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20

The Lord watches over all who love him,

but all the wicked he will destroy.

 


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20. Jehovah preserves, etc. He insists upon the same truth, — that God is near to his people to help them in the time of need; this being a sure proof of his presence, that by his mercy they come safe and unhurt out of every danger which befalls them. It is worthy of our notice, that, instead of fear, he now speaks of love; for, in distinguishing believers by this title, that they love God, he intimates it to be the root of true godliness, that they submit themselves to him voluntarily, which again is the effect of faith. Till God draw us by the attractions of his grace, this placid submission will never follow. The love spoken of by David, however, is perhaps more extensive, as God’s people not only attach themselves to him in the way of obedience to his authority, but knowing that union to him is of all other things most desirable, aspire with their whole soul after this happiness. Still there can be no doubt, that the reference is to it here as the chief part of holiness and righteousness, as was said by Moses,

“And now, O Israel, what does the Lord thy God require of thee,” etc. (Deuteronomy 10:12.)

This effect of godliness in securing our safety and preservation under the divine guardianship, David exemplifies by an opposition clause, declaring, that all the wicked shall, in the just judgment of God, miserably perish. That he might close as he had begun, he again affirms, that he will publish the praises of God, and urges all to the same duty by his example. Some would read, every living thing shall bless, but this does not seem to me a proper reading. When Moses, speaking of the flood, says, that “all flesh in which was the breath of life perished,” I grant that the term comprehends the brute creation, but wherever “flesh” is mentioned without any addition, the reference is only to men. Nor is David here stating what they would, but what they should do, declaring all men bound by the great and inexhaustible goodness of God constantly and for ever to praise him.




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