Verse 5. Thou, thyself, work for me personally, for the case needs thine interposition.
Therefore, because I am unjustly assailed, and cannot help myself.
O Lord, ever living, God of Hosts, able to rescue me; the God of Israel, pledged by covenant to redeem thine oppressed servant; awake to visit all the heathen, arouse thy holy mind, bestow thy sacred energies, punish the heathen among thine Israel, the false hearted who say they are Jews and are not, but do lie. And when thou art about the business, let all the nations of thine enemies, and all the heathenish people at home and abroad know that thou art upon circuit, judging and punishing. It is the mark of a thoughtful prayer that the titles which are in it applied to God are appropriate, and are, as it were, congruous to the matter, and fitted to add force to the argument. Shall Jehovah endure to see his people oppressed? Shall the God of hosts permit his enemies to exult over his servant? Shall the faithful God of a chosen people leave his chosen to perish? The name of God is, even in a literal sense, a fortress and high tower for all his people. What a forceful petition is contained in the words, "awake to visit"! Actively punish, in wisdom judge, with force chastise.
Be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Be merciful to them as men, but not as transgressors; if they continue hardened in their sin, do not wink at their oppression. To wink at sin in transgressors will be to leave the righteous under their power, therefore do not pass by their offences but deal out the due reward. The psalmist feels that the overthrow of oppression which was so needful for himself must be equally desirable for multitudes of the godly placed in like positions, and therefore he prays for the whole company of the faithful, and against the entire confraternity of traitors.
Selah. With such a subject before us we may well pause. Who would not sit still and consider, when vengeance is being meted out to all the enemies of God? How wrong is that state of mind which hates to hear of the punishment of the wicked!
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 5. O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel. In time of straits we should set our eyes most upon those styles of God which most serve to strengthen our faith, especially such as hold forth his power and goodwill to employ his power for us. David Dickson.
Verse 5. Lord God of hosts. YAHVEH, Elohim, Tsebaoth; as in Psalms 80:4 Psalms 80:19 84:8. Compare 2 Samuel 5:10 1 Kings 19:10 1 Kings 19:14 Psalms 89:8 . From "The Psalms translated from the Hebrew, with Notes chiefly exegetical." By William Kay, D.D., 1871.
Verse 5. Lord God of hosts. Some have thought this equivalent to God of battles; the true force of the epithet, however, is, "Sovereign of the stars, material hosts of heaven, and of the angels their inhabitants." A. A. Hodge, in "Outlines of Theology," 1866.
- God of hosts, and therefore able;
- God of Israel, and therefore willing. Andrew A. Bonar.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 5. O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel. This title furnishes an admirable topic.