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Verse 9. In this verse we learn the form and method of David's prayer. It was an argument with God, an urging of reasons, a pleading of his cause. It was not a statement of doctrinal opinions, nor a narration of experience, much less a sly hit at other people under pretence of praying to God, although all these things and worse have been substituted for holy supplication at certain prayer meetings. He wrestled with the angel of the covenant with vehement pleadings, and therefore he prevailed. Head and heart, judgment and affections, memory and intellect were all at work to spread the case aright before the Lord of love. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Wilt thou not lose a songster from thy choir, and one who loves to magnify thee? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? Will there not be one witness the less to thy faithfulness and veracity? Spare, then, thy poor unworthy one for thine own name sake!
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 9. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Implying that he would willingly die, if he could thereby do any real service to God, or his country. Php 2:17. But he saw not what good could be done by his dying in the bed of sickness, as might be if he had died in the bed of honour. Lord, saith he, wilt thou sell one of "thine own people for nought, and not increase thy wealth by the price?" Psalms 44:12. Matthew Henry.
Verse 9. What profit is there in my blood, etc. The little gain that the Lord would have by denying his people in the mercies they request, may also be used as a plea in prayer. David begs his own life of God, using this plea, What profit is there in my blood? So did the captive church plead Psalms 44:12; "Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price." So then, poor saints of God when they come and tell the Lord in their prayers that indeed he may condemn, or confound, or cut or cast them off; he may continue to frown upon them; he may deny such and such requests of theirs, for such and such just causes in them; but what will he gain thereby? He may gain many praises, etc., by hearing them, and helping them; but what good will it do him to see them oppressed by the enemies of their souls? or what delight would it be to him to see them sighing and sinking, and fainting under sad pressures, etc.? this is an allowed and a very successful kind of pleading. Thomas Cobbet.
Verse 9. Shall the dust praise thee? Can any number be sufficient to praise thee? Can there ever be mouths enough to declare thy truth? And may not I make one -- a sinful one I know -- but yet one in the number, if thou be pleased to spare me from descending into the pit? Sir Richard Baker.
Verse 9. Prayer that is likely to prevail with God must be argumentative. God loves to have us plead with him and overcome him with arguments in prayer. Thomas Watson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 6-12. David's prosperity had lulled him into a state of undue security; God sent him this affliction to rouse him from it. The successive frames of his mind are here clearly marked; and must successively be considered as they are here presented to our view.
Verse 9. (first clause). Arguments with God for continued life and renewed favour.
Verse 9. (last clause). The resurrection, a time in which the dust shall praise God, and declare his truth.
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