Verse 8. Let destruction come upon him at unawares. This tremendous imprecation is frequently fulfilled. God's judgments are often sudden and signal. Death enters the persecutor's house without pausing to knock at the door. The thunderbolt of judgment leaps from its hiding place, and in one crash the wicked are broken for ever. And let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. There is a lex talionis with God which often works most wonderfully. Men set traps and catch their own fingers. They throw up stones, and they fall upon their own heads. How often Satan outwits himself, and burns his fingers with his own coals! This will doubtless be one of the aggravations of hell, that men will torment themselves with what was once the fond devices of their rebellious minds. They curse and are cursed; they kick the pricks and tear themselves; they pour forth floods of fire, and it burns within and without.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 4,8,26. See Psalms on "Psalms 35:4" for further information.
Verse 8. Let destruction come upon him at unawares. Or a storm, such as is caused in the Eastern countries by a south wind, very sudden, violent, and destructive. John Gill.
Verse 8. Let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. By giving Ahithophel rope enough, the Lord preserved David from perishing. Who will not admire that Goliath should be slain with his own sword, and that proud Haman should hold Mordecai's stirrup, and be the herald of his honour? The wicked shall be undone by their own doings; all the arrows that they shoot at the righteous shall fall upon their own pates. Maxentius built a false bridge to drown Constantine, but was drowned himself. Henry the Third of France was stabbed in the very same chamber where he had helped to contrive the cruel massacre of the French Protestants. And his brother, Charles the Ninth, who delighted in the blood of the saints, had blood given him to drink, for he was worthy. It is usual with God to take persecutors in the snares and pits that they have laid for his people, many thousands in this nation have experienced; and though Rome and her confederates are this day laying snares and traps and digging pits for the righteous, who will rather burn than bow to their Baal, yet do but wait and weep, and weep and wait a little, and you shall see that the Lord will take them in the very snares and pits that they have laid and digged for his people. Condensed from Thomas Brooks.
Verse 8. Let the net that he hath hid catch himself. Thou fool, who opposest thy counsels to those of the Most High. He who devises evil for another, falls at last into his own pit, and the most cunning finds himself caught by what he had prepared for another. But virtue without guile, erect like the lofty palm, rises with greater vigour when it is oppressed. Pietro Metastasio, 1698-1782.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 8. Destruction at unawares, an awful topic.