace, and not of evil; he may vary his providence, but his heart is the same as ever; why should I fear, why should I not hope and rejoice? for my God is a tried God, he is working for me even now. He prevents my fears, and he will prevent my falling." Take the words as they lie in my text, and it comes to the same thing. "God sees all my enemies' designs, and he is ready for them; my prayer is heard, and sure I am deliverance will come, though I know not the time of it." My design, under the Spirit's influence, is to look into my own heart and yours, and show you what wonders of providence and grace God, as the God of our mercy, has caused to pass before us. In discoursing on these words, I shall enquire,
- In what sense, or in what respects, God is the God
of our mercy.
- How, as the God of our mercy, he doth prevent us.
I am to enquire in what respects God is said to be the God of his people's mercy, and it seems to include in it these three things.
- That all the mercy which is in God's nature, is for his saints. It is a great word that ( 1 Peter 5:10 ), the God of all grace. God has in him all sorts of grace for his saints. He hath pardoning, quickening, strengthening, comforting, and preserving grace. His mercy is rich mercy, abundant mercy, inexhaustible mercy, sure mercy. A man's riches are his glory; God glories in his mercy; it is his delight, he rests in it; and so may we, because there is an infinite inconceivable fulness of it in him. "With thee is the fountain of life." God distributes and parcels out this mercy, that we may conceive of it the better; hence he is called by the apostle, The Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3 . God is not called the author of our mercies, but the Father of them; to show how freely they come from him; they are his bowels; he is pleased with them, as the father is with his own child; dwell on the name, it is a sweet one, the Father of mercies. In my text, David grasps all this mercy, lays hold of it as his own mercy: The God of my mercy shall prevent me. That is one sense.
- It supposes, farther, that there is a portion of mercy laid by, in the purpose of God, for every saint; a portion of mercy which he may call his own. This some understand to be Christ's meaning to Paul ( 2 Corinthians 12:9 ): My grace is sufficient for thee; i.e., that grace which I have allotted for thee thou wilt find sufficient. I knew what thou wouldst need in my eternal counsels; I have made provision beforehand; I have taken care thou shouldest have enough.
- The words suppose, farther, that God has taken it upon him as his charge, to keep this portion of his mercy for his people. Whatever it be, soul, it is in trust for thee with him. Every saint may apply to God, as the God of every mercy which he needs. Condensed from John Hill's Sermon.
Verse 10. God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies. The words, my desire, are not in the original, and would be better omitted. The sense is -- God will enable me to look down calmly upon my enemies. So Christ looked upon his murderers. So Stephen was enabled to do when they "gnashed upon him with their teeth." "All that sat in the council looking steadfastly upon him saw his face as it had been the face of an angel." Acts 6:15 . Christopher Wordsworth.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 10. (first clause). The divine forwardness to bless.