Verse 15. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him. He will have need to pray, he will be led to pray aright and the answer shall surely come. Saints are first called of God and then they call upon God; such calls as theirs always obtain answers. Not without prayer will the blessing come to the most favoured, but by means of prayer they shall receive all good things.
I will be with him in trouble, or "I am with him in trouble." Heirs of heaven are conscious of a special divine presence in times of severe trial. God is always near in sympathy and in power to help his tried ones.
I will deliver him, and honour him. The man honours God, and God honours him. Believers are not delivered or preserved in a way which lowers them, and makes them feel themselves degraded; far from it, the Lord's salvation bestows honour upon those it delivers. God first gives us conquering grace, and then rewards us for it.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 15. I will answer him. I think we sometimes discourage ourselves by a misconception of the exact meaning of the expression, "answer," taking it to mean only grant. Now, an answer is not necessarily an acquiescence. It may be a refusal, an explanation, a promise, a conditional grant. It is, in fact, simply attention to our request expressed. In this sense, before we call he will answer, and while we are get speaking he will hear, Isaiah 65:24 . Mary B. M. Duncan.
Verse 15. I will be with him in trouble. I will be with him in trouble, says God: and shall I seek meanwhile anything else than trouble? It is good for me to cleave unto God. Not only so, but also to put my hope in the Lord: because I will deliver him, he says, and honour him. I will be with him in trouble. My delights, he says, are with the sons of men. Emmanuel God with us. Hail, thou art highly favoured, says the Angel to Mary, the Lord is with thee. In the fulness of grace He is with us, in the plenitude of glory we shall be with Him. He descends in order to be near to those who are of a troubled heart, that He may be with us in our trouble... It is better for me, O Lord, to be troubled, whilst only Thou art with me, than to reign without Thee, to feast without Thee, to be honoured without Thee. It is good rather to be embraced by Thee in trouble, to have thee in this furnace with me, than to be without Thee even in heaven. For what have I in heaven, and without Thee what do I desire upon earth? The furnace tries the gold, and the temptation of trouble just men. Bernard.
Verse 15. I will be with him trouble. God hath made promises of his special presence with his saints in suffering. If we have such a friend to visit us in prison, we shall do well enough; though we change our place, we shall not change our keeper. "I will be with him." God will hold our head and heart when we are fainting! What if we have more afflictions than others, if we have more of God's company? God's honour is dear to him; it would not be for his honour to bring his children into sufferings, and leave them there; he will be with them to animate and support them; yea, when new troubles arise. Job 5:19 . "He shall deliver thee in six troubles." Thomas Watson.
Verse 15. I will be with him in trouble. Again God speaks and acts like a tender hearted mother towards a sickly child. When the child is in perfect health she can leave it in the hands of the nurse; but when it is sick she will attend it herself; she will say to the nurse, "You may attend a while to some other business, I will watch over the child myself." She hears the slightest moan; she flies to the cradle; she takes it in her arms; she kisses its lips, and drops a tear upon its face, and asks, "What can I do for thee, my child? How can I relieve thy pain and soften thy sufferings? Do not weep and break my heart; it is thy mother's arms that are around thee; it is thy mother's lap on which thou art laid; it is thy mother's voice that speaks to thee; it is thy mother that is with thee; fear not." So the Lord speaks to his afflicted children. "I will be with him in trouble." No mother can equally sympathise with her suffering child; as the Lord does with his suffering people. No! could all the love that ever dwelt in all the mothers' hearts that ever existed, be united in one mother's heart, and fixed on her only child, it would no more bear a comparison with the love of God to his people than the summer midnight glow worm is to be compared to the summer midday sun.
Oh, that delightful sentence I will be with him in trouble. At other times God will leave them in the hands of angels: "I will give them charge over them, to keep them in all their ways; they bear them up lest at any time they dash their feet against a stone." But when they are in trouble, I will say to the angels, "Stand aside, I will take care of them myself." "I will be with them in trouble." So he speaks to his people: "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour." When languishing in sickness, He will make his bed, and his pillow; when travelling through the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord will be with him, and enable him to sing, "I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Thus he is with them as their physician and nurse, in pain and sickness; as their strength in weakness; as their guide in difficulty; their ease in pain; and as their life in death. "I will be with him in trouble." William Dawson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 15-16. Observe,
- The exceeding great and precious promises.
- Answer to prayer: "he shall call," etc.
- Comfort in trouble: "I will be with him."
- Deliverance from trouble: "I will deliver him."
- Greater honour after trouble: deliver "and honour him."
- Length of days; life long enough to satisfy him.
- God's salvation; "show him my salvation;" far beyond what man could think or desire.
- To whom these promises belong; who is the he and the him to whom these promises are made. He "calls upon God," says Psalms 91:15 ; he "hath known my name," says Psalms 91:14 ; he "hath set his love upon me," says the former part of the same verse; he "has made the Lord his habitation," says Psalms 91:9 ; he "dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High," says Psalms 91:1 . Hannah More says, "To preach privileges without specifying to whom they belong is like putting a letter in the post office without a direction." It may be very good and contain a valuable remittance, but no one can tell for whom it is intended. All the promises of Scripture are plainly directed to those to whom they belong. The direction put upon the promises of this Psalm is unmistakably clear and often repeated. G. R.