Verse 87. They had almost consumed me upon earth. His foes had almost destroyed him so as to make him altogether fail. If they could they would have eaten him, or burned him alive; anything so that they could have made a full end of the good man. Evidently he had fallen under their power to a large extent, and they had so used that power that he was well nigh consumed. He was almost gone from off the earth; but almost is not altogether, and so he escaped by the skin of his teeth. The lions are chained: they can rage no further than our God permits. The Psalmist perceives the limit of their power: they could only touch his earthly life and earthly goods. Upon earth they almost ate him up, but he had an eternal portion which they could not even nibble at. "But I forsook not thy precepts." Nothing could drive him from obeying the Lord. If we stick to the precepts we shall be rescued by the promises. If ill usage could have driven the oppressed saint from the way of right the purpose of the wicked would have been answered, and we should have heard no more of David. If we are resolved to die sooner than forsake the Lord, we may depend upon it that we shall not die, but shall live to see the overthrow of them that hate us.
Verse 87. -- Almost consumed. The lives of good men are full of narrow escapes. The righteous are scarcely saved. Many a time their feet do almost slip. Yet he, who has redeemed them, will not let them so fall that they can rise no more. One of their greatest perils is, a temptation to use unlawful means for terminating their trials. -- William S. Plumer.
Verse 87. -- It should be noticed that he says "upon the earth:" for it shows, that even if his enemies had taken away his life .on earth, he nevertheless confidently looked for another life in heaven; and that already he had by faith entered into heaven, and was living a heavenly life; so that if the life of the body should be taken away, it was not to be regarded as an evil. They who live such a life speedily recover from despair. --D.H. Mollerus.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 87. --
- What the good man loses by gaining.
- What he gains by losing. --G.R.
Verse 87. --
- "Almost," but not altogether.
- The saving clause: "I forsook not thy precepts."
Verse 87. -- Passing through fires, and the asbestos covering.