It is time for thee, Lord, to work - literally, "Time to do for Yahweh;" and the construction might be either that it is time to do (something) for Yahweh; or, that it is time for Yahweh himself to do (something). The direct address to the Lord in the latter part of the sentence would seem, however, to show that the latter is the true interpretation: to wit, that since people make void the law of God, it is time for him to work, that is, to interpose by his power and restrain them; to bring them to repentance; to assert his own authority; to vindicate his cause. Thus understood, it is an appropriate prayer to be used when iniquity abounds, and when some special form of sin has an ascendancy among a people. The other interpretation, however, "It is time (for us) to do (something), since people make void thy law," suggests a truth of great importance. Then is the time when the people of God should arouse themselves to efforts to stay the tide of wickedness, and to secure the ascendancy of religion, of virtue, and of law.
For they have made void thy law - They have broken it. They have set it at defiance. They regard and treat it as if it had no claim to obedience; as if it were a thing of nought. This the psalmist urges as a reason for the putting forth of power to arrest the evil; to bring people to repentance; to secure the salvation of souls. By all the evil done when the law of God is set at nought, by all the desirableness that the law should be obeyed, by all the danger to the souls of people from its violation, this prayer may now and at all times be offered, and that with earnestness. Compare Psalms 119:136.
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