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The Psalmist is still at his devotions, pouring out his soul under afflictions, and seeking strength against his enemies.
A Psalm of David.
It is beautiful to observe, how the holy pleader begs for deliverance upon the footing of God's righteousness. Jesus, when he stood as the sinner's surety, did this: and in his name all his people do the same. Acts 4:12 . God's righteousness, as well as God's grace, becomes the plea, when a soul hath an interest in the Redeemer's righteousness.
Jesus might yet thus complain, because when he stood forth in our stead, he felt all that it was our due to have felt, had he not interposed. The temptations of Satan were harassing to his holy soul, so that his spirit was overwhelmed. And above all, the Father's desertion, though but for a season, bore hard upon the Lamb of God. Psalms 22:1 .
It is very sweet and blessed; under present troubles, to call to remembrance former mercies. Asaph found this, Psalms 77:3-19.77.6 . Hence that sweet promise, Genesis 22:14 . Reader, let you and I look back, under any new troubles, to past deliverances, and behold the many Ebenezers which we have set up, that we may say, Hitherto hath God helped us. And in doing this we shall find occasion therefrom to say, with the apostle, who delivered us from so great a death and doth deliver, in whom we trust that he will yet deliver. 1 Samuel 7:12 ; 2 Corinthians 1:10 .
Here are the same hopes, the same confidences, and the same acts of faith, which all the other parts of the believer's supplications carry with them, that the issue shall be prosperous. And to those who view Christ as the foundation on which those hopes are built, the issue will never be doubtful. Jesus hath said, heaven and earth shall pass away; but my word shall not pass away, Matthew 24:35 .
READER, do pause to mark the blessedness of that state, which can look up and plead for justification before God, upon the sole authority of God's covenant, and the person and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Jesus himself pleaded both these, so hath he taught his people to do the same. As poor, polluted, guilty, sinners, we could have nothing to plead, but only cry for pure mercy. But, while we keep God's Christ in view, and behold him as Jehovah's salvation to the ends of the earth; we may, and we ought, indeed, to lodge all our appeals both upon Christ's merit, and the covenant faithfulness of God our Father. And, Reader, do mark it down, as a sure and certain thing, that when God the Holy Ghost leads out the soul to the full view of those united sources of our acceptance before God, nothing can afford a more solid and substantial resting-place, for maintaining fellowship and communion with God, by grace in this life, and everlasting glory in the life to come. Precious Lord, help me so to plead, so to come to the throne, and so to act faith upon God's record concerning his dear Son, that I may always come boldly unto the throne of grace to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 143". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany