World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes his covenant known to them.
14. The counsel of Jehovah. The Psalmist here confirms what he had just said in a preceding verse, namely, that God will faithfully discharge the office of a teacher and master to all the godly; and, after his usual manner, he repeats the same sentiment twice in the same verse for the covenant of God is nothing else than his secret or counsel. By the use of the term secret, he means to magnify and extol the excellency of the doctrine which is revealed to us in the law of God. However much worldly men, through the pride and haughtiness of their hearts, despise Moses and the prophets, the faithful nevertheless acknowledge, that in the doctrine which they contain, the secrets of heaven, which far surpass the comprehension of man, are revealed and unfolded. Whoever, therefore, desires to derive instruction from the law, let him regard with reverence and esteem the doctrine which it contains. We are, farther, by this place admonished to cultivate the graces of meekness and humility, lest, in reliance upon our own wisdom, or trusting to our own understanding, we should attempt, by our own efforts, to comprehend those mysteries and secrets, the knowledge of which David here declares to be the prerogative of God alone. Again, since the fear of the Lord is said to be the beginning, and as it were the way that leads to a right understanding of his will, (Psalm 111:10,) according as any one desires to increase in faith, so also let him endeavor to advance in the fear of the Lord. Moreover, when piety reigns in the heart, we need have no fear of losing our labor in seeking God. It is indeed true, that the covenant of God is a secret which far exceeds human comprehension; but as we know that he does not in vain enjoin us to seek him, we may rest assured that all those who endeavor to serve him with an upright desire will be brought, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to the knowledge of that heavenly wisdom which is appointed for their salvation. But, in the meantime, David indirectly rebukes those who falsely and groundlessly boast that they are interested in the covenant of God, while they rest merely in the letter of the law, and have no saving impressions of the fear of God. God, it is true, addresses his word indiscriminately to the righteous and the wicked; but men do not comprehend it, unless they have sincere piety; just as Isaiah 29:11, says, that as regards the ungodly, the law is like “a book that is sealed.” And, therefore, it is no wonder that there is here made a distinction between those who truly serve God, and to whom he makes known his secret, and the wicked or hypocrites. But when we see David in this confidence coming boldly to the school of God, and leading others along with him, let us know, as he clearly shows, that it is a wicked and hateful invention to attempt to deprive the common people of the Holy Scriptures, under the pretense of their being a hidden mystery; as if all who fear him from the heart, whatever their state or condition in other respects may be, were not expressly called to the knowledge of God’s covenant.