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GOOD THOUGHTS IN BAD TIMES
‘The multitude of my thoughts within me.’
This psalm opens with two verses of introduction, in which God is asked to lift up Himself and to show Himself. For the time, He seemed to be far off or asleep. Apparently He had allowed the government of the world to slip from His fingers. Accordingly, the psalm calls Him back.
I. The evils of misgovernment ( Psalms 94:3-7).—In the preface to one of his volumes on the Psalter, Mr. Spurgeon confesses that in the interpretation of one of the imprecatory psalms he had completely stuck, so remote did the sentiment seem to be from Christianity; but just at that time the news of the Bulgarian atrocities came out, and so stirred was his soul with indignation that he finished his comment without difficulty.
II. The uses of adversity ( Psalms 94:8-11).—In these desperate circumstances deep thoughts came to the writer of this psalm; for adversity is a notable teacher. It has been acknowledged by some of the most eminent thinkers of the world that there are few thoughts more profound than these which these four verses contain.
III. The peace of faith ( Psalms 94:12-15).—Any one who obtains such thoughts as have just been faintly indicated even at the expense of much suffering could not but be a gainer; and this is the thought of these verses. The Psalmist had not only come through the chastening of misfortune, but he had enjoyed at the same time the light of God’s law on his experiences, and so he had found rest in his trouble.
IV. The struggle between the flesh and the spirit ( Psalms 94:16-19).—Apparently the enigma is already solved; but in these verses the struggle begins again. In the man’s breast there are two contending voices, the one the voice of unbelief, and the other the voice of faith. The timid voice asks who will stand up to vindicate the weak; the believing voice replies that many a time before now when he was on the point of extinction the Lord had come to his help.
V. The triumph of faith ( Psalms 94:20-23).—This short delay only makes the final triumph more decided. In the last four verses all the threads of the psalm are gathered together. Once more we see on the one hand the powerful enemies. They have the throne on their side—the throne of iniquity. Perhaps they have the Church, too, for the clergy have often been on the side of oppression; and yet that is no guarantee of the partnership of God. They have the law-makers as well as the clergy; for injustice has been decreed by law. It is a common boast of enemies of the commonwealth that the law of the land is on their side, and that their business is a legal one; but human law may be entirely opposed to real justice; laws have often been evil, hence the proverb, ‘Summum jus, summa injuria.’ They had numbers on their side; and numbers gave confidence; many believe that the voice of the majority is the voice of God; but never was there a greater mistake. All these were on the one side; but on the other side was the Lord, the defence and refuge of His people; and He will bring upon the oppressors their own iniquity, and cut them off by means of their own wickedness.
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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Psalms 94". The Church Pulpit Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent