Verse 6. We now listen to a fresh prayer, based upon the avowal which he has just made. We cannot pray too often, and when our heart is true, we shall turn to God in prayer as naturally as the needle to its pole.
Arise, O Lord, in thine anger. His sorrow makes him view the Lord as a judge who had left the judgment seat and retired into his rest. Faith would move the Lord to avenge the quarrel of his saints.
Lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies -- a still stronger figure to express his anxiety that the Lord would assume his authority and mount the throne. Stand up, O God, rise thou above them all, and let thy justice tower above their villainies.
Awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded. This is a bolder utterance still, for it implies sleep as well as inactivity, and can only be applied to God in a very limited sense. He never slumbers, yet doth he often seem to do so; for the wicked prevail, and the saints are trodden in the dust. God's silence is the patience of longsuffering, and if wearisome to the saints, they should bear it cheerfully in the hope that sinners may thereby be led to repentance.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 6. The judgment which thou hast ordained. In the end of the verse he shows that he asks nothing but what is according to the appointment of God. And this is the rule which ought to be observed by us in our prayers; we should in everything conform our requests to the divine will, as John also instructs us. 1 John 4:14 . And, indeed, we can never pray in faith unless we attend, in the first place, to what God commands, that our minds may not rashly and at random start aside in desiring more than we are permitted to desire and pray for. David, therefore, in order to pray aright, reposes himself on the word and promise of God; and the import of his exercise is this: Lord, I am not led by ambition, or foolish headstrong passion, or depraved desire, inconsiderately to ask from thee whatever is pleasing to my flesh; but it is the clear light of thy word which directs me, and upon it I securely depend. John Calvin.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 6. How and in what sense divine anger may become the hope of the righteous.
Fire fought by fire, or man's anger overcome by God's anger.