8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Donning the mantle of prophecy, David reminds Israel that they are a people under divine tutelage. Their disposition has everything to do with how their lessons are to be delivered.
Now a mere glance from the Master’s eye indicates the object we must pursue. That we shall find what we seek is sure, if we are about the Master’s business. He guides our feet along the paths which are His.
Our sorrows along the way are to be comforted, and David even promises the return of an exuberant joy. Testifying that he had not look to his Master’s guidance in seasons of guilt and misery, David speaks as “a ransomed soul rejoicing in the grace of God,” according to the Victorian clergyman G. Campbell Morgan.
Stubborn impenitence obliges the Master to deal with us through severe mercies. Sometimes we indeed act like speechless animals capable of direction only through the infliction of pain.
When we are not like clueless horses or mules, we are surrounded by the goodness and loving-kindness which is the super-abundance heaven showers upon us in this life and the next.
Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Savior may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.
–Cecil F. Alexander