"Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for
thou art my strength."
- Psalm 31:4
Our spiritual foes are of the serpent's brood, and seek to
ensnare us by subtlety. The prayer before us supposes the
possibility of the believer being caught like a bird. So deftly
does the fowler do his work, that simple ones are soon surrounded
by the net.
The text asks that even out of Satan's meshes the captive one may
be delivered; this is a proper petition, and one which can be
granted: from between the jaws of the lion, and out of the belly
of hell, can eternal love rescue the saint. It may need a sharp
pull to save a soul from the net of temptations, and a mighty
pull to extricate a man from the snares of malicious cunning, but
the Lord is equal to every emergency, and the most skilfully
placed nets of the hunter shall never be able to hold his chosen
ones. Woe unto those who are so clever at net laying; they who
tempt others shall be destroyed themselves.
"For thou art my strength." What an inexpressible sweetness is to
be found in these few words! How joyfully may we encounter toils,
and how cheerfully may we endure sufferings, when we can lay hold
upon celestial strength. Divine power will rend asunder all the
toils of our enemies, confound their politics, and frustrate
their knavish tricks; he is a happy man who has such matchless
might engaged upon his side.
Our own strength would be of little service when embarrassed in
the nets of base cunning, but the Lord's strength is ever
available; we have but to invoke it, and we shall find it near at
hand. If by faith we are depending alone upon the strength of the
mighty God of Israel, we may use our holy reliance as a plea in
"Lord, evermore thy face we seek:
Tempted we are, and poor, and weak;
Keep us with lowly hearts, and meek.
Let us not fall. Let us not fall."