Matthew Henry’s Commentary reads: David seems to have been in a great strait when he penned this psalm, and, upon some account or other, very uneasy; for it is with some difficulty that he conquers his passion, and composes his spirit himself to take that good counsel which he had given to others (Ps. 37) to rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him, without fretting; for it is easier to give the good advice than to give a good example of quietness under affliction. What was the particular trouble which gave occasion for the conflict David was now in does not appear. Perhaps it was the death of some dear friend or relation that was the trial of his patience, and that suggested to him these meditations of morality; and at the same time, it should seem too, he himself was weak and ill, and under some prevailing distemper. His enemies likewise were seeking advantages against him, and watched for his halting, that they might have something to reproach him for. Thus aggrieved,
- I. He relates the struggle that was in his breast between grace and corruption, between passion and patience (v. 1-3).
- II. He meditates upon the doctrine of man’s frailty and mortality and prays to God to instruct him in it (v. 4-6).
- III. He applies to God for the pardon of his sins, the removal of his afflictions, and the lengthening out of his life till he was ready for death (v. 7-13).
C.H. Spurgeon in his masterful work The Treasury of David comments on this verse as follows:
I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. This had been far clearer if it had been rendered, “I am silenced, I will not open my mouth.” Here we have a nobler silence, purged of all sullenness, and sweetened with submission. Nature failed to muzzle the mouth, but grace achieved the work in the worthiest manner. How like in appearance may two very different things appear! silence is ever silence, but it may be sinful in one case and saintly in another. What a reason for hushing every murmuring thought is the reflection, “because thou didst it.”! It is his right to do as he wills, and he always wills to do that which is wisest and kindest; why should I then arraign his dealings? Nay, if it be indeed the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.
I often wonder at how my mind works. I was reading some of the daily devotionals that come in my email this morning, Romans 10:9-10, and that got me thinking about how sometimes even true believers feel like they have been abandoned by God. Maybe it is because of the devotional series on Comfort for the Grieving, Hurting, and Dying that I have been writing?
This Psalm exemplifies that struggle (at least to me) knowing in our heart that God is sovereign, controlling all for our good, yet our minds saying He has forsaken us. The following from Thomas Brooks is a classic on the subject. I pray it edifies you greatly.
“Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod” or,
“The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes”
by Thomas Brooks, 1659, London.
Objection 8. Oh! But God has deserted me! He has forsaken me! He who should comfort my soul—stands afar off! How can I be silent? The Lord has hid his face away from me; clouds are gathered around me; God has turned his back upon me! How can I be silent?
Supposing that the desertion is real, and not in appearance only, as sometimes it falls out—I answer…
Continued at Source: https://www.gracegems.org/Brooks/mute_christian4.htm