Verse 5. Thine arrows. Our King is master of all weapons: he can strike those who are near and those afar off with equal force. Are sharp. Nothing that Jesus does is ill done, he uses no blunted shafts, no pointless darts. In the heart of the King's enemies. Our Captain aims at men's hearts rather than their heads, and he hits them too; point blank are his shots, and they enter deep into the vital part of man's nature. Whether for love or vengeance, Christ never misses aim, and when his arrows stick, they cause a smart not soon forgotten, a wound which only he can heal. Jesus' arrows of conviction are sharp in the quiver of his word, and sharp when on the bow of his ministers, but they are most known to be so when they find a way into careless hearts. They are his arrows, he made them, he shoots them. He makes them sharp, and he makes them enter the heart. May none of us ever fall under the darts of his judgment, for none kill so surely as they. Whereby the people fall under thee. On either side the slain of the Lord are many when Jesus leads on the war. Nations tremble and turn to him when he shoots abroad his truth. Under his power and presence, men are stricken down as though pricked in the heart. There is no standing against the Son of God when his bow of might is in his hands. Terrible will be that hour when his bow shall be made quite naked, and bolts of devouring fire shall be hurled upon his adversaries: then shall princes fall and nations perish.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 5. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies. In a still bolder metaphor the arrows which are discharged from the bow of Christ are the preachers of the gospel, especially the apostles and evangelists. "His sagittis," says S. Jerome, "totus orbis vulneratus et captus est." Paul, the apostle, was an arrow of the Lord, discharged from his bow from Jerusalem to Illyricum, and from Illyricum to Spain, flying from east to west, and subduing Christ's enemies beneath his feet. Christopher Wordsworth.
Verse 5. While beseeching the Redeemer to ride forth prosperously, and predicting his success, he seems suddenly to have seen his prayers answered and his predictions fulfilled. He saw his all conquering Prince gird on his resistless sword, array himself in glory and majesty, ascend the chariot of his gospel, display the banner of his cross, and ride forth, as on the wings of the wind, while the tremendous voice of a herald proclaimed before him: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord," exalt the valleys, and level the hills; make the crooked ways straight, and the rough places plain; for, behold, the Lord God comes; he comes with a strong hand, his reward is with him, and his work before him. From the bright and fiery cloud which enveloped his chariot, and concealed it from mortal eyes, he saw sharp arrows of conviction shot forth on every side, deeply wounding the obdurate hearts of sinners, and prostrating them in crowds around his path, while his right hand extended raised them again, and healed the wounds which his arrows had made; and his omnipotent voice spoke peace to their despairing souls, and bade them follow in his train, and witness and share in his triumph. From the same bright cloud he saw the vengeful lightnings flashing thick and dreadful, to blast and consume everything that opposed his progress; he saw sin, and death, and hell, with all its legions, baffled, defeated, and flying in trembling consternation before him; he saw them overtaken, bound, and chained to his triumphant chariot wheels; while enraptured voices were heard from heaven exclaiming, "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of God, and the power of his Christ." Such was the scene which seems to have burst upon the ravished sight of the entranced prophet. Transported with the view, he exclaims, Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. Edward Payson.
Verse 5. The king's enemies, is not simply an expression for "Thy enemies," as some think, but rather implies that Christ's kingship is the ground of their enmity; just as in the second Psalm their cry was, "Let us break their bands asunder." George Harpur.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 2-5. In these verses the Lord Jesus is presented,
- As most amiable in himself.
- As the great favourite of heaven.
- As victorious over his enemies. Matthew Henry.
Verse 3-5. Messiah's victory predicted and desired. E. Payson's Sermon.
- Arrows of judicial wrath are sharp.
- Arrows of providential goodness are sharper still.
- Arrows of subduing grace are sharpest of all. The quiver of the Almighty is full of these arrows. G.R.
Verse 5. Arrows -- what they are; whose they are; whom they strike; where they strike; what they do; and what follows.