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(II. Conduct of wicked men.)

3 For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: The mighty are gathered against me;

Not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O Lord. 4 They run and prepare themselves without my fault: Awake to help me, and behold.

5 Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts,

The God of Israel,

Awake to visit all the heathen:

Be not merciful to any wicked transgressors.

6 They return at evening:

They make a noise like a dog,

And go round about the city.

7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth : Swords are in their lips:

For who, say they, doth hear?

8 But Thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them;
Thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
9 Because of his strength will I wait upon Thee;
For God is my defence.

10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me;
God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.

(III. Their punishment.)

11 Slay them not, lest my people forget:

Scatter them by Thy power,

And bring them down, O Lord our Shield.

12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips

Let them even be taken in their pride:

And for cursing and lying which they speak. 13 Consume them in wrath,

Consume them, that they may not be :

And let them know that God ruleth in Jacob

Unto the ends of the earth.

14 And at evening let them return;

And let them make a noise like a dog,

And go round about the city.

15 Let them wander up and down for meat, And grudge if they be not satisfied

(IV. Praise.)

16 But I will sing of Thy power;

Yea, I will sing aloud of Thy mercy in the morning:
For Thou hast been my defence.

And refuge in the day of my trouble.

17 Unto Thee, O my Strength, will I sing;

For God is my defence,

And the God of my mercy.


We are beset with enemies in this world, both temporal and spiritual: and it is to God only that we are to look for defence, preservation, and safety. The character and conduct of ungodly men is here described in very dark colours; and we are led to a painful and humiliating view of human nature. But whatever be the folly, rage, and impiety of such men, God will be the Defender of His people. Not only so; for iniquity will not go unpunished: the proud, the clamorous, and the cruel will find, that He who "ruleth in Jacob," and "unto the ends of the earth," will avenge His people, and overthrow their adversaries. Well, then, may the people of God rejoice: for whatever may be their present troubles, they shall be defended, and

therefore may sing aloud of the divine power and mercy. Surely those little need regard the wrath of man, who enjoy the favour of God.


Whatever, O Lord, be our troubles in this world, and whoever our enemies may be, grant that we may always look up to Thee for protection and deliverance. Have mercy upon the ungodly, and bring them to true repentance: and grant that Thy people may rejoice in Thy goodness, and celebrate Thy power and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.


Prayer, as Psalm xliv. Author, David. The Psalm may describe the state of things from the death of Saul till David was king over

all Israel.

(I. Israel's sufferings.)

1 O God, Thou hast cast us off, Thou hast scattered us, Thou hast been displeased;

O turn Thyself to us again.

2 Thou hast made the earth to tremble;

Thou hast broken it:

Heal the breaches thereof: for it shaketh.

3 Thou hast showed Thy people hard things; Thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.

(II. Israel led to victory.)

4 Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee,

That it may be displayed because of the truth. 5 That Thy beloved may be delivered; Save with Thy right hand, and hear me. 6 God hath spoken in His holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, And mete out the valley of Succoth.

(III. Other tribes join the standard.) 7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of my head; Judah is my lawgiver:

(IV. Enemies subdued.)

8 Moab is my washpot;

Over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me. 9 Who will bring me unto the strong city?

Who will lead me unto Edom?

10 Wilt not Thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? And Thou, O God, which didst not go out

with our armies?

(V. Prayer.)

11 Give us help from trouble:

For vain is the help of man.

(VI. Confidence in God.)

12 Through God we shall do valiantly:

For He it is that shall tread down our enemies.


1. By sin we incur the divine displeasure, and this brings down upon us national judgments. Then we experience hard things, and drink the wine of astonish

ment. In such a case, the pious humble themselves before God, and implore His mercy and favour.

2. The Psalmist had consolation: Israel was punished, but not forsaken: and their God would defend and deliver them, and assign to them their inheritance. Thus the Church now looks, in all her troubles, to her ever-living Head, and depends on His power and goodness.

3. The Psalmist looked with delight on the union of Israel: and the Christian wishes to see union in the Church; one fold and one Shepherd.

4. The Psalmist looks on the enemies of Israel as about to be subdued. We should rejoice in the triumphs of the Gospel, and anticipate the submission of all nations to it. In this great work we acknowledge the immediate power of God.

5, 6. Whatever our troubles may be, we must look to God, and not to man. If we pray to Him, and trust in Him, we may be persuaded that we shall do valiantly, and be more than conquerors through our almighty Helper.


Punish us not, O Lord, as our sins deserve, but be merciful to us, and give us repentance and forgiveness. Be favourable to us, for Thine own Name's sake. Make Thy Church to prosper in the world; and grant that all Christians may be more and more of one mind and heart. May they conquer their enemies, and in all things glorify Thee, through Jesus Christ our only Saviour. Amen.

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