Verse 9. As David earnestly sought for God, so there were men of another order who as eagerly sought after his blood; of these he speaks:
But those that seek my soul, to destroy it. At his life they aimed, at his honour, his best welfare; and this they would not merely injure but utterly ruin. The devil is a destroyer, and all his seed are greedy to do the same mischief; and as he has ruined himself by his crafty devices, so also shall they. Destroyers shall be destroyed. Those who hunt souls shall be themselves the victims.
Shall go into the lower parts of the earth. Into the pits which they digged for others they shall fall themselves. The slayers shall be slain, and the grave shall cover them. The hell which they in their curse invoked for others shall shut its mouth upon them. Every blow aimed against the godly will recoil on the persecutor; he who smites a believer drives a nail in his own coffin.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 9-10. If the psalmist's divine longing was unquenched, so also was his faith; and in the latter part of the psalm he foretells with full assurance the final overthrow of his enemies. Nor did his denunciations fail to meet with a certain accuracy of fulfilment even in the battle by which his own deliverance was effected. The armies encountered in the wood of Ephraim, across the Jordan; there was "a greater slaughter that day of twenty thousand men;" "and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured." That David's words concerning the lower parts of the earth, and the sword, and the foxes, had not been idly spoken: the pitfalls of the forest, and the swords of the royal pursuers, and the wild beasts that had there made their lairs, all effectually did their work; and the fate of the rebel army was shared by their leader, who, caught in the thick boughs of the oak, pierced through the heart by Joab, and cut down by his attendants, received no further funeral honours than to be cast "into a great pit in the wood," and have "a very great heap of stones" laid upon him to cover him. Joseph Francis Thrupp, in "An Introduction to the Study and Use of the Psalms," 1860.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The enemies of the Christian. Evil spirits, evil
men, evil habits, etc., etc.
- Their intent. To destroy the soul.
- Their fall. Certain, shameful, destructive.
- Their future. Hell is reserved for them. G. J. K.