Notwithstanding their real cowardice, the wicked put on the lion’s skin and lord it over the Lord’s poor ones. Though fools themselves, they mock at the truly wise as if the folly were on their side; but this is what might be expected, for how should brutish minds appreciate excellence, and how can those who have owl’s eyes admire the sun? The special point and butt of their jest seems to be the confidence of the godly in their Lord. What can your God do for you now? Who is that God who can deliver out of our hand? Where is the reward of all your praying and beseeching? Taunting questions of this sort they thrust into the faces of weak but gracious souls, and tempt them to feel ashamed of their refuge. Let us not be laughed out of our confidence by them, let us scorn their scorning and defy their jeers; we shall need to wait but a little, and then the Lord our refuge will avenge his own elect and ease himself of his adversaries, who once made so light of him and of his people.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS.
Verse 6.–“_Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge_.” In the fifty-third Psalm it is, “Thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.” Of course, the allusion is totally different in each; in this Psalm it is the indignant remonstrance of the Psalmist with “the workers of iniquity” for undervaluing and putting God’s poor to shame; the other affirms the final shame and confusion of the ungodly, and the contempt in which the Lord holds them. In either case it sweetly illustrates God’s care of his poor, not merely the poor in spirit, but literally the poor and lowly ones, the oppressed and the injured. It is this character of God which is so conspicuously delineated in his word. We may look through all the Shasters and Vedas of the Hindoo, the Koran of the Mahometan, the legislation of the Greek, and the code of the Roman, aye, and the Talmud of the Jew, the bitterest of all; and not in one single line or page shall we find a vestige or trace of that tenderness, compassion, or sympathy for the wrongs, and oppressions, and trials, and sorrows of God’s poor, which the Christian’s Bible evidences in almost every page.–^Barton Bouchier.
Verse 6.–“_Ye have shamed_.” Every fool that saith in his heart there is no God, hath out of the same quiver a bolt to shoot at goodness. Barren Michal hath too many sons, who, like their mother, jeer at holy David.–^John Trapp.
Verse 6.–“_Ye have shamed_,” saith he, “_the counsel of the poor_.” There is nothing that wicked men do so despise as the making God a refuge–nothing which they scorn in their hearts like it. “They shame it,” saith he, “It is a thing to be cast out of all consideration. The wise man trusts in his wisdom, the strong man in his strength, the rich man in his riches; but this trusting in God is the foolishest thing in the world.” The reasons of it are–1. They know not God; and it is a foolish thing to trust one knows not whom. 2. They are enemies to God, and God is their enemy; and they account it a foolish thing to trust their enemy. 3. They know not the way of God’s assistance and help. And–4. They seek for such help, such assistance, such supplies as God will not give; to be delivered, to serve their lusts; to be preserved, to execute their rage, filthiness, and folly. They have no other design or end of these things; and God will give none of them. And it is a foolish thing in any man to trust God to be preserved in sin. It is true their folly is their wisdom, considering their state and condition. It is a folly to trust in God to live in sin, and despise the counsel of the poor.–^John Owen.
Verse 6.–“_Ye have made a mock of the counsel of the poor_:” and why? “_because the Lord is his trust_.” This is the very true cause, whatsoever other pretences there be. Whence observe this doctrine; that true godliness is that which breeds the quarrel between God’s children and the wicked. Ungodly men may say what they list, as, namely, that they hate and dislike them for that they are proud and saucy in meddling with their betters; for that they are so scornful and disdainful towards their neighbours; for that they are malcontent, and turbulent, and I know not what; but the true reason is yielded by the Lord in this place, to wit, because they make him their stay and their confidence, and will not depend upon lying vanities as the men of the world do.–^John Dod.
Verse 6.–“_The Lord is his refuge_.”–Be persuaded actually to hide yourselves with Jesus Christ. To have a hiding-place and not to use it, is as bad as to want one; fly to Christ; run into the holes of this Rock.–^Ralph Robinson, 1656.
HINTS TO PREACHERS.
Verse 6.–The wisdom of making the Lord our refuge.–^John Owen.
Verse 6.–Describe I. The poor man here intended. II. His counsel. III. His reproach. IV. His refuge.
Verse 6.–Trust in God, a theme for mockery to fools only. Show its wisdom.