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And all he doth shall prosper well.
The wicked are not so;
But like they are unto the chaff,
Which wind drives to and fro.
5 In judgment therefore shall not stand
Nor in th' assembly of the just
holds fast the profession of his faith without wavering, which is to inward grace and a holy life, what leaves are to a fruitful tree. We have a beautiful comment on this verse in Jer. xvii. 7, 8.
Whatever he doth shall prosper. Here the metaphor is dropt. Whatever he undertakes that meets God's approbation, shall terminate well, and do him good; while the prosperity of fools is said to destroy them. He retains his Christian profession, and brings forth fruit to the verge of life, whatever storms and chilling blasts of adversity may assail; and though the sun of outward prosperity may dart upon him his more fatal rays. In Messiah only do these things receive their full significance and completion; for all his works as Mediator shall prosper, and eventually reach a blessed issue.
Ver. 4. The ungodly are not so: &c. Here we have a contrast to the above. The wicked, so far from retaining the leaves of a Christian profession, which they sometimes assuine, and bearing corresponding fruit, the former soon decay, and the latter they never possessed. Chaff is a fit figure to represent their inward dispositions, and external conduct, unstable, useless, and perishable. As chaff cleaves to the wheat till matured, and separated from it, by the threshing instrument, and the fanner, and this is lodged in the granary; so the ungodly may adhere to the faithful in outward profession, till persecution or death separates them, and the latter are carried to heaven. The wind proceeding from the fanner of truth, church discipline, and afflictive events, drives away the wicked from the communion of the righteous, and the wind of God's displeasure will drive them to hell, there to be consumed like chaff; for the wicked are driven away in their wickedness: but the righteous have hope in their death. But as chaff cannot support the operation of an endless fire, nor retain its contexture under that operation; hence we may infer that their character as chaff shall cease, and the fire that preys upon it be quenched, like that which consumed the heap of chaff of old on the winnowing floor.
Verse 5. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand &c. To stand in judgment is a law phrase, and denotes acquittal upon fair trial; so the con demnation of the ungodly at God's bar is here foretold. It may also include, that in outward calamities their courage shall fail, as having no reliance on COD. In their case the Judge of all the earth will do right,
6 For why? the way of godly men
THOUGH this psalm might have a primary reference to DAVID's instalment on his throne, the opposition of SAUL's house to the extension of his kingdom over the tribes of ISRAEL, and to their final and complete submission to his royal authority, and also to his conquests over the surrounding nations; yet are we taught to view a greater than that monarch as here intended, not only from the sublimity of the expressions, which apply to MESSIAH only in their full import, but also from citations in the New Testament. The opposition to his kingdom by Jews and Gentiles, stirred on by their leaders; the signal displays of his justice in punishing his impenitent enemies; and the conquests of his gospel and grace, are here 'foretold. The reader may compare Psal. xviii. 2 Sam. iii. v. viii. x. xviii. and xx. as serving to illustrate the contents of this psalm, so far as it respects DAVID, as a figure of EIM who was to come, and to whom the kingdom of right belongs.—An eminent Jewish writer saith,—“ Our doctors expounded this psalm of the King MESSIAH."
and treat them according to character. At present wheat and tares grow in the same field; wheat and chafi lie blended on one floor; sheep and geats are to be seen in the same pastures; good and bad men are comprehended in one net: but in the state to come not one sinner shall appear in the assembly of the righteous, and from that no saint shall depart.
Verse 6. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: &c. To know as applied to God, denotes to approve, to take pleasure and complacency in the person and conduct of good men. Verily I know you not, i. e. I never approved of your character; The Lord knoweth them that are his, Mat. xxv. 12. 2 Tim. ii. 19. While the pious deeds of good men shall Le in everlasting remembrance: the memory of the wicked shall rot, and their way, their wicked courses, root and branch, shall so perish as finally to retain no existence in the universe. When the faithful to the death shall receive their crown of life: shame and misery shall be the portion, yet the promotion of fools, or the medium of their recovery, Prov. x. 28. Isa. i, 28. iii. 11.——— Considering the insnaring influence of evil company, and the progressive nature and fatal consequences of vice, let us carefully avoid the paths in which the wicked go. Let God's word be our delight and constant guide, his people our companions, his grace our actuating principle, and his glory and enjoyment our chief end; and then may we indulge the blessed hope of acceptance with Him now, and complete and endless happiness hereafter.
1 WHY rage the heathen? and vain things
Why do the people mind?
2 Kings of the earth do set themselves,
To plot against the LORD, and his
3 Let us asunder, break their bands,
4 He that in heaven sits, shall laugh:
5 Then shall he speak to them in wrath,
Verses 1, 2. Why do the heathen, or nations, rage? &c. These two verses are adduced by PETER and JOHN, Acts iv. 25, 26. as reeciving their completion in CHRIST; and there the psalm is ascribed to DAVID, They shew how vain and futile every attempt is to prevent the enlargement and establishment of his kingdom in the world; though abetted by the powers of earth and hell. Poole explains the last clause,Against the LORD, that is, against his Anointed;" as all that oppose the Son, in his revealed character and work, must of course oppose the Father. Verse 5. Let us break their bands asunder, &c. These bands and cords. so much hated by the wicked, denote the laws of CHRIST'S kingdom, and the salutary restraints they impose; to which corrupt nature will not be in Subjection. Here the powers in arins against MESSIAH Own these laws to be no less his than the Father's; and will not the time come when every tongue shall confess that he is supreme Lawgiver and Judge? The language of opposition to CHRIST and his gospel is,-We will not have this Man to reign over us. The pride of intellect is hostile to the doctrines of the gospel, and the moral depravity of the heart cannot be its precepts. The Scriptural discipline of CHRIST's house is equally opposed by the formal professor and the profane.
