Summary: It is wise to trust in the Lord.

9 Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble

A sudden change of subject matter occurs in verse 9, as the psalmist follows up his prayer for mercy with a clarification of his need for mercy. He is in trouble, in dire trouble; hard pressed, and distressed both in mind and body. Isn’t that the way it is with the people of God; as soon as they are out of one trouble, they are in another; these troubles are created for them alone, and lie in their pathway to heaven, and are necessary; but when we are experiencing them we have the right to take them to the Lord, who is a merciful God. It is best for them to cast themselves upon His mercy since they have no merit of their own to plead with him; and they may freely tell him all their troubles, as the psalmist does here, and hope for grace and mercy to help them in time of need. The nature and sources of his trouble are specified in the following verses. He seems to have considered all his trouble to be the result of sin, either the sin of his heart, of which he alone was conscious or of some open act of sin that had brought this trouble upon him (v. 10). As a consequence of this, he says that he was subjected to criticism and finger-pointing by his enemies, and shunned by his neighbors and his acquaintances. He was forgotten by them like a dead man who is out of sight and out of mind; he was slandered by some of them, while others conspired against his life (vs. 11-13). In view of all this, he calls earnestly upon God to save him from his troubles, and to be his helper and friend.

Now, this man of God provides a minute description of his unhappy situation. He unburdens his heart, lays bare his wounds, and expresses his inward desolation. This first clause briefly expresses all that follows, it is the text for his melancholy speech. Misery provokes mercy—no more reasoning is needed. "Have mercy" is the prayer; the argument is as powerful as it is plain and personal, "I am in trouble."

Mine eye, is consumed with grief

Psalm 6:7, is almost identical—“My eye is consumed because of grief . . .” David’s grief is that produced by provocation or spiteful treatment. It causes him to weep so much that his eyes are nearly "consumed" or "eaten away." Blurred and sunken eyes are obvious indicators of failing health. Tears seem to draw their salt from our strength, and floods of them are very apt to consume the source from which they spring. God wants us to tell Him the symptoms of our disease, not for his information, but to show we are aware of our need. It was an old idea that the eye could weep itself away. It is an actual fact that the disease glaucoma is very much influenced by emotions. The psalmist may have wept continually because of his trouble, and that was very harmful to his sight.

Yea, my soul and my belly

Perhaps he could not eat his food, or digest it, which caused him internal disorders, and even brought his soul or life into danger. “My soul and my belly” means that both mind and body were suffering. My sorrows are not bogus, or slight, but inward and penetrating: my mind is oppressed, my heart is ready to sink under my burden.

“Yea, my soul”—that is, my spirit, my life, my mind. My powers are weakened and exhausted by excessive grief.

“And my belly”—that is, my bowels (contained in my belly), which is considered the seat of the affections, and source of support and nourishment for the whole body. But others regard the "belly" as denoting "the very center of physical life and of the emotions"—“Behold, my belly is as wine which has no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles” (Job 32:19). The idea is my thoughts and affections work within me, like fermenting wine in a bottle, and must have expression.

Soul and body are so intimately united, that one cannot deteriorate without the other feeling it. We, in these days, are not strangers to the double declining which David describes; we have been faint with physical suffering and distracted with mental distress. Thus the whole man, both soul and body, inside and outside, are consumed. The effect of his grief was to exhaust his strength and to make his heart sink within him. Compare:

Isaiah 16:11: “Why my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and my inward parts for Kirharesh.” In excessive griefs, the bowels are sometimes rolled and tumbled together, so as to make an audible noise.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion