As For MeRelated Media
Jane Austen once wrote, “I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle.”1 Far too often people placate themselves in outright selfishness—even at times out of pure greed. We have all noted this in many forms of social behavior, such as evidenced in political leaders, shoppers, drivers, or various public figures. For many, personal desire, opinion, or viewpoint is all that matters. For others, however, selflessness is quite characteristic such as in performing charitable deeds or in a desire to help or encourage others. Of vital importance is a spiritual concern not only for one’s own relation to God but for all people. As Haggai expressed it, “A self-centered life is totally empty, while an emptied life allows room for God.”2 Even more importantly, the need to put God first in one’s personal life so as to trust him above all, and in and through all circumstances is crucial.
In this study we shall note cases where the emphatic anticipatory phrase, “As for me” occurs followed by something other than a verb. Where it is followed by a verb, this phrase tends to underscore strongly the action involved. In other constructions it emphasizes a given person’s reaction, resolve, or attitude in accordance with the situation in which he finds himself. The latter shall be our focus of attention, with special attention to the biblical book of Psalms. The expression “As for me” may occur in most any context, such as in the psalmist’s declaration of his personal integrity (Ps. 26:11).We shall note two distinct yet at times overlapping situations, followed by a special study of Psalm 73. A summary and applications will close the study.
The Psalmist’s Need for Deliverance
In several passages, a psalmist cries out to the Lord in a time of dire need, whether due to trouble or even outright oppression (e.g., Ps. 70:5). Thus in Psalm 35 David points out to the Lord his grounds for seeking divine intervention in the midst of his troubles at the hands of others. Indeed, rather than persecuting others, he had a deep empathy and concern for them—yes, even those who were now maliciously and unjustly attacking him (Ps. 35:11-18). This was particularly true when they were ill. As Leupold observes, “Their sickness grieved him to such an extent that in deep- feeling for them he even wore sackcloth. He even fasted in his prayers for them as did Bible men in days of old in many instances. He would at such times go about as though his closest of kin, friend, brother, or mother had been sick.”3
In Psalm 69 the psalmist shares with God the depth of his troubles. He complains that he has so many enemies who hate him “without cause” (v. 4; cf. Ps. 119:81-88).4 Indeed, he is surrounded by them with their ridicule and insults. (vv. 7-12, 19-21). Therefore, he cries out,
O LORD, may you hear my prayer
and be favorably disposed to me.
O God, because of your great loyal love,
answer me with your faithful deliverance! (v. 13)
As in verses 1-3, he likens his situation to one who is about to be overwhelmed in surging waters (vv. 14-15), and pleads for God’s compassion and intervention on his behalf (vv. 16-18). His plaintiff cry is distinctively felt in verse 29:
But as for me—poor and in pain—
let your salvation protect me, God.
His great desire is not only to be rescued from his oppression and troubles, but to be able to praise the Lord before all, even those who had insulted him (vv. 30-32). Even more, as Futato expresses it, “As he was disgraced publicly, so he will praise God publicly. As God has been insulted by the opposition, so he will be praised by the opposed. Others, too, will join in the praise.”5
In a still later Psalm, the psalmist is again seen pleading for relief from all his troubles (Ps. 88:1-9). His plight is so severe that even his closest friends have nothing to do with him (vv. 14-18). Indeed, he feels lonely and abandoned by all, even the Lord himself (v. 14). His despair, however, does not keep him from seeking the Lord each morning. Accordingly, he reminds the Lord that he has come daily to cast his cares before him:
As for me, I cry out to you, O Lord;
in the morning my prayer confronts you. (v. 13)
The psalmist’s feeling of abandonment stands in vivid contrast with the sentiment of the hymn writer:
On life’s pathway I am never lonely,
my Lord is with me, my Lord divine;
ever present guide, I trust him only,
no longer lonely, for He is mine.
