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23

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test me and know my thoughts.

24

See if there is any wicked way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.


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23. Search me, O God! He insists upon this as being the only cause why he opposed the despisers of God, that he himself was a genuine worshipper of God, and desired others to possess the same character. It indicates no common confidence that he should submit, himself so boldly to the judgment of God. But being fully conscious of sincerity in his religion, it was not without due consideration that he placed himself so confidently before God’s bar; neither must we think that he claims to be free from all sin, for he groaned under the felt burden of his transgressions. The saints in all that they say of their integrity still depend only upon free grace. Yet persuaded as they are that their godliness is approved before God, notwithstanding their falls and infirmities, we need not wonder that (hey feel themselves at freedom to draw a distinction between themselves and the wicked. While he denies that his heart was double or insincere, he does not profess exemption from all sin, but only that he was not devoted to wickedness; for עצב, otseb, does not mean any sin whatever, but grief, trouble, or pravity — and sometimes metaphorically an idol. 220220     “Car le mot Hebrieu duquel il use en ce passage ne signifie pas indif-feremment tout peche, mais douleur et fascherie,” etc. — Fr. “Any way of wickedness — the word rendered after the Septuagint by wickedness means both sorrow, mischief; and idol: the former is probably the sense in which the Psalmist here uses it, a way of sorrow is a way productive of sorrow, or tending to sorrow, as is the case (Psalm 1:7 [sic]) with every wicked way.” — Cresswell. But the last of these meanings will not apply here, for David asserts his freedom not from superstition merely, but unrighteousness, as elsewhere it is said, (Isaiah 59:7,) that in the ways of such men there is “trouble and destruction,” because they carry everything by violence and wickedness. Others think the allusion is to a bad conscience, which afflicts the wicked with inward torments, but this is a forced interpretation. Whatever sense we attach to the word, David’s meaning simply is, that though he was a man subject to sin, he was not devotedly bent upon the practice of it.

24. And lead me, etc. I see no foundation for the opinion of some that this is an imprecation, and that David adjudges himself over to punishment. It is true, that “the way of all the earth” is an expression used sometimes to denote death, which is common to all, but the verb here translated to lead is more commonly taken in a good than a bad sense, and I question if the phrase way of this life ever means death. 221221     On the margin of the French Commentary Calvin refers to Joshua 23:14. It seems evidently to denote the full continuous term of human life, and David prays God to guide him even to the end of his course. I am aware some understand it to refer to eternal life, nor is it denied that the world to come is comprehended under the full term of life to which the Psalm~ ist alludes, but it seems enough to hold by the plain sense of the words, That God would watch over his servant to whom he had already shown kindness to the end, and not forsake him in the midst of his days.




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