Doctrinal and Practical Remarks on Psalm 142 – Wm. Plumer

Doctrinal and Practical Remarks on Psalm 142 – Wm. Plumer

Doctrinal and Practical Remarks on Psalm 142:1-7

1. Believer, art thou brought into great straits and perplexities? So was David in the cave. The Lord heard and helped him,Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 8.28.37 AM and he will succor all who with like faith and courage betake themselves to the throne of grace. Scott: “There can be no situation so distressing, perilous, or disgraceful, in which faith will not derive comfort from God by fervent prayer.”

2. There is no possibility of passing safely or comfortably through the world without prayer, vv. 1, 2, 5, 6, 7. What a poor worm was David himself, except as the Lord heard and answered him. His fellowship with God preserved his life from the violence of his enemies. It did more – it held him back from becoming a murderer when his great enemy was completely in his power.

3. The best men in the world may easily be brought into circumstances of overwhelming grief and solicitude, v. 3. This may come to pass in the most unexpected manner. The very deliverance wrought by David for his king and country gave him sore trouble. His monarch and his father-in-law became his most malignant foe.

4. Good men are often made to feel the need of resorting for comfort to the omniscience of God, who knows their path, past, present and future, v. 3. Our safety and solace are in “the unlimited vision of God.” Compare Deuteronomy 2:7; Job 23:10; Psalm 31:7. No enemy can spread a snare for our feet, but it is known to Jehovah. If our wisdom is nonplused and our reason confounded, it is for a joy that Jehovah understands all mysteries, fathoms all depths, knows all hearts, and controls all causes.

5. No man knows what plots are formed against all that is precious to him, v. 3. But the Lord sees every snare and pit-fall. To him therefore should we betake ourselves every day and in all circumstances.

6. “When great straits come, worldly friends and all who may be in danger from helping us, will readily forsake us,” v. 4. Who that has tried human friendships under severe yet fair tests has not been made sick at heart by the pusillanimity and selfishness of mortals? The world is full of “swallow-friends,” who migrate in cold weather.

7. Reader, are you poor, helpless and friendless? Do not despair, but hope to the end, v. 4. Your case cannot be worse than was often that of the man after God’s own heart.

8. God is such a refuge and such a portion, that he, who is in covenant with him needs no other shelter, no other inheritance, v. 5. And “the less comfort we find in the creature we should trust the more in God.”

9. Saints of modern times should look at the days of old, and study the history of good men, whose foes and persecutors have been many, fierce, bloody, and often powerful, v. 6.

10. The enemies of God’s people have no new arts to practise. They are all found in their Cainish tribe in past ages. Saul tried them all against David. He even gave him his daughter in the hope of ensnaring him. There is no persecutor, who is not a bad man, with a heart worse than his life, v. 6.

11. Hope on. Hope ever. Hope against hope. Every cloud, whose shadow falls on the righteous, has a bright side. In the darkest hour expect better times, v. 7.

12. As David by well-doing finally triumphed, saw his enemies perish, sat on the throne, and was lifted up above all his enemies round about, so shall it be with all the saints of God, even the humblest. Yea, more, as our Lord, of whom David was a type, rose from the dead and is highly exalted, notwithstanding his amazing humiliation and the hellish, though temporary triumph of his foes, so shall it be with all his followers. The final victory of one believer is well suited to give joy to all who know it; but the victory of the Crucified settles a thousand difficulties in minds that are not given over to unbelief.

Plumer, William S. Psalms, A Critical and Expository Commentary with Doctrinal and Practical Remarks, The Geneva Series of Commentaries (Carlisle: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 1176-1177.