Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Psalms
Book: Psalms
Chapter: 55

Prayer to God to manifest his favour. (1-8) The great
wickedness and treachery of his enemies. (9-15) He is sure that
God would in due time appear for him. (16-23)

1-8 In these verses we have, 1. David praying. Prayer is a
salve for every sore, and a relief to the Spirit under every
Burden. 2. David weeping. Griefs are thus, in some Measure,
lessened, while those increase that have No vent given them.
David in great Alarm. We may Well suppose him to be So, upon the
breaking out of Absalom's conspiracy, and the falling away of
the people. Horror overwhelmed him. Probably the remembrance of
his Sin in the matter of Uriah added much to the terror. When
under a guilty Conscience we must Mourn in our complaint, and
even strong believers have for a time been filled with horror.
But none ever was So overwhelmed as the holy Jesus, when it
pleased the Lord to Put him to grief, and to make his soul an
Offering for our sins. In his Agony he prayed more earnestly,
and was heard and delivered; trusting in him, and following him,
we shall be supported under, and carried through all trials. See
how David was weary of the treachery and ingratitude of men, and
the cares and disappointments of his high station: he longed to
hide himself in some Desert from the Fury and fickleness of his
people. He aimed not at victory, but Rest; a Barren Wilderness,
So that he might be quiet. The wisest and best of men most
earnestly covet peace and quietness, and the more when vexed and
wearied with noise and clamour. This makes Death desirable to a
Child of God, that it is a final escape from all the storms and
tempests of this world, to perfect and Everlasting Rest.

9-15 No wickedness So distresses the believer, as that which he
witnesses in those who profess to be of the Church of God. Let
us not be surprised at the corruptions and disorders of the
Church On Earth, but long to see the New Jerusalem. He complains
of one that had been very industrious against him. God often
destroys the enemies of the Church By dividing them. And an
interest divided against itself cannot long stand. The true
Christian must expect trials from professed friends, from those
with whom he has been united; this will be very painful; but By
looking unto Jesus we shall be enabled to Bear it. Christ was
betrayed By a companion, a Disciple, an Apostle, who resembled
Ahithophel in his crimes and doom. Both were speedily overtaken
By Divine vengeance. And this Prayer is a Prophecy of the utter,
the Everlasting ruin, of all who oppose and rebel against the

16-23 In every trial let us Call upon the Lord, and he will
save us. He shall hear us, and not blame us for coming too
often; the oftener the more welcome. David had thought all were
against him; but now he sees there were many with him, more than
he supposed; and the Glory of this he gives to God, for it is he
that raises us up friends, and makes them Faithful to us. There
are more true Christians, and believers have more real friends,
than in their gloomy hours they suppose. His enemies should be
reckoned with, and brought down; they could not ease themselves
of their fears, as David could, By Faith in God. Mortal men,
though ever So high and strong, will easily be crushed By an
eternal God. Those who are not reclaimed By the rod of
affliction, will certainly be brought down to the Pit of
Destruction. The Burden of Afflictions is very heavy, especially
when attended with the temptations of Satan; there is also the
Burden of Sin and corruption. The only relief under it is, to
look to Christ, who bore it. Whatever it is that thou desirest
God should give thee, leave it to him to give it in his own way
and time. Care is a Burden, it makes the Heart stoop. We must
commit our ways and Works to the Lord; let him do as seemeth him
good, and let us be satisfied. To cast our Burden upon God, is
to Rest upon his Providence and promise. And if we do So, he
will carry us in the arms of his power, as a nurse carries a
Child; and will strengthen our spirits By his Spirit, So that
they shall sustain the trial. He will never suffer the righteous
to be moved; to be So shaken By any troubles, as to quit their
duty to God, or their comfort in him. He will not suffer them to
be utterly cast down. He, who bore the Burden of our sorrows,
desires us to leave to him to Bear the Burden of our cares,
that, as he knows what is best for us, he may provide it
accordingly. Why do not we trust Christ to govern the world
which he redeemed?