No longer lonely, no longer lonely,
for Jesus is the friend of friends to me.6
In a graphic lament the author of Psalm 102 complains bitterly about his troubles, which have so greatly impaired him physically and emotionally (vv. 1-11; cf. Ps. 109:1-5, 22-26). So burdensome is his situation that his physical impairments have taken on a grotesque appearance. To add to his woes, his enemies taunt, mock and curse him (v. 8). As Yan Gemeren points out, “In the tension of his being and not-being and of meaning and meaninglessness, the psalmist despairs. He is full of feverish anxiety…and is alone in his suffering.”7 So miserable is his condition that he feels certain that his life is nearly over :
My days are coming to an end,
and (MT. “As for me”) I am withered like grass (v. 11)
Accordingly, he cries out to the Lord as his only source of help:
O LORD, hear my prayer!
Pay attention my cry for help!
Do not ignore me in my time of trouble!
Listen to me!
When I call out to you, quickly answer me! (vv. 1-2)
The psalmist’s plea is reminiscent of the words of the hymn writer:
Help me then in ev’ry tribulation
so to trust your promises, O Lord,
that I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
offered me within your holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
e’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
one by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
till I reach the promised land.8
The Psalmist’s Resolve to Trust God
In Psalm 41 David pleads for relief from his sickness, which he feels he may have brought on himself by sins he had unwittingly committed
As for me, I said:
“O LORD, have mercy on me!
Heal me. for I have sinned against you!” (v. 4)
He prays also for relief from the terrific oppression he is receiving from those around him (vv. 5-8). So severe is his condition that,
even my close friend whom I trusted,
he who shared meals with me, has turned against me. (v. 9)
In light of all of this he asks the Lord not only for healing but for the opportunity to set the record straight with his adversaries (vv. 10-11).
Although at first sight it might appear that David is being vindictive and desirous of revenge, such is not the case. Rather, at the outset he expresses his confidence in the Lord’s known actions as a just, holy, and compassionate God (vv. 1-3; cf. Ps 109:28). Therefore, in spite of his sickness and troubles, it is apparent that he has resolved in his heart to trust the Lord to act in the same way in his situation. Therefore, he goes on to say,
As for me, you uphold me because of my integrity;
you allow me permanent access to your presence. (v. 12)
David closes his thought here by affirming that the Lord is worthy and deserving of all praise both now and forever (v. 13; NET, “We agree! We agree!”; MT, “Amen and amen”).
David’s expressed condition is reminiscent of Psalm 38 (see also, Psalm 116). As in Psalm 41, here David is fearful that his poor health may have been caused by some unknown unintentional sin that he has committed (cf. Ps 38:3, 10, 18 with Ps. 41:4). Likewise, he is tormented by oppression not only from those who dislike him, but even by his close friends (vv. 11-12; cf. Ps. 41:5-9). In his depressed state he feels despised by all and totally alone;
But I (MT, “As for me”) am like a deaf man—I hear nothing;
I am like a mute who cannot speak.
I am like a man who cannot hear
and is incapable of arguing his defense. (vv. 13-14)
In his helpless and discouraged condition he cries out to the Lord for the help that only the Lord can grant (v. 15). He hopes that it will be a quick deliverance lest he stumble further in his walk before the Lord (vv. 16-18). Moreover, as in Psalm 41 David prays for relief from his adversaries, whom he has helped and not harmed in any way. David’s prayer is most sincere, for in laying his needs before the Lord he emphasizes very strongly his relation to the Lord and his dependence on him. This he does in a three-fold manner: it is the LORD (Yahweh) who is “My God” (cf. Ps 31:14) and “My deliverer”; Yahweh is the one true God of the universe and all human history, and he is the one and only one who can who can deliver David from this awful state (vv. 19-22). Thus David’s impassioned plea is not only one of an urgent need of help, but also is an expression of his total reliance on the Lord for deliverance. It is for this reason that earlier David declared:
I wait for you, O LORD!
