Verse 19. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: that is, those who reverence his name and his law. Inasmuch as they have respect unto his will, he will have respect unto their will. They shall have their way for they have his way in their hearts. A holy heart only desires what a holy God can give, and so its desire is filled full out of the fullness of the Lord. He also will hear their cry, and will save them. Divinely practical shall his nearness be, for he will work their deliverance. He will listen to their piteous cry, and then will send salvation from every ill. This he will do himself personally; he will not trust them to angels or saints.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 19. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him. This is for comfort for all poor broken hearts in whom God hath engendered the true desire of grace. Let such know that the first step to grace is to see they have no grace; and the first degree of grace is the desire of grace. It is not with the body as with the soul, if you will be healed you shall be healed. A man may desire to be healed corporally, and yet his disease continue upon him; but it is not so with the soul: if thou wilt say, "Christ heal me", thou shalt be made whole. If a man have but the true desire of grace it shall be given him: "Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble" ( Psalms 10:17 ): when the poor soul is humbled before God in the sense of the want of grace, and breathes and desires after it, the Lord will grant such desires: "He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them." One said, "the greatest part of Christianity is to desire to be a Christian." And another said, "The total sum of a man's religion in this life consists in the true desires of saving grace." This was the perfection Saint Paul attained unto ( Romans 7:18 ): "To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." Saint Paul we know was the child of God, and one dearly beloved of God; yet that was the pitch of his godliness; it consisted more in desire than accomplishment. Canst thou approve by evident and sound arguments that thou hast the true desires of grace? Then know for thy comfort that the Lord's spirit of grace hath been moving and stirring in thee: "It is God that worketh in you both the will and the deed" ( Philippians 2:13 ), and that of his good pleasure, not only of his bounty, from whence he hath bestowed many graces, even upon such as he will damn afterwards for their accursed abuse of them, with the neglect of the power thereof. But if God hath set thy will, and the stream of thy affections and desires, to himself and to grace, it is an evidence of God's good pleasure from which he did at first elect thee, and gave his Son to redeem thee. -- William Fenner (1560-1640), in "The Riches of Grace."
Verse 19. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him. God will not grant us every desire, that is our mercy; for,
- Some of them are sinful. David desired to be revenged on Nabal and his innocent family. Jonah desired Nineveh's ruin.
- Others would not be for our good. David desired the life of the child he had by Bathsheba; David also desired the life of Jonathan; neither of which would have been for his good. Nay, not every righteous desire. It is a righteous desire for a minister to desire the salvation of those that hear him. So Paul declared, "I would to God that all that are here present were altogether such as I am": Acts 26:29 . So again, "I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh": Romans 9:1 . David desired to build a house for God, and it was a righteous desire, for God took it well at his hands; yet he did not grant it. Kings and prophets desired to see the Lord Messiah, and yet did not see him. How then are we to understand it? Answer. The sum or substance of their desires shall be fulfilled. What is the main desire of a seaman? that he may arrive at the haven. So saints will be brought to their desired haven. What of a pilgrim? See Hebrews 11:16 . So all the desires of a Christian are summed up in this, That he may eternally enjoy God and be like him. Doubtless there is great mystery in these things. However, I think it is certain that, when God raises a spiritual desire in a person, it is often, though not always, with an intention to bestow the object desired. --Andrew Fuller.
Verse 19. (first clause.) God will fulfil the will of those who fear to disobey his will. --Simon de Muis.
Verse 19. Desire is the largest and most comprehensive word that can be used; it contains all things in it ... Nothing good, nothing necessary: nothing profitable, but comes under this word "desire." When God promises to "fulfil the desires of them that fear him", he doth promise all good things; desire comprehends all that can be desired. --Ralph Robinson.
Verse 19. He will hear their cry, etc. A mark of a great king -- he gives willing audience to suppliants. --Johannes Paulus Palanterius.
Verse 19. He will hear and save. How true a description of Christ in his constant office. He heard Mary Magdalene and saved her. He heard the Canaanitish woman, and saved her daughter. He heard the cry of the two blind men and enlightened them. He heard the lepers and cleansed them. He heard the cry of the dying thief and promised him Paradise. Never has one yet cried to King Jesus who has not been heard and delivered. -- Thomas Le Blanc.