The Works of

Rev. Prof. Dr. F.N. Lee

21 June

The Lord is my refuge, in the land of the living!

Psalm 142:1-6

‘I cried out to the Lord with my voice!… I showed before Him, my trouble! When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path!… I looked…and beheld, but there was no man that wanted to know me!… I cried out to You, O Lord! I said: “You are my refuge and my portion in the land of the living!”… I am brought very low!… Deliver me from my persecutors!… Bring forth my soul…, so that I may praise Your name! The righteous shall surround me! For You shall deal bountifully with me!’ Psalm 142:1-7.

Calvin comments: “When Saul came into the cave where David lay concealed, this saint of God might…have been…thrown into consternation…. David retained his composure….

“‘I cried (out) to Jehovah!’… David …was not paralyzed with fear…. He was not actuated by despair to take away his life — but composedly addressed himself to the exercise of prayer…. David had good grounds for…how he commended himself to God…. The repetition he makes use of, indicates his having prayed with earnestness….

“He tells us…in the next verse, that he disburdened his cares to God…. He…made known his griefs with unsuspecting confidence, to the Lord….

“The words teach us, when we have tried every remedy and know not what to do — to rest satisfied with the conviction that God is acquainted with our afflictions and condescends to care for us. As Abraham said: ‘The Lord will provide!’ (Genesis 22:8)….

“‘On looking to the right hand…, (there was no man that wanted to know me)!’… No human aid or comfort was to be expected…. Destruction seemed inevitable…. It was God’s purpose that he (David) should be abandoned of all assistance from man, so that his deliverance from destruction should…appear more extraordinary….

“‘I cried (out) to You, O Jehovah!’… David complains…of his extremity…. He speaks of deliverance as plainly being needed, since he was now held a prisoner. By ‘prison’…, he alludes to the cave where he was lodged….

“‘(Bring forth my soul [from this cave, so that I may praise Your name — and so that]) the righteous shall compass {or surround} me!’… The righteous would not only congratulate him, but place a crown upon his head in token of victory…. ‘They will assemble to congratulate me, and will stand round me on every side, like a crown’…. The words literally read, ‘they will crown…me!'”

Calvin also says in his Institutes II:11:2 & III:20:26: “David rises from temporal blessings to the last and highest of all…. ‘I cried out to You, O Lord! I said: “You are my refuge and my portion in the land of the living!”‘ (Psalm 142:5)…. ‘The righteous shall (surround or) compass me about! For You shall deal bountifully with me!’ (Psalm 142:7).” Indeed, the Lord is my refuge, in the land of the living! Is that also your experience?