You will respond, O LORD, my God. (v. 15)
David’s resolve to trust completely in the Lord, which we have seen in Psalms 41 and 38, is in evidence in Psalm 59. Here again he prays for deliverance from adversaries whom he has not wronged (vv. 1-5). In the face of their attacks against him he feels confident in God, his source of strength and help in perilous times (vv. 6-10, 11-13). Although their attacks are relentless (vv. 14-15), he is so certain of God’s support and deliverance that he can, and avows that he will, praise the Lord in song:
As for me, I will sing about your strength;
I will praise your loyal love in the morning.
For you are my refuge
and my place of shelter when I face trouble.
You are my source of strength!
I will sing praises to you!
For God is my refuge,
the God who loves me. (vv. 16-17)
David’s determination to praise God is echoed in Psalm 75, a psalm of Asaph:
As for me, I will continually tell what you have done;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob!
God says, “I will bring down all the power of the wicked;
the godly will be victorious.
It is also reflected in the well-known Psalm 119. Here again we see a faithful follower of the Lord and his Word pleading for deliverance from those who attack him without cause (vv. 81-86, 107). The declaration of his virtue and his affirmation of innocence are encapsulated by saying,
They have almost destroyed me here on earth,
but I (MT, “As for me”) do not reject your precepts. (v. 87)
Accordingly, he can plead with the Lord and pray expectantly for relief so that he may in assured confidence continue to adhere to God’s revealed standards.9
In the fifth Psalm, we note once more David entreating the Lord to deliver him from his foes, while punishing the wicked (vv. 1-6, 8-10). Moreover, he knows that he can plead with the Lord to care for the godly (and by implication he is included among them), confident in God’s faithfulness to do so (vv. 11-12). Unlike the ungodly, David is determined to continue his heartfelt worship of the Lord and resolves to do so:
But as for me, because of your great faithfulness,
I will enter your house;
I will bow down toward your holy temple as I worship you. (v. 7)
David’s confident trust in the Lord’s sustenance and deliverance together with his resolve to sing praises to him are underscored in Psalm 13 (cf. Ps. 138:7). Thus he declares,
But I (MT, “As for me”) trust in your faithfulness.
May I rejoice because of your deliverance!
I will sing praise to the Lord
when he vindicates me.(vv. 5-6)
Likewise, in Psalm 31 he reaffirms his trust in the God of faithfulness (v. 5). By way of contrast he adds,
I hate those who serve worthless idols,
but I (MT, “As for me”) trust in the LORD.
I will be happy and rejoice in your faithfulness,
because you notice my pain
and you are aware of how distressed I am. (vv. 6-7)
As in Psalms 38 and 41 he pours out his heart in deep despair because of his weakness and suffering (vv. 9-13). Having done so, he expresses his appreciation of God’s delivering power (v.8) and reaffirms his confident trust in the Lord:
But I (MT, “As for me”) trust in you, O LORD!
I declare, “You are my God!” (v. 14)
He goes on to say that he understands full well that his life and destiny are in God’s hands and therefore he can plead with the Lord for his deliverance (vv. 15-16).10 Indeed, it is with the realization of God’s faithfulness (cf. v. 21) that he closes his psalm by urging the Lord’s people as faithful followers to “love the LORD” (v. 23).11
A Special Case: Psalm 73
We culminate our exploration of passages in the Psalms in which the formulaic expression “As for me” is found by taking particular note of Psalm 73. The structure of Psalm 73 is readily discernible:
Introductory statement: the guiding principle (v. 1)
The psalmist’s problem (vv. 2-14)
The resolution of the problem (vv. 15-24)
The concluding statement: the applicability of the guiding principle (vv. 25-28)
The psalmist prefixes his personal observation of the world around him by informing his readers of a guiding principle for evaluating life that he had come to realize. God is truly good both to his people Israel and especially to those who live with a pure heart. Indeed, the heart theme is weaved throughout this psalm: once in verses 1, 7, 13, 21 and twice in verse 26 (although the Hebrew word for heart is not always reflected in translations). Thus the psalm emphasizes the basic source of a person’s motives: his innermost personality. The heart must come to understand and reflect the goodness of the Lord, for he is the ultimate example of goodness (cf. Pss. 52:9; 145:7).
