O Lord my rock - צורי tsuri not only means my rock, but my fountain, and the origin of all the good I possess.
If thou be silent - If thou do not answer in such a way as to leave no doubt that thou hast heard me, I shall be as a dead man. It is a modern refinement in theology which teaches that no man can know when God hears and answers his prayers, but by an induction of particulars, and by an inference from his promises. And, on this ground, how can any man fairly presume that he is heard or answered at all? May not his inductions be no other than the common occurrences of providence? And may not providence be no more than the necessary occurrence of events? And is it not possible, on this skeptic ground, that there is no God to hear or answer? True religion knows nothing of these abominations; it teaches its votaries to pray to God, to expect an answer from him, and to look for the Holy Spirit to bear witness with their spirits that they are the sons and daughters of God.
Unto thee will I cry - That is, under the consciousness of the danger to which I am exposed - the danger of being drawn away into the society of the wicked. In such circumstances his reliance was not on his own strength; or on his own resolutions; on his own heart; or on his fellowmen. He felt that he was safe only in God, and he appeals to Him, therefore, in this earnest manner, to save him.
O Lord my rock - See the notes at Psalm 18:2.
Be not silent to me - Margin, “from me.” So the Hebrew. The idea is that of one who will not speak to us, or who will not attend to us. We pray, and we look for an “answer” to our prayers, or, as it were, we expect God to “speak” to us; to utter words of kindness; to assure us of His favor; to declare our sins forgiven.
Lest, if thou be silent to me - If thou dost not answer my supplications.
I become like unto them that go down into the pit - Like those who die; or, lest I be crushed by anxiety and distress, and die. The word “pit” here refers to the grave. So it is used in Psalm 30:3; Psalm 88:4; Isaiah 38:18; Isaiah 14:15, Isaiah 14:19. The meaning is, that if he did not obtain help from God he despaired of life. His troubles would overwhelm and crush him. He could not bear up under them.
God calls upon His creatures to turn their attention from the confusion and perplexity around them and admire His handiwork. As we study His works, angels from heaven will be by our side to enlighten our minds and guard them from Satan's deceptions. As you look at the wonderful things that God's hand has made, let your proud, foolish heart feel its dependence and inferiority. How terrible it is when the acknowledgment of God is not made when it should be made! How sad to humble oneself when it is too late! CT 457.1
The psalmist declares, “When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” Psalm 27:8. The whole of this psalm should find a place in the reading and spelling lessons of the school. The twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and seventy-eighth psalms tell of the rich blessings bestowed by God upon His people and of their poor returns for all His benefits. The eighty-first psalm explains why Israel was scattered—they forgot God, as the churches in our land are forgetting Him today. Consider also the eighty-ninth, ninetieth, ninety-first, ninety-second, and ninety-third psalms. CT 457.2
These things were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come; and should they not be studied in our schools? The word of God contains instructive lessons, given in reproof, in warning, in encouragement, and in rich promises. Would not such food as this be meat in due season to the youth? CT 457.3Read in context »
Direction to Study Several Psalms—How terrible it is when the acknowledgment of God is not made when it should be made! How sad to humble one's self when it is too late! Why, O why, do not men heed the invitation? The psalmist said, “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek” [Psalm 27:8]. The whole of this psalm is excellent, and should be placed in the reading and spelling lessons of the classes. The twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and seventy-eighth psalms tell of the rich blessings bestowed by God upon His people, and of their poor returns for all His benefits. The eighty-first psalm explains why Israel was scattered. They forgot God, as the churches in our land are forgetting Him today. Read the eighty-ninth, ninetieth, ninety-first, ninety-second, and ninety-third psalms. My attention has been called to these matters. Shall we not consider the Word of the Lord? These things were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come, and should they not be the objects of study in our schools? The Word of God contains instructive lessons, given in reproof, in warning, in encouragement, and in rich promises. Would not such food as this be meat in due season to the youth (Manuscript 96, 1899)? 3BC 1142.1Read in context »