Verse 50. Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants. By reason of their great troubles they were made a mock of by ungodly men, and hence the Lord's pity is entreated. Will a father stand by and see his children insulted? The Psalmist entreats the Lord to compassionate the wretchedness brought upon his servants by the taunts of their adversaries, who jested at them on account of their sufferings.
How I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people. The Psalmist himself laid the scorn of the great and the proud to heart. He felt as if all the reproaches which vexed his nation were centred in himself, and therefore in sacred sympathy with the people he poured out his heart. We ought to weep with those that weep; reproach brought upon the saints and their cause ought to burden us: if we can hear Christ blasphemed, and see his servants insulted, and remain unmoved, we have not the true Israelite's spirit. Our grief at the griefs of the Lord's people may be pleaded in prayer, and it will be acceptable argument.
There is one interpretation of this verse which must not be passed over; the original is,
Remember my bearing in my bosom all the many nations; and this may be understood as a pleading of the church that the Lord would remember her because she was yet to be the mother of many nations, according to the prophecy of Psalms 77:1-20 . She was as it were ready to give birth to nations, but how could they be born if she herself died in the meanwhile? The church is the hope of the world; should she expire, the nations would never come to the birth of regeneration, but must abide in death.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 50. How I do bear in my bosom the reproach, etc. I take the reproaches of thy servants and thine anointed,
- as if they reproached me in mine own particular; or,
- in that they lie so heavy upon my heart; or,
- in that I am resolved quietly to endure them, and to swallow them down in silence, as not being indeed able to shake them off; because in the eye of reason our condition is at present so contrary to what we waited for; or,
- in that their reproaches came not to his ears by hear say only, but were openly to his face cast as it were into his bosom. --Arthur Jackson.
Verse 50. I do bear in, my bosom the reproach, etc. The reproach of religion and of the godly doth lie near, and should lie near, the heart of every lively member of the church. -- David Dickson.