He goes on to point out that he had personally missed this truth before he came to his senses. By way of introducing all of this he says,
As for me, my feet almost slipped,
my feet almost slid out from under me, (v. 2)
Because of his external trials, the psalmist had plunged himself internally into a depressed condition. He was like someone who walks on slippery ground. His problem was a spiritual one. Although he thought that he was living a good and proper life before the Lord, his own life was nonetheless in a state of turmoil. As he contemplated those who were proud and rich, he concluded that were faring very well despite their sinfulness. In viewing their status in life, he envied them (v. 3). He saw them as physically healthy and strong as well as free from the troubles that plague others (vv. 4-5). Indeed, they were not only proud, but conceited, arrogant, and often violent toward others. Yet they are enormously successful, live for self, and attract a large following (vv. 6-9). As Leupold observes, “ Success had made them self-assertive, proud, without regard to the rights of God and man. Indeed, a repulsive spectacle!12 Moreover, they scoff at any thought that God had any power over them; they believe that they answer only to themselves (v. 10-11). Accordingly, he says,
Take a good look! This is what the wicked are like,
those who have it so easy and get richer and richer.
I concluded, “Surely in vain I have kept my motives pure
and maintained a poor lifestyle.
I suffer all day long,
and am punished every morning.” (vv. 12-14)
Although he had come to these conclusions in accordance with his observations as to life’s unbalanced inequalities, he did nevertheless did not express them to others, troubled though he was. He did not wish to be a stumbling block to anyone else (vv. 15-16). Providentially, his misconstruing of the true state of human existence and affairs was reshaped when he at last took his problem to the Lord. Having gone to the temple and laid his conflicts before the Lord, he now “understood the destiny of the wicked” (v. 17), especially the haughty, proud rich: “In the end evil is not and never will be victorious The wicked will be severely punished.” 13. Now he sees clearly that their apparent success is merely an illusion. It was they who were in danger of being in “slippery places.” Their ruin could come at any moment. The righteous Lord will deal justly with them, so much so that they will be totally destroyed, not only in this life but forever (vv. 18-20; cf. James 5:1-6)
The psalmist has come to a point where he discerns the foolishness of his past perspective and attitude. He now understands how bitter his spirit has been. Rather than seeking God’s wisdom, he has relied on his own reactions to life’s circumstances as he saw them. He realizes further that his thoughts have been ruled by doubts and self pity. He confesses to God that what it boiled down to was,
I was ignorant and lacked insight;
I was as senseless as an animal. (v. 22)
Going through this experience, however, had enabled him at last to become aware that God had not deserted him and he could now have intimate fellowship with the Lord. Now he was aware that the Lord was his source of wisdom and strength and even held his “right hand” (vv. 23-24). 14 As Leupold remarks,
No matter what had happened, no matter what he might have passed through, “nevertheless” he was continually with God. That nearness was, however, not due to the fact that he had tenaciously clung to God but rather to the fact that God had not let him go…. Left to myself, I might even have left Thee. But with infinite patience, God clung to His weak and sometimes even wayward child (v. 23). 15
Rather than feeling worthless and bitter, he now understood that nothing could be better or worthy of more honor than being led by God. The psalmist’s experience and ultimate spiritual victory is well reflected by the hymn writer:
The King of love my Shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am His and He is mine forever.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed, but yet in love he sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid, and home rejoicing brought me.16
The psalmist brings his account of his spiritual struggle to a close by reaffirming and enlarging upon his opening statement concerning how crucial the guiding principle of life has proven to be (vv. 25-28; cf. v. 1). Not only do his comments underscore the psalmist’s new convictions, but they sound a high note of confidence and trust in God, as well as praise for him. By means of a rhetorical question, which the psalmist himself answers, he declares that ultimately his hopes and allegiance belong to the Lord.
