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Psalm 37:37-40

37. Observe the perfect man, and consider the just for the end of that man is peace. 38. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. 39. The salvation of the righteous is from Jehovah: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 40. Jehovah shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked: he shall preserve them, because they trust in him.

 

37 Observe the perfect man David exhorts the faithful diligently to consider every instance they may meet with of the grace of God, as well as of his judgment; but he teaches, at the same time, that it is in vain for any to sit in judgment upon the first aspect of things. When men do not wait patiently and quietly the time which God has appointed in his good pleasure, it often happens that faith is extinguished, and trust in the promises of God, at the same time, perishes with it. This is the reason why David exhorts us to observe and consider, for when our minds are preoccupied by the temptation which is once presented to our view, hasty judgment is then the cause of our being deceived. But if a man extend his view, as if it were from a watch-tower, to a great distance, he will find that it has been said with truth, that the end of the reprobate and the end of the righteous respectively are at length very different. This clause, with respect to the end of these two classes of men, seems to be added by way of caution, that we may learn to suspend our judgment, if God should not immediately accomplish what he has spoken. If we should become impatient in our desires, let us moderate our minds by the reflection, that the end is not yet come, and that it behoves us to give God time to restore to order the confused state of things. Some explain the word אחרית, acharith, which we have rendered the end of the wicked, of their posterity. This, however, is incorrect. David refers only to the difference which subsists between them and the righteous in the end; for God, after he has severely tried his servants, and exercised their patience, in the end converts their adversity into a blessing, while he turns the mirth of the ungodly into mourning.

39 The salvation of the righteous is from Jehovah The sum of the whole is, that whatever may happen, the righteous shall be saved, because they are in the hand of God, and can never be forgotten by him. This ought to be particularly noticed, that those who are greatly afflicted may be sustained by the assurance that the salvation which they expect from God is infallibly certain, because God is eternal, and governs the world by his power; as Christ said,

“My Father, who gave them me, is greater than all,”
(John 10:29.)

David still inculcates this principle, that as righteousness is approved of God, it can never happen that he should forsake his faithful servants, and deprive them of his help. He, therefore, exhorts true believers to depend upon God, not only when things prosper according to their desires, but even when they are sorely afflicted. By these words he teaches that it is enough, if God only impart strength to his servants, so that, when severely afflicted and oppressed with anguish, they may not faint under it, or that, when groaning under the weight of severe afflictions, they may not sink under the burden. To the same purpose also is the expression which David uses twice in the last verse, that God will deliver By this he admonishes the children of God to learn patiently to endure afflictions, and that, if God should prolong them, they should often recall this to their remembrance, that after he has tried their patience, he will in the end deliver them.

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