Verse 14. Here we have the Lord himself speaking of his own chosen one.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him. Not because he deserves to be thus kept, but because with all his imperfections he does love his God; therefore not the angels of God only, but the God of angels himself will come to his rescue in all perilous times, and will effectually deliver him. When the heart is enamoured of the Lord, all taken up with him, and intensely attached to him, the Lord will recognise the sacred flame, and preserve the man who bears it in his bosom. It is love, -- love set upon God, which is the distinguishing mark of those whom the Lord secures from ill.
I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. The man has known the attributes of God so as to trust in him, and then by experience has arrived at a yet deeper knowledge, this shall be regarded by the Lord as a pledge of his grace, and he will set the owner of it above danger or fear, where he shall dwell in peace and joy. None abide in intimate fellowship with God unless they possess a warm affection towards God, and an intelligent trust in him; these gifts of grace are precious in Jehovah's eyes, and wherever he sees them he smiles upon them. How elevated is the standing which the Lord gives to the believer. We ought to covet it right earnestly. If we climb on high it may be dangerous, but if God sets us there it is glorious.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 14. Because he hath set his love upon me. Vulg. Because he hath hoped in me. Whatever is to be done, whatever is to be declined, whatever is to be endured, whatever is to be chosen, Thou O Lord art my hope. This is the only cause of all my promises, this the sole reason of my expectation. Let another pretend to merit, let him boast that he bears the burden and heat of the day, let him say that he fasts twice on the Sabbath, let him finally glory that he is not as other men; for me it is good to cleave unto God, to place my hope in the Lord God. Let others hope in other things, one in his knowledge of letters, another in his worldly wisdom, one in his nobility, one in his dignity, another in some other vanity, for thy sake I have made all things loss, and count them but dung; since Thou, Lord, art my hope. Bernard, quoted by Le Blanc.
Verse 14 (.first clause). As there is a because and a therefore in the process of the law, in concluding death for sin, so there is a because and a therefore in the process of grace, and of the gospel, which doth reason from one grace given to infer another grace to be given, even grace for grace; and such is this here: Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him. David Dickson.
Verse 14. He does not say, Because he is without sin, because he has perfectly kept all my precepts, because he has merit and is worthy to be delivered and guarded. But he produces those qualities which are even found in the weak, the imperfect, and those still exposed to sin in the flesh, namely, adhesion, knowledge of his name, and prayer. Musculus.
Verse 14. He hath set his love upon me. In the love of a divinely illuminated believer there is
Verse 14. He hath set his love upon me. We have a similar expression in daily use, which means the bending of all our energies to one end -- a ceaseless effort after one object. We say, "I have set my heart on such a thing." This is what God will have from us -- an intense, single hearted love. We must love him "with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and with all our mind," so that, like Jesus, we may "delight to do his will." Just let us think of the way in which setting our heart on anything affects us, head, hands, time, thought, action -- all are at work for us attainment. How we sacrifice everything else to it? Comfort, ease, present advantage, money, health, nay, our very selves, go freely for the sake of our cherished wish.
Have I so "set my heart upon" God? Temperaments differ. This may be an overdrawn picture of the way in which some of us seek a cherished object. But each knows his own capability in this way. God also knows our frame, and requires his best at every man's hand.
There is one thing in this verse which may encourage us very much. It is not because of perfect love that God will deliver. It is to the will to love and serve -- it is to the setting the heart, that the promise is made -- to the "full purpose of heart" that is set to cleave unto the Lord. Mary B. M. Duncan.
Verse 14. I will set him on high. That is, in an inaccessible, or lofty place, I will set him, which means, I will deliver him. When men truly know God to be a deliverer, they both put confidence in Him, and call upon Him. Then God exalts and delivers him that calls. Franciscus Vatablus.
Verse 14. I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. There is a great deal of safety in the knowledge of God, in his attributes, and in his Christ. A man's safety we see lies in his running to the tower ( Proverbs 28:10 ); he runs and is safe. And it is the knowledge of this tower that sets a man a running to it. Hence we find safety attributed to the knowledge of the Lord. "I will set him on high," I will exalt him, and so he shall be safe. Why so? "Because he hath known my name"; for the knowing of God aright was that which made him run, and so he is exalted and set on high. Then a man is safe when he hath got this tower to be his tower, when he hath gotten God to be his God. Now when we know God, we get him to be our God, and make this tower our tower, Jeremiah 24:7 : "I will give them an heart to know me, and I will be their God." Jeremiah Dyke, in "The Righteous Man's Tower," 1639.
Verse 14-16. He hath known my name. From this text I would introduce to your notice the most desirable character under the sun; and I would exhibit him before you to excite each one to seek, until you obtain the same blessedness. The character that I shall exhibit is GOD'S FAVOURITE, one who is an object of the "lovingkindness of the Lord"; and in reading this passage there are two things which strike our attention concerning such a character. First, what the Lord says of him. Second, what the Lord says to him.
Now, then, my brethren -- LOOK! There stands before you GOD's FAVOURITE!
Verse 14. He hath known my name. May we not get some light on this expression from the custom of the Jews, keeping the name JEHOVAH sacred to their own use, regarding it as too holy even to be pronounced by them in common use and thus preserving it from being taken in vain by the heathen around? Thus it was known to Jews only... But whatever be the origin of the expressions, to "know His name," to "trust in His name," to "believe in His name," it evidently in all these cases means whatever is revealed concerning Him -- all that by which he maketh himself known. His Word, his Providence, above all, his Son, are included thus in his name, which we must know, believe in, and trust. So that to "know his name" is to know himself, as revealed in the Gospel. Mary B. M. Duncan.
Verse 14. (last clause). Sound love to God, floweth from and is joined with sound knowledge of God, as his Majesty is declared unto us in Scripture: the believer who hath set his love upon God, hath known my name, saith he. David Dickson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 14-16. The six "I wills."
Verse 14. Here we have,