Whom do I have in heaven but you?
I desire no one but you on earth.
My flesh and my heart may grow weak,
but God always protects my heart and gives me stability. (vv. 25-26)
Therefore, he can now face with confidence in the Lord the challenges and obstacles of life. As VanGemeren remarks, “There is no one but God, his Sustainer in heaven, with whom he longingly desires to fellowship even while in the flesh; therefore he is more prepared to face his present existence with all of its problems.”17
Furthermore, the issue that troubled him so greatly is now settled. Rather than envying the person who is unfaithful to God, however rich and influential or powerful that one may be, he realizes that all who live for self rather than the Lord will perish. Eternal life and true fellowship in this life are found in the Lord alone. His final declaration is both emphatic and of special importance to all believers: “But as for me, God’s presence is all I need” (v. 28a). The Hebrew text is even more emphatic: “The nearness of God is my good” (see NET text note). He ends the psalm by affirming his now fully established conviction: God is the ultimate sovereign over all things, including the psalmist’s life and circumstances. The Lord is his refuge and shelter for whatever may come. Therefore, he highly resolves to praise him in everything, including not only his words and testimony, but doubtless in his whole manner of life (v. 28b).
Summary and Application
There are a great many of the biblical Psalms, which contain the psalmist’s plea for rescue from oppression and trouble. We have given particular attention to those in which the formulaic expression “As for me” occurs. We noted at the outset that this expression tends to emphasize rather strongly the psalmist’s reaction resolve or attitude in light of his difficult circumstances.
Certainly the psalmist had ample reason to believe that Lord is an available helper in time of need. Perhaps the greatest example that the psalmist had before him was that of God’s deliverance of his people from Egyptian oppression in the days of Moses (Exod. 12-39; cf. Exod. 3:7-10, 12; 18:4, 8-10) and from the clutches of the Egyptian forces at the Red Sea (14:1-15:21). Many other examples of God’s deliverance or rescue back in the days of Joshua and the Judges would also be familiar to the psalmists. Not to be forgotten also was God’s rescues of Elijah (1 Kings 17:1-24) and Elisha (2 Kings 6:8-23). Moreover, the Psalmist David had experienced the Lord’s delivering power on more than one occasion in his relations with King Saul (e.g., 2 Sam. 12:7) as well as from several enemies. Therefore, David could rightly praise the Lord (cf. 2 Sam. 22:18-20, 44).
From this we learn that a righteous, god-fearing and loving psalmist could anticipate and expect deliverance by his Sovereign Lord (e.g., Ps 69:9; cf. Ps. 41:12). Even when his friends shunned him, he could depend on the Lord not to abandon him. The psalmist’s confidence was shared in a more recent time by Elizabeth Howell:
All merciful One!
When men are further, then thou art most near;
when friends pass by, my weakness to shun,
thy chariot I hear.18
So also John Newton could declare,
Though troubles assail us and dangers affright,
though friends should fail us and foes all unite,
yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,
the promise assures us, “The Lord will provide.”19
In several of these psalms in which “As for me” occurs the psalmist displays that as a true believer and follower of God, he has definitely resolved to trust in the Lord no matter what he is going through or may lie ahead (e.g., Pss. 31:14; 59:9-10, 16-17). Such a confidence in the Lord was also expressed by Oliver Wendell Holmes:
Though long the weary way we tread,
and sorrow crown each lingering year,
no path we shun, no darkness dead,
our hearts still whispering, Thou art near! 20
Many other examples of those who depended on God for deliverance, while maintaining their allegiance to him, are found in the Scriptures, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. For example, Daniel’s three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were delivered from the accusations and resulting action of their adversaries, which had caused them to be cast into a fiery furnace (Dan. 3:8-27). Likewise, an unjustly accused Daniel was rescued from the mouths of lions (Dan. 6:14-24) and the Apostle Paul was delivered from imprisonment in a jail in Philippi (Acts 16:8-49).
