Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The limit of afflictions

From the additional notes to Charles Spurgeon's The Treasury of David, on Psalm 119:84

Verse 84. — How many are the days of thy servant? When will thou execute judgement on them that persecute me?
Some read the two clauses apart, as if the first were a general complaint of the brevity of human life, such as is to be met with in other Psalms, and more frequently in the book of Job; and next, in their opinion, there follows a special prayer of the Psalmist that God would take vengeance upon his enemies. But I rather prefer joining the two clauses together, and limit both to David's afflictions; as if it had been said, Lord, how long hast thou determined to abandon thy servant to the will of the ungodly? when wilt thou set thyself in opposition to their cruelty and outrage, in order to take vengeance upon them? The Scriptures often use the word "days" in this sense... By the use of the plural number is denoted a determinate portion of time, which, in other places, is compared to the "days of an hireling": Job 14:6Isaiah 16:14. The Psalmist does not, then, bewail in general the transitory life of man, but he complains that the time of his state of warfare in this world had been too long protracted; and, therefore, he naturally desires that it might be brought to a termination. In expostulating with God about his troubles, he does not do so obstinately, or with a murmuring spirit; but still, in asking how long it will be necessary for him to suffer, he humbly prays that God would not delay to succour him. — John Calvin.
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