Psalm 86:17

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 17. Shew to me a token for good. Let me be assured of thy mercy by being delivered out of trouble.

That they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed.

"Some token of thy favour show,
Some sign which all my foes may see;
And filled with blank confusion know,
My comfort and my help in thee."

What bodes good to me shall make them quail and blush. Disappointed and defeated, the foes of the good man would feel ashamed of what they had designed. "Because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me." God doth nothing by halves, those whom he helps he also consoles, and so makes them not merely safe but joyful. This makes the foes of the righteous exceedingly displeased, but it brings to the Lord double honour. Lord, deal thou thus with us evermore, so will we glorify thee, world without end. Amen.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 17. Shew me a token for good. These words do not, as some think, necessarily imply David's asking for some specific or miraculous token; he regards deliverance itself as a token. We ask whether it be not true, that in the same measnre as we recognise the mysteriously governing influence of God in every day events, we regard those things as signs and miracles, which to others appear common place? --Augustus F. Tholuck.

Verse 17. Perhaps, the token for good means that spiritual joy which he asked for in the beginning of the Psalm, when he said, "Rejoice the soul of thy servant" for such joy to a holy soul in tribulation is the clearest sign of the grace of God, and on the sight of it all manner of persecutors are confounded; and then the meaning would be, "shew me a token for good"; give me the grace of that spiritual joy that will appear exteriorily in my countenance, "that they which hate me may see" such calmness and tranquillity of soul, "and be confounded"; for thou, O Lord, hast helped me in the struggle, consoled me in my sorrow, and hast already converted my sadness into interior joy and gladness. --Robert Bellarmine.

Verse 17. Shew me a token for good, may be rendered "make me a sign for good." Weiss paraphrases it, "make of me such a sign or monument of good that all my enemies may be arrested by it, and be daunted at injuring a man so assisted by the Lord."

Verse 17. Hast holpen me, in struggle; and comforted me, in sorrow. -- Augustine.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 17. -- What inward feelings and outward providences are "tokens for good."