The greatest example, of course, comes in connection with the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Isaiah had prophesied long ago (Isa. 53:3-9) and as Simeon confirmed at Jesus’ presentation in Jerusalem (Luke 2:33-35), Jesus would later instruct his disciples with reference to those who hated and persecuted him because of his miraculous deeds: “Now they have seen the deeds and hated both me and my Father. Now this happened to fulfill the word that is written in the law, ‘They hated me without cause’” (John 15:24-25). Nevertheless, Jesus committed himself to follow the will of God the Father. Accordingly as he journeyed to Jerusalem for the last time it is reported, “He set out resolutely (Gk. ‘Set his face”; see NET note) to go to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51). Knowing full well what lay ahead (cf. Mt. 16:21), even in his closing hours he would commit himself for the Father’s will to be done (Mt 26:39-44). Much as Jesus his Lord and example, Paul declared,
And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit warns me in town after town that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. But I do not consider life worth anything to myself, so that I may finish my task and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace. (Acts 20:22-24)
With all of this clearly in mind, the psalmist’s troublesome experience as reported in Psalm 73 can be all the more meaningful for today’s believers. Like the psalmist, Christians can all too easily be guilty of improper thinking. As Peale warned, “You cannot think clear-headedly while seething with a sense of outrage hating other people or life or even God for some experience that has befallen you.”21 Yes, as did the psalmist, some Christian believers could conclude that God seems to ignore the godless. For they do not fear or respect the Lord but go on in their wicked lifestyles, even at times oppressing their fellow man (cf. Ps 10:1-11). Such thinking is wrong-headed, for to envy the godless rich is to mistake their coming judgment (cf. Ps 73:12-19; James 5:1-6). Much better is it to realize that the believer has even better riches—true spiritual riches, which are of everlasting worth. Indeed,
His presence is wealth,
His grace is a treasure,
His promise is health
and joy out of measure.
His word is my rest,
His spirit my guide:
In him I am blest,
Not only are envy and greed and unjustified pride to be avoided Gal: 6:3-4; cf. Rom. 12:3) but false Christian conduct (Rom. 8:25; James 1:26). As Paul declared, “Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself” (Phil. 2:3).
Elsewhere Paul reminds believers that the road to true success in this world lies in dedication to the Lord. He tells believers that they should present “your bodies as a sacrifice--alive, holy, and pleasing to God– which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this present world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect” (Rom 12:1-2; cf. Josh 24:15). This will bring life changing results in one’s thinking (Phil. 4:9; cf. Col. 3:2-3), actions (Eph. 2:8-10; 5:15-21; cf. James 3:13) and speech. As Paul admonishes the Colossian believers, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:17). In so doing we can like the psalmist (Ps. 73:15) avoid being a source of discouragement to others but rather, be a source of encouragement to them (1 Thess. 5:11). And this we can do through Christ, if we are thoroughly dedicated and committed to the Lord . As the hymn writer wrote,
May the mind of Christ my Savior
live in me from day to day,
by His love and pow’r controlling
all I do and say.23
Whatever trials a believer may be going through should never cause him to doubt the Lord’s concern and availability to help. It is as the psalmist declared long ago,
The godly cry out and the Lord hears;
he saves them from all their troubles. (Ps. 34:17; cf. Ps 145:18-19)
To be sure, “The Lord is near!” (Phil 4:5). This is a living certainty, for believers have been taken into a living, vital, spiritual union with the risen Christ (Gal. 2:20; cf. Eph 2:4), who has gained victory over all things including death. Moreover, he has also sent the Holy Spirit in order that each believer may sense God’s presence and experience his comfort and strength for any and all matters. As I have remarked elsewhere, “The reality of God’s presence should bring real joy and foster a deepened trust in the Lord’s provision for their lives. This will enable them to stand firm even in the midst of life’s testings and trials. Indeed, these experiences, when surrendered to Christ, will equip believers for a life of rewarding service for the Lord (cf. Paul’s assurance in 2 Tim. 4:6-8).”24
In a more intimate way than the psalmist, today’s believer may affirm, “As for me, the nearness of God is my good.” Therefore, as united to the living Christ may we live for him, not self. May each of us reflect Widdington’s burning desire:
Not I, but Christ, be honored, loved, exalted;
Not I, but Christ, be seen, be known, be heard;
Not I, but Christ, in every look and action;
Not I, but Christ, in every thought and word.
