World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
but the haughty he perceives from far away.
6. Because Jehovah the exalted, etc. In this verse he passes commendation upon God’s general government of the world. The thing of all others most necessary to be known is, that he is not indifferent to our safety; for though in words we are all ready to grant this, our disbelief of it is shown by the feat’ we betray upon the slightest appearance of danger, and we would not give way to such alarm if we had a solid persuasion of our being under his fatherly protection. Some read, Jehovah on high, that is, he sits on his heavenly throne governing the world; but I prefer considering, that there is an opposition intended — that the greatness of God does not prevent his having’ respect to the poor and humble ones of the earth. This is confirmed by what is stated in the second clause, That being highly exalted he recognises afar off, or from a distance. Some read גבה, gabah, in the accusative case, and this gives a meaning to the words which answers well to the context, That God does not honor the high and haughty by looking near to them — that he despises them — while, with regard to the poor and humble, who might seem to be at a great distance from him, he takes care of them, as if they were near to him. By some the verb ידע, yada, is rendered, to crush, and they take the meaning to be, that God, while he favors the lowly, treads down the mighty who glory in their prosperity. There is reason to doubt, however, whether any such refinement of meaning is to be attached to David’s words, and it is enough to conclude, that he here repeats the same sentiment formerly expressed, that God though highly exalted, takes notice of what might be thought to escape his observation. Thus we have seen, (Psalm 113:6,)
“The Lord dwelleth on high, yet he humbleth himself to behold both the things that are in heaven and on earth.”
The meaning is, that though God’s glory is far above all heavens, the distance at which he is placed does not prevent his governing the world by his providence. God is highly exalted, but he sees after off, so that he needs not change place when he would condescend to take care of us. We on our part are poor and lowly, but our wretched condition is; no reason why God will not concern himself about us. While we view with admiration the immensity of his glory as raised above all heavens, we must not disbelieve his willingness to foster us under his fatherly care. The two things are, with great propriety, conjoined here by David, that, on the one hand, when we think of God’s majesty we should not be terrified into a forgetfulness of his goodness and benignity, nor, on the other, lose our reverence for his majesty in contemplating the condescension of his mercy. 197197 “Ne nons oste le goust de sa bonte, et benignite: d’autre part aussi afin que sa bonte par laquelle il daigne bien s’abbaisser jusques a nons, ne diminue rien de la reverence que nous devons a sa gloire.” — Fr.