Verse 26. For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten. They are cruel where they should be pitiful. When a stroke comes to any in the providence of God, their friends gather around them and condole, but these wretches hunt the wounded and vex the sick. Their merciless hearts invent fresh blows for him who is "smitten of God and afflicted."
And they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. They lay bare his wounds with their rough tongues. They lampoon the mourner, satirise his sorrows, and deride his woes. They pointed to the Saviour's wounds, they looked and stared upon him, and then they uttered shameful accusations against him. After this fashion the world still treats the members of Christ. "Report," say they, "and we will report it." If a godly man be a little down in estate, how glad they are to push him over altogether, and, meanwhile, to talk everywhere against him. God takes note of this, and will visit it upon the enemies of his children; he may allow them to act as a rod to his saints, but he will yet avenge his own elect. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem, and for Zion, with a great jealousy; and I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 23-28. He denounces ten plagues, or effects of God's wrath, to come upon them for their wickedness. David Dickson.
Verse 26. When David's misery deserved compassion, Shimei's foul mouth loaded him with malediction. Hereof he complained: They persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. The picking out of such an opportunity doubled his malicious rancour. Such words would have galled at another time, which now are ready to kill. Let an arrow fly against the wind, it will hardly stick upright; with the wind, it pierceth deep. While thine enemy stands, he may ward thy blows; but once fallen on his back, he is at thy mercy; and how base is that spirit which will prey on prostrate fortunes! Little children have so much valour and justice, as to call him a coward that strikes his adversary when he is down. To insult upon those whom God hath humbled, and to draw blood of that back which is yet blue from the Maker's stripes, is even the murder of a virulent tongue. Nor will it be any rare thing at the day of judgment for curses to be indicted of murder. They would kill if they durst; they do kill as far as they can. I would be loath to trust his hand, that bans one with his lips. Balaam would soon have been the death of all Israel, if either tongue or sword could have affected his will. Thomas Adams.
Verse 26. They talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. The very talking and venting of ill speeches, to the prejudice of Christ's cause and truth, and true holiness in his saints, especially when they are under suffering and afflictions, whatsoever, is a high provocation of God's wrath. David Dickson.
Verse 26. It were to be wished, that the sorrows of the penitent, when wounded with a sense of sin, never subjected him to the scorn and contempt of those who would be thought Christians. George Horne.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS