Verse 22

Here, 1. David prays against the reproach and contempt of men, that they might be removed, or (as the word is) rolled, from off him. This intimates that they lay upon him, and that neither his greatness nor his goodness could secure him from being libelled and lampooned. Some despised him and endeavoured to make him mean; others reproached him and endeavoured to make him odious. It has often been the lot of those that do well to be ill-spoken of. It intimates that they lay heavily upon him. Hard and foul words indeed break no bones, and yet they are very grievous to a tender and ingenuous spirit; therefore David prays, “Lord, remove them from me, that I may not be thereby either driven from my duty or discouraged in it.” God has all men’s hearts and tongues in his hand, and can silence lying lips, and raise up a good name that is trodden in the dust. To him we may appeal as the assertor of right and avenger of wrong, and may depend on his promise that he will clear up our righteousness as the light, Ps. 37:6. Reproach and contempt may humble us and do us good and then it shall be removed. 2. He pleads his constant adherence to the word and way of God: For I have kept thy testimonies. He not only pleads his innocency, that he was unjustly censured, but, (1.) That he was jeered for well-doing. He was despised and abused for his strictness and zeal in religion; so that it was for God’s name’s sake that he suffered reproach, and therefore he could with the more assurance beg of God to appear for him. The reproach of God’s people, if it be not removed now, will be turned into the greater honour shortly. (2.) That he was not jeered out of well-doing: “Lord, remove it from me, for I have kept thy testimonies notwithstanding.” If in a day of trial we still retain our integrity, we may be sure it will end well.