Verse 10. "Let the wicked fall into their own nets " - This is generally the case; those who lay snares for others fall into them themselves. Harm watch, harm catch, says the old adage. How many cases have occurred where the spring guns that have been set for thieves have shot some of the family! I have known some dismal cases of this kind, where some of the most amiable lives have been sacrificed to this accursed machine.
"Whilst-I withal escape. " - They alone are guilty; they alone spread the nets and gins; I am innocent, and God will cause me to escape.
ANALYSIS OF THE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIRST PSALM
"The contents and sum of the Psalm are the following: " - I. His prayer, ver. 1, 2.
II. That God would restrain his tongue, and compose his mind, that through anger or impatience he offend not, ver. 3, 4.
III. He prays that if he must be reproved, it be by the just, not the unjust man, ver. 5; whose judgment he declares, ver. 5, 6, and will not have any society with him.
IV. He shows the malice of the wicked to good men, ver. 6, 7.
V. He puts his trust in God, and prays to be delivered from snares, ver. 8-10.
I. 1. "Lord, I cry unto thee," &c. Speedily hear my prayer, which is fervently and affectionately addressed to thee.
2. "Let my prayer be set forth before thee," &c. Which was offered with the sacrifice. Why does David pray that his prayer might be accepted as the evening rather than the morning sacrifice? Perhaps the evening sacrifice might be more noble, as a figure of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, which was in the evening.
II. His second petition is, that God would restrain his tongue, that he might know when to speak and when to be silent. The metaphor is taken from the watch and gate of a city, which, to be safely kept, no one must be suffered to go in or out that ought not. The gate will not be sufficient without the watch; for it will be always shut, or ever open.
His third petition is for his heart, because it is deceitful above all things.
Man is weak without the grace of God.
1. "Incline not my heart," &c. Suffer it not to be bent, or set on any evil thing.
2. "Incline not my heart to practices," &c. To do iniquity, being invited by their example.
3. "Let me not eat," &c. Partake with them in their feasts, doctrines, feigned sanctity, power, riches, or dignities.
III. His fourth petition is, that if reproved, it may be in the kindness of friendship, not revenge or bitterness.
1. "Let the righteous smite me," &c. Smite with a reproof.
2. "It shall be a kindness," &c. I shall account it an act of charity, and I will love him for it.
3. "And let him reprove me," &c. An excellent oil, to heal my wounds of sin.
IV. His next petition he prefaces thus: "Let my prayer," &c. "When their judges are overthrown," &c., refers to the judicature: the chief seats, authorities, &c., are swallowed up, as men are by the sea; as the ship is dashed against the rock, and broken to pieces.
And this sense the following verse will justify: "Our bones are scattered," &c. They beset me and my company so closely, that we despair of life; and our bones must be scattered here and there in the wilderness, except thou, O Lord, succour us.
V. Therefore he presents his last petition, which has two parts. 1. "But mine eyes are unto thee," &c. 2. "Leave not my soul destitute." 1. For his own safety: "Leave not my soul," &c. Let me not fall into their hands.
2. Which prayer is grounded on his confidence in God: "Mine eyes are unto thee," &c. I depend on and look to thee alone for deliverance.
3. "Keep me from the snares," &c. From their frauds and ambushes.
Lastly, he imprecates confusion on the heads of his enemies.
1. "Let the wicked fall," &c.
2. "Whilst that I withal escape." Pass by or through them unhurt.