Verse 13. Thou hast delivered my soul from death- My life from the grave, and my soul from endless perdition.
"My feet from falling " - Thou hast preserved me from taking any false way, and keepest me steady in my godly course; and so supportest me that I may continue to walk before thee in the light of the living, ever avoiding that which is evil, and moving towards that which is good; letting my light shine before men, that they may see my good works, and glorify my Father which is in heaven. To walk before God is to please him; the light of the living signifies the whole course of human life, with all its comforts and advantages.
ANALYSIS OF THE FIFTY-SIXTH PSALM
David, in banishment among the Philistines, and being then in great danger of his life, complains, and professes his confidence in God.
"The contents of this Psalm are the following: " - I. David's prayer, ver. 1, 7, 8.
II. The cause; the fear of his enemies, whom he describes, ver. 1, 2, 5, 6.
III. His confidence in God's word, ver. 3, 4, 9, 10, 11.
IV. His thankfulness, ver. 4, 10, 12, 13.
I. He begins with a prayer for mercy. Little was he likely to find from man; from his God he expected it; and therefore he prays: "Be merciful unto me, O God." II. And then presently he subjoins the cause; the danger he was in by his bloody and cruel enemies, whom he begins to describe: - 1. From their insatiable rapacity. Like a wolf they would swallow me up. Enemies at home and abroad would swallow me up.
2. From the time. Daily they would do it; without intermission.
3. From their number: "Many there be that fight against me." Of these he gives us a farther description in the fifth and sixth verses:-
1. From their incessant malice: "Every day they wrest my words. All their thoughts are against me for evil." 2. From their secret treachery, craft, and vigilance: "They gather themselves together, they hide themselves;" their counsels lying, as it were, in ambush for me. "They mark my steps." Go where I will, they are at my heels.
3. From their implacable hatred; nothing could satisfy them but his blood: "They lay wait for my soul." In the very midst of this complaint, he inserts his courage and confidence.
1. "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." 2. "I will not fear." He rises higher: even when he fears, he will not fear.
His word, his promise, is passed to me for protection; and I will trust in it: "In God will I praise his word; in God have I put my trust, I will not fear what flesh, (for the proudest, the mightiest enemy I have, is but flesh, and all flesh is grass,) I will not then fear what flesh can do unto me." This reason he repeats again, ver. 10, 11.
1. "In God I will praise his word; in the Lord I will praise his word." 2. "In God have I put my trust, I will not fear what man can do to me." III. And this, his confidence, he quickens and animates: - 1. From his assurance that God would punish and bring down his enemies: "Shall they escape for their iniquity?" No, no; "in thine anger thou wilt cast them down." 2. From his assurance of God's tutelage, and paternal eye over him in all his dangers, griefs, complaints, petitions, and banishment.
Men think God does not meddle with little things: he knew otherwise.
1. "Thou tellest," and hast upon account, "my wanderings;" my flights, exile.
2. "Thou puttest my tears into thy bottle; " preservest them as rich wine.
3. Thou keepest a reeord for them: "Are they not in thy book?" 4. Thou puttest my enemies to flight: "When I cry unto thee, then I know mine enemies shall be turned back; for God is with me." IV. And therefore, at last, he concludes with thanks, to which he holds himself bound by vow.
1. "Thy vows are upon me:" I owe thee thanks by vow, and I will pay them. "I will render praises unto thee." 2. The reason is, "For thou hast delivered my soul from death." 3. Thou wilt deliver me: "Wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling?" 4. The end is, "That I may walk before God in the light of the living." That I may live awhile, and walk as before thy eye; as in thy sight, uprightly, sincerely, and prosperously. That in me men may behold how powerfully thou hast saved both my body and soul.