1 Hear my prayer, O Yahweh, and let my cry come unto thee.
To those, however, who study Christ's life attentively, and particularly in the light of what the spirit of Christ has testified in the Psalms as to the sufferings of Christ, it becomes manifest that those sufferings were much more widely spread over his life than is popularly imagined; that they consisted largely of the mental suffering caused by the present evil state of things among men; that, in fact, he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
His sorrow and his grief were of a sort that many, and we might add, that nearly all, are unsusceptible of. Christ had a high conception -- far higher than ever we can hope to reach -- of what men ought to be, and of the position that God ought to occupy among men, and therefore he felt a pain that none could experience who were not of the same state of mind, in mingling with men who were, on the whole, as regards God, like the brutes.
We find that we come into fellowship with the sufferings of Christ in proportion as we grow up to him, and become like him, drinking in his spirit, sharing his tastes, and laying hold of his hopes.
We come to find that it is no empty metaphor which likens the people of God to strangers and pilgrims, having here no continuing city. We come to feel that David did not speak extravagantly when he said,
"My flesh longeth as in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is."
"I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert."
If you examine the Psalms where these expressions of misery occur, you will find that they all have relation to the moral and mental attitude of the men around him. David suffered from the godlessness of those who became his enemies, and from the proud indifference or brutish inertia of men whose portion is in this life, and who have not set God before them.
In this, David was a preliminary exhibition of Christ, for the spirit of Christ was in him and made use of him to paint, in advance, so to speak, the portrait of the inner personal experiences of the Lord.
Bro Roberts - Present suffering
6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.
7 I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.
We are not hermits. We are not to seek isolation. It is the corollary of our calling
Christ is the illustration of what is wanted. He is the first-born among many brethren, to whom all the rest are pre-required to be conformed as to the likeness of an image. Now there is no mistaking his case, and we are in no danger of going beyond him. He declared in simple but expressive terms,
"I am not of this world,"
and his whole course illustrates the meaning of the language. He stood aloof from men in so far as they stood away from the Divine foundation. He took no part in their movements, patriotic or otherwise. The duties of citizenship he discharged passively, as in the case of paying taxes. His attitude towards the world was that of protest and dissociation. He "testified of it that the works thereof were evil," by which he earned hatred and destruction.
He had no apologies or spare sympathy for the enemies of God. He pursued a perfectly independent course, as insensible to the censure of the world as He was above their favour. He never took public opinion or public criticism into account. His one simple aim was to do the will of Him who had sent him -- a will utterly inconsistent with popularity and favour.
Now his testimony concerning his disciples, is, that their part is to try to follow in the course he has pursued before them.
"I have given you an example."
"Ye are not of the world even as I am not of the world."
"It is sufficient for the disciple that he be as his Master."
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."
"Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
"No man is worthy of me who loves himself or his friends more than me."
Bro Roberts - The other side of God's character
Believe the truth for its own sake, and obey it;
and if you stand alone, be of good courage; I have tried it for many years, and can assure you from experience, that there is more real satisfaction in knowing, and being able to prove, the truth, and in contending single-handed for it, than in all the honour and enjoyment derivable from the applause of men, or the abundance of the world's goods a man may possess.
There remains scarcely time enough to work out one's salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord comes.
Elpis Israel 2.5.