O to be saved from myself, dear Lord, O to be lost in Thee,
O that it might be no more I, but Christ, that lives in me.25
1 Jane Austen, “Pride and Prejudice,” in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, ed. Justin Kaplan (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 16th ed., 1992), 387.
2 Tom Haggai, as cited in Quotable Quotations, ed. Lloyd Cory (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1985), 344.
3 H. C. Leupold, Exposition of the Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), 288.
4 Note the similar plaintiff cry of a psalmist in Psalm119:86: “I am pursued without reason. Help me!”
5 Mark D. Futato, “The Book of Psalms, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2009) 7:232.
6 Robert Harkness, “No Longer Lonely.” One is also reminded of the words in Ludie D. Pickett’s old hymn song: “No, Never Alone”: “No, never alone, no never alone, he promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.”
7 Willem A. VanGemeren, “ Psalms,” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, eds. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland 13 Vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, Rev ed., 2008) 5:750.
8 Lina Sandell Berg, “Day By Day,” translated by Andrew L. Skoong
9 A similar sentiment may be noted in Micah 7:7 “But I (MT, “AS for me”) will keep watching for the LORD; I will wait for the God who delivers me.”
10 A similar sentiment is expressed in Psalm 143 where once again David is portrayed as weakened by adversity (vv. 3-4). Here, too, David calls on God for guidance and protection (vv. 5-10), and points out his concern for God’s reputation (v. 11). He closes the psalm with an appeal to God for his faithfulness to be demonstrated in David’s situation (v. 12, see NET notes).
11 It should be noted that the psalmist’s confidence in the Lord’s faithfulness is well taken. Indeed, others have experienced similar instances of God’s faithful care and guidance. Thus Isaiah records the Lord’s own assurance that he is a God who is faithful to his promises (Isa. 59:21). Such a promise was given to Jeremiah at his call to be God’s prophet (Jer. 1:18). In both cases the familiar “As for me” occurs in the Hebrew text.
12 Leupold, Psalms, 526.
13 VanGemeren, “Psalms,” 5:564.
14 It should be noted that the image of the right hand was one that expressed assurance or dignity as well as good fellowship (cf. Ps. 139:10; Isa 41:10). See further, Richard D. Patterson and Michael E. Travers, Face to Face with God: Human Images of God in the Bible ( Richardson, TX: Biblical Studies Press, 2008), 33-51.
15 Leupold, Psalms, 530.
16 Henry W. Baker, “The King of Love My Shepherd Is.”
17 VanGemeren, “Psalms,” 5:566. See further, the NET note #29.
18 Elizabeth Lloyd Howell, “Milton’s Prayer.”
19 John Newton, “Though Troubles Assail Us.”
20 Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Hymn of trust.”
21 Norman V. Peale as cited in Quotable Quotations, ed. Lloyd Cory (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1989), 399.
22 Patrick Brontē, “The Cottager’s Hymn.”
23 Kate B. Wilkinson, “May the Mind of Christ My Savior.”
24 Richard D. Patterson, “The Pleasure of His Presence” (Biblical Studies Press, 2010), 7.
25 Ada A. Whiddington, “Not I, but Christ.”