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approval and favor, secured the throne to his posterity, and obtained the promise that the Messiah should descend of his line, and reign for ever on his throne. It seems to have been essential to a theocratic administration over the monarchs and nation, that God should make such direct and visible manifestations of his approval of those who were obedient.
He gave to Solomon, Hezekiah, and others, though in a different form, almost equally direct and emphatic tokens of his graciousness and faithfulness; while on the other hand, he made to those who resembled Saul as immediate and terrible demonstrations of his anger.
His interposition to deliver David, therefore, instead of being altogether singular and anomalous, was in fact in accordance with the genius of the administration he exercised over the Israelitish monarchs and people, and was one of a great number of majestic manifestations of himself which he made to his eminent servants, the patriarchs, prophets, and kings.
The events commemorated in this Psalm exeniplify the great characteristics of the administration God now exercises ;—the subjection of his people to severe trials, and interpositions to deliver them in answer to prayer.
He could have placed David on the throne with
out conducting him through any of the difficulties and dangers in which he was involved through a long series of years. But instead of exalting him at once to the power, splendor, and luxury of an absolute monarch, he assigned him a life of extreme alarm, hazard, and self-denial. He was regarded with the utmost jealousy and hatred by Saul, accused of conspiring against him, threatened with death, forced to flee from the court, wander an outlaw in the wildernesses of Palestine, and maintain a ceaseless struggle for years to elude his vindictive pursuers; and in these circumstances, he was disciplined to a sense of his dependence, faith in God, submission, prayer, and hope, and thus qualified for the peculiar duties and blessings of his subsequent life; and received tokens of God's presence and favor that raised him to a feeling of his relations to him, a largeness of knowledge, and an energy of trust and love, that were proportional, in a measure, to the greatness of his trials.
Inquietudes, misfortunes, and sorrows are in like manner assigned to all God's people, that impress them with an intimate sense of his dominion over them, teach them submission, and inspire them with faith and love, and thereby fit them for his service and kingdom. To look for prosperity without interruption, and happiness without alloy, is as unreason
able in them now, as it would have been in the Psalmist to have expected an elevation to the throne without a conflict with his rivals, or a conquest of the hostile nations around him, without the toils and perils of war.
There is no other method, perhaps, in which God could teach us in so impressive a manner the acceptableness to him of prayer for deliverance from troubles and sorrows, and his readiness to interpose and bestow the blessings that are needed by his people; as by leading his servants who enjoyed the special guidance of his Spirit, to apply to him for protection from the dangers to which they were exposed, and relief from the calamities with which they were overwhelmed, and granting them deliverances in answer to their prayers. It was not sinnply the natural impulse of Abraham, of Jacob, of Moses, of David, and of others to look to him for guidance, support, and deliverance in their trials ; but they were prompted to it by the Holy Spirit. The prayers of Moses and David are to be regarded as inspired, and are recorded as exemplifications at once of the disposition which the Spirit excites in the sanctified, and of the acceptableness to God of faith in such circumstances, in his power and graciousness, and of supplication for his aid.
What a beautiful method of sanctioning and encouraging trust and prayer in the most perilous conditions! What an effective means of showing that his infinite graciousness inclines him to desire and hear their cries for salvation, as truly and naturally as their sufferings and fears prompt them to apply to him for relief!
What is Professor Stuart's theory respecting God's interposition celebrated in the Psalm? What is the view entertained by Rosenmüller, Hengstenberg, and others? What reason for his view does Rosenmüller give! What is a proper answer to it? Is there not as much reason to believe this interposition was real, as that other visible manifestations of God that are narrated by the prophets were? What is a proper answer to Hengstenberg's view? Is there any more reason to regard this interposition as merely conceptional, than there is to ascribe that character to all the other similar manifestations that are recorded in the sacred volume? Is the question one of great moment!
What are the figures in v. 11 What is indicated by the expression, servant of Jehovah ? What is the first figure, v. 2! By what figure are rock and fortress, v. 2, used? What other figures are there in the verse? What is the word rendered rock used to denote? Explain the sense in which the several figures are employed. What are the figures in v. 5! Show how they are used. What were the dangers to which the Psalmist was exposed ! What historic passage indicates it! By what figure is temple used, v. 6? How is it proved that shake and quake, v. 7, are used literally? What event do they signify? What is the figure, v. 8, 9 ? What figure is used v. 10? What are the words used by it? What is the figure v. 11, 12! What is the figure in v. 13? By what figure is arrows used v. 14? Is there any figure v. 16! How is it proved that there is not? What are the facts, then, which the verse narrates? What figure is used v. 17–191 What view of this narrative do those expositors entertain who regard it as figurative! What is the first proof that they are wrong! What is the next proof of their error? What is the third proof of it? How many metaphor's are there v. 10–14; Who is the agent in them? How does it appear that the acts related in those verses cannot have been acts of any other being than God; nor any other acts exerted by him than those the language directly imports ? What is the figure, v. 201 What is the analogy on which it is used ? What are the figures, v. 21, 22, and how are they used? What is the figure, v. 23, 24? What is the figure, v. 27? By what figure is way used, v. 30? What other figures are there, v. 30? What is the figure, v. 31 ? What is the first figure, v. 321 What is the second figure, v. 32? What is the first figure, v. 331 What does the comparison illustrate! By what figure is placing on heights, v. 33, used! What is the figure, v. 34 ? What figures are there in v. 35, and how many? What figure is there, v. 36! What is it that is celebrated, v. 31-36 ? What figure occurs, v. 37–39? What is celebrated in those verses ? What is the figure, v. 40, 41 ? How is it used! What are the first two figures, v. 42? What is the next? What is celebrated in the verses that follow? What is the figure, v. 43? Which is the word used by it! What word is used by a figure, v. 44, 45? Why is it used by a metaphorWhat word is used by the first figure, v. 46? Why is it used! What other figure is there in the verse What is the figure, v. 47, 48? Is it clear, then, from the law of figures, that the interposition celebrated in the Psalm was really such as the language describes ? Is the omission of any notice of the event in 1 Samuel xix. any proof that no such theophany took place ? Is the extraordinariness of the event any proof that it did not really occur? What is the first thing which the events celebrated in the Psalm exemplify? What is the second ?