His only hope is in his God, but that is so strong a confidence, that he feels the Lord hath but to _arise_ and he is saved. It is enough for the Lord to stand up, and all is well. He compares his enemies to wild beasts, and he declares that God hath broken their jaws, so that they could not injure him; “_Thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly_.” Or else he alludes to the peculiar temptations to which he was then exposed. They had spoken against him; God, therefore, has smitten them upon the cheek bone. They seemed as if they would devour him with their mouths; God hath broken their teeth, and let them say what they will, their toothless jaws shall not be able to devour him. Rejoice, O believer, thou hast to do with a dragon whose head is broken, and with enemies whose teeth are dashed from their jaws!
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS.
Verse 7.–“_Arise, O Lord,” Jehovah! This is a common scriptural mode of calling upon God to manifest his presence and his power, either in wrath or favour. By a natural anthropomorphism, it describes the intervals of such manifestation as periods of inaction or of slumber, out of which he is besought to rouse himself. “_Save me_,” even me, of whom they say there is no help for him in God. “_Save me_, O my God_,” mine by covenant and mutual engagement, to whom I therefore have a right to look for deliverance and protection. This confidence is warranted, moreover, by experience. “_For thou hast_,” in former exigencies, “_smitten all mine enemies_,” without exception “_(on the) cheek_” or _jaw_, an act at once violent and insulting. –^J. A. Alexander, D.D.
Verse 7.–“_Upon the cheek bone_.”–The language seems to be taken from a comparison of his enemies with wild beasts. The cheek bone denotes the bone in which the teeth are placed, and to break that is to disarm the animal.–^Albert Barnes, in loc.
Verse 7.–When God takes vengeance upon the ungodly, he will smite in such a manner as to make them feel his almightiness in every stroke. All his power shall be exercised in punishing and none in pitying. O that every obstinate sinner would think of this, and consider his unmeasurable boldness in thinking himself able to grapple with Omnipotence!–^Stephen Charnock.
[As a curious instance of Luther’s dogmatical interpretations, we give very considerable extracts from his rendering of this Psalm without in any degree endorsing them.
Verse 7.–“_For thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly_.” Hieronymus uses this metaphor of “_cheek bones_,”] and “_teeth_,” to represent cutting words, detractions, calumnies, and other injuries of the same kind, by which the innocent are oppressed: according to that of #Pr 30:14|, “There is a generation whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw-teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.” It was by these that Christ was devoured, when, before Pilate he was condemned to the cross by the voices and accusations of his enemies. And hence it is that the apostle saith (#Ga 5:15|), “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”–^Martin Luther.
HINTS TO PREACHERS.
Verse 7.–(1) Describe the Lord’s past dealing with his enemies; “thou hast.” (2) Show that the Lord should be our constant resort, “O Lord,” “O my God.” (3) Enlarge upon the fact that the Lord is to be stirred up: “Arise.” (4) Urge believers to use the Lord’s past victories as an argument with which to prevail with him.
Verse 7 (last clause).–Our enemies vanquished foes, toothless lions.