Verse 10. Remove thy stroke away from me. Silence from all repining did not prevent the voice of prayer, which must never cease. In all probability the Lord would grant the psalmist's petition, for he usually removes affliction when we are resigned to it; if we kiss the rod, our Father always burns it. When we are still, the rod is soon still. It is quite consistent with resignation to pray for the removal of a trial. David was fully acquiescent in the divine will, and yet found it in his heart to pray for deliverance; indeed, it was while he was rebellious that he was prayerless about his trial, and only when he became submissive did he plead for mercy. I am consumed by the blow of thine hand. Good pleas may be found in our weakness and distress. It is well to show our Father the bruises which his scourge has made, for peradventure his fatherly pity will bind his hands, and move him to comfort us in his bosom. It is not to consume us, but to consume our sins, that the Lord aims at in his chastisements.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 10. Remove thy plague away from me: thy plague and mine; thine by affliction, mine by passion; thine because thou didst send it, mine because I endure it; thine because it comes from thy justice, mine because it answers my injustice; remit what I have done, and remove what thou hast done. But whosoever laid it on, the Lord will take it off. Thomas Adams.
Verse 10. Remove, etc. Having first prayed off his sin, he would now pray off his pain, though it less troubled him; and for ease he repairs to Jehovah that healeth, as well as woundeth. Hosea 6:1 . John Trapp.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- Afflictions are sent by God. Thy strokes. They are strokes of his hand, not of the rod of the law, but of the shepherd's rod. Every affliction is his stroke.
- Afflictions are removed by God. Remove. He asks not for miracles, but that God in his own way, in the use of natural means, would interpose for his deliverance. We should seek his blessing upon the means employed for our deliverance both by ourselves and others. "Cause to remove," etc.
- Afflictions have their end from God. I am consumed by the conflict, etc. God hath a controversy with his people. It is a conflict between his will and their wills. The psalmist owns himself conquered and subdued in the struggle. We should be more anxious that this end should be accomplished than that the affliction should be removed, and when this is accomplished the affliction will be removed. G. Rogers.
- The cause of our trials: "for iniquity." Oh, this trial is come to take away my comforts, my peace of mind, and the divine smile! No, this is all the fruit to take away their sin -- the dross, none of the gold -- sin, nothing but sin.
- The effect of our trials. All that he counted desirable in this life, but not for his real good, is consumed. His robes which are beautiful in men's esteem are moth eaten, but the robe of righteousness upon his soul cannot decay.
- The design of our trials. They are not penal inflictions, but friendly rebukes and fatherly corrections. On Christ our Surety the penal consequences were laid, upon us their paternal chastisements only.
- The reasonableness of our trials. "Surely every man is vanity." How in a world like this could any expect to be exempt from trials! The world is the same to the Christian as before, and his body is the same. He has a converted soul in an unconverted body, and how can he escape the external ills of life? G. Rogers.