Verse 4. Ile that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. His opponents may rule on earth: but he is infinitely above them, and can with a look or breath destroy his enemies. taught to pray to him as our Father in heaven. The language is borrowed from our mode of showing contempt, and marks the light in which he views the schemes of the politicians of the world. When human passions, or their innocent effects, are ascribed to GoD, we must remove far from Him every implied weakness.
Verse 5. Then shall he speak to them in wrath, &c. His words are in effect deeds, and these are expressed in the judginents which he inflicts on his enemies. His speaking is cft put for his acts, whether of mercy or vengeance, and is here explained by vering, or thwarting their schemes and punishing their persens.
6 Yet, notwithstanding, I have him
7 The sure decrce I will declare:
8 Ask of me, and for heritage
The heathen I'll make thine,
And for possession I to thee
Will give earth's utmost line.
Verse 6. Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion, or the hill of my holiness, as consecrated for his special residence. Set, Heb. anoinied, as Prov. viii. 12. both texts intending MESSIAH; as the attribute of divine wisdom can in no serse be said to be anointed. AS DAVID'S kingdom extended far beyond Zion, the figure of the church; so shall that of CHRIST, who is to reign in JACOB to the ends of the earth.
Verso 7. I will declare the de ree, pullish the gospel anncuncing the exaltation of CHRIST as head over all: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Gon begets, not by bringing that into existence which before had no being, but by introducing into a new state of agency in a different character. This applied to our Lord at his resurrection, (Acts xiii. 33.) ascension to glory, and also from the first exhibition of him as Mediator.
Ver. 8. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the Heathen, &c. The original nations, and so wherever the promise to ABRAHAM is referred to. The fuli grant was accepted, and the Father engaged to put CHRIST in actual possession of the whole, as the verse reads without the supplement for. In Ps. lxxxii. 8. we see he is to inherit them all; in lxxxvi. 9, all nations of mankind, from first to last, are necessarily included; and cxxvii. 3. brings down the grant to every child of ADAM, the whole being CHRIST'S heritage and reward. Psalm xxii. 27. assigns the reason; for the kingdom to the ends of the earth is equally the LORD's in every period.
In ex. 1. the promise is renewed, and the mode of its completion exactly foretold, so that MESSIAH shall rule, as injoined ver. 2. in the midst of his enemies, or in their heart, as the word signifies, and that without exception, as the sequel requires. He is represented as waiting, with jeyful expectation, for this result of his work, Heb. x. 13. May we not then ask, If all the nations that shall be turned into hell, as forgetful of Gen, remain there without end, how can these things be realized? for there Chats inherits nothing, Psal. ix. 17.
9 Thou shalt, as with a weighty rod
And as a potter's sherd, thou shalt
10 Now therefore, Kings, be wise, be taught;
11 Serve GOD in fear, and see that ye
12 Kiss ye the Son, lest in his ire
If once his wrath begin to burn:
Verse 9. Thou shalt break them as with a rod of iron, &c. that is, those who do not voluntarily submit themselves. For what purpose does the potter break in pieces the vessels that have marred in the framing? Is it not that he may grind them into powder, and so frame them anew as he may see meet? Jer. xviii. 2. This is the potter's process, and we have no right to ascribe a different one to Gon; whence we see the result in the recovery of the nations to a state in which he can inherit them.
Verses 10, 11. Be wise now, ye kings, &c. The kings and judges of the earth, here immediately addressed, are the heads of these nations; and the command to serve the LORD, that is, MESSIAH, as appears from the next verse, is equivalent to a prediction or promise that they actually will. Let the reader consult Ps. lxxii. 11. cii, 15. and cxxxviii. 4, 5.; and he will there see in what a full and noble sense all this shall be yet accomplished. That the people of the earth are all intended, no less than their kings and rulers, appears evident from the context of some of the above passages, and particularly from Isa. liv. 5. where we are told that MESSIAH shall be yet called, or owned as the God of the whole earth, or of the rest of mankind, as distinguished from the true ISRAEL, whose Maker, Husband, and Holy One he is, as their all-sufficient Saviour, to whom they owe and yield present love, homage, and obedience.
Verse 12. Kiss the Son, &e. Here is God's direct command to worship MESSIAH; the form of expression being borrowed from the ancient mode of worshipping an idol. To deny then his proper Deity, of which this command is a decisive proof, and so rob HIM of divine worship, appears to be direct treason and rebellion against the highest authority. Deny this, and we make the Father to patronize idolatry, by requiring religious homage to be paid to a mere man. His supreme Deity is farther evinced, by making the very first burst of his wrath, to all those who do not honour Iм as injoined, terrible in the extreme; and also by pronouncing those blessed that put their trust in HIM; whereas it is said,Cursed is he that trusteth in man, in whom there is no stay or help. But our Lord saith to