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23

Love the Lord, all you his saints.

The Lord preserves the faithful,

but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.


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23. O love Jehovah, all ye his meek ones! In my opinion, the Psalmist does not here exhort the saints to fear and reverence God, as many think, but encourages them to confide in him; or, in other words, to devote themselves wholly to him, to put all their hope in him, and to rely entirely upon him, without seeking to any other. Whence is it that our own fond devices delight us, but because we do not delight in God so much as we ought, and because our affections do not cleave to him? This love of God, therefore, comprehends in it all the desires of the heart. By nature, all men greatly desire to be in a prosperous or happy state; but while the greater number are fascinated by the allurements of the world, and prefer its lies and impostures, scarcely one in a hundred sets his heart on God. The reason which immediately follows confirms this interpretation; for the inspired Psalmist exhorts the meek to love God, because he preserves the faithful, which is as if he had desired them to rest satisfied with his guardianship, and to acknowledge that in it they had sufficient succor. 656656     “Et recognoistre qu’en icelle ils ont assez de secours.” — Fr. In the meantime, he admonishes them to keep a good conscience, and to cultivate uprightness, since God promises to preserve only such as are upright and faithful. On the other hand, he declares that he plentifully recompenses the proud, in order that when we observe them succeeding prosperously for a time, an unworthy emulation may not entice us to imitate them, and that their haughtiness, and the outrage they commit, while they think they are at liberty to do what they please, may not crush and break our spirits. The amount of the whole is this, Although the ungodly flatter themselves, while they proceed in their wickedness with impunity, and believers are harassed with many fears and dangers, yet devote yourselves to God, and rely upon his grace, for he will always defend the faithful, and reward the proud as they deserve. Concerning the meaning of the Hebrew word על-יתר, al-yether, which we have rendered plentifully, 657657     Literally, “with plenty.” interpreters are not agreed. Some translate it pride, meaning that to those who behave themselves proudly, God will render according to their pride; others translate it to overflowing, or beyond measure, because יתר, yether, signifies in Hebrew residue or remnant; instead of which I have translated it plentifully. Some understand it as extending to their children and children’s children, who shall remain the residue of their seed. Besides, as the same word is frequently used for excellence, 658658     The word גאה, gaäh, from which גאוה, gaävah, which we have rendered proudly, is derived, signifies elatus est, eminuit; and גאוה, gaävah, “is sometimes taken in a bad sense for pride or arrogance, as in Psalm 10:2; and sometimes in a good sense for splendor, magnificence, strength, excellence. In the latter sense it is used of God, Psalm 68:34, His height, or excellence and strength, are in the clouds.” Hammond. I have no doubt that the prophet elegantly rebukes the proud, who imagine that their fancied excellence is not only a shield to them, but, an invincible fortress against God. As their groundless authority and power blind, or rather bewitch them, so that they vaunt themselves intemperately and without measure against those who are lowly and feeble, the prophet elegantly says that there is a reward in store for them proportioned to the haughtiness with which they are puffed up.




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