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115

Go away from me, you evildoers,

that I may keep the commandments of my God.


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115. Depart from me, ye wicked! Some explain this verse as if David declared that he would devote himself with more alacrity and greater earnestness to the keeping of the law, when the wicked should have desisted from assaulting him. And, unquestionably, when we feel that God has delivered us, we are more than stupid if this experience does not stir up within us an earnest desire to serve him. If godliness does not increase in us in proportion to the sense and experience we have of God’s grace, we betray base ingratitude. This, then, is a true and useful doctrine; but the prophet meant to convey a different sentiment in this place. As he saw how great a hindrance the ungodly are to us, he banishes them to a distance from him; or rather, he testifies that he will beware of entangling himself in their society. Nor has he said this so much for his own sake as to teach us by his example, that if we would hold on in the way of the Lord without stumbling, we must endeavor, above all things, to keep at the greatest possible distance from worldly and wicked men, not in regard to distance of place, but in respect of intercourse and conversation. Provided we contract an intimate acquaintance with them, it is scarcely possible for us to avoid being speedily corrupted by the contagion of their example. The dangerous influence of fellowship with wicked men is but too evident from observation; and to this it is owing, that few continue in their integrity to the close of life, the world being fraught with corruption’s. From the extreme infirmity of our nature, it is the easiest thing in the world to catch infection, and to contract pollution even from the slightest touch. The prophet, then, with good reason, bids the wicked depart from him, that he may advance in the fear of God without obstruction. Whoever entangles himself in their companionship will, in process of time, proceed the length of abandoning himself to a contempt, of God, and of leading a dissolute life. With this statement agrees the admonition of Paul, in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” It was, indeed, beyond the prophet’s power to chase the wicked to a distance from him; but by these words he intimates, that from henceforth he will have no intercourse with them. He emphatically designates God as his God, to testify that he makes more account of him alone than of all mankind. Finding extreme wickedness universally prevailing on the earth, he separated himself from men, that he might join himself wholly to God. At the present day, that bad examples may not carry us away to evil, it greatly concerns us to put God on our side, and to abide constantly in him, because he is ours.




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