Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man.* Again David reverts to the exercise of prayer, or rather is led to it naturally by the very confidence of hope, which we have seen that it entertained. He expresses his conviction, that should God extend his help, it would be sufficient of itself, although no assistance should be received from any other quarter. It is as if he had said, “O God, when pleased to put forth your might, you need no-one to help you; and when, therefore, once assured of an interest in your favour, there is no reason why we should desire the aid of man. All other resources of a worldly nature vanish before the brightness of your power.”
Why is it almost universally the case with men that they are either staggered in their resolution, or buoy themselves up with confidences, vain, because not derived from God, but just because they have no apprehension of that salvation which he can extend, which is of itself sufficient, and without which, any earthly succour is entirely ineffectual? God, in accomplishing our preservation, may use the agency of man, but he reserves it to himself, as his peculiar prerogative, to deliver, and will not suffer them to rob him of his glory. The deliverance which comes to us in this manner through human agency must properly be ascribed to God. All that David meant to assert is, that such confidences as are not derived from God are worthless and in vain. And to confirm this position he declares in the last verse of the psalm, that as, on the one hand, we can do nothing without him, so, on the other, we can do all things by his help.
Through God we shall do valiantly: for it is he that shall tread down our enemies.* If God withdraw his favour, any supposed strength which is in man will soon fail; but those whose sufficiency is derived from God only are armed with courage to overcome every difficulty. Even in our controversy with creatures like ourselves, we are not at liberty to share the honour of success with God; and must it not be accounted greater sacrilege still when men set free will in opposition to divine grace, and speak of their concurring equally with God in the matter of procuring eternal salvation? Those who arrogate the least fraction of strength to themselves apart from God, only ruin themselves through their own pride.
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