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6

You hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,

but I trust in the Lord.


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6. I hate all that give heed to lying vanities. In order the better to express that his faith was firmly fixed on God, he affirms that he was free from the vile affections which usually turn away our minds from God, and under which unbelievers for the most part labor. For we know that by contrasting things which are opposite, a subject is better illustrated. To restrict the Hebrew word הבל, hebel, which we have rendered vanities, to magical arts, as some interpreters do, is absurd. 641641     Hammond considers “vanities” as referring to the practice of superstitiously having recourse to auguries and divinations for advice and direction, a practice which prevailed among the heathen, when they met with any difficulty or danger. To the responses of augury, they showed the greatest regard; although they were deceived and disappointed in the confidence which they reposed in them. David declares that he detested all such practices, and trusted for aid to God alone. French and Skinner, by lying vanities, understand idols. “Idols,” says Walford, “are often thus denominated; though the term is not to be confined to this sense, as all the pursuits of iniquity may be justly comprehended under it. - Vide Deuteronomy 32:21; Jonah 2:8.” I confess, indeed, that the Orientals were so much addicted to these impostures, that it was a common evil among them. But as the devices by which Satan ensnares the minds of men, and the allurements by which he draws them away from God, are innumerable, it is not at all probable that the prophet mentions one species only. Whatever vain hopes, therefore, we form to ourselves, which may draw us off from our confidence in God, David generally denominates vanities, yea, false or lying vanities, because, although they feed us for a time with magnificent promises, in the end they beguile and disappoint us. He affirms, therefore, that casting away the vanities which men usually invent to support their hopes, he relies solely on God. And as men not only intoxicate themselves personally with the deceitful allurements of the world, but in this respect also deceive one another, the prophet expressly declares, with a view that we may carefully avoid them, unless we wish to be wilfully entangled in their dangerous toils, that he hated all who involved themselves in such lies. The second clause, I have trusted in Jehovah, must be read in connection with the first, because it both assigns the cause of his hatred of lying vanities, and shows that it is impossible for men to have any true faith in God, unless they abhor whatever would draw them away from him.




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