World Wide Study Bible


a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary


Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord

and take refuge in him.

Let all the upright in heart glory.

Select a resource above

God's Judgments on Persecutors.

7 But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.   8 So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.   9 And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.   10 The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

We may observe here,

I. The judgments of God which should certainly come upon these malicious persecutors of David. Though they encouraged themselves in their wickedness, here is that which, if they would believe and consider it, was enough to discourage them. And it is observable how the punishment answers the sin. 1. They shot at David secretly and suddenly, to wound him; but God shall shoot at them, for the ordains his arrows against the persecutors (Ps. vii. 13), against the face of them, Ps. xxi. 12. And God's arrows will hit surer, and fly swifter, and pierce deeper, than theirs do or can. They have many arrows, but they are only bitter words, and words are but wind: the curse causeless shall not come. But God has one arrow that will be their death, his curse which is never causeless, and therefore shall come; with it they shall be suddenly wounded, that is, their wound by it will be a surprise upon them, because they were secure and not apprehensive of any danger. 2. Their tongues fell upon him, but God shall make their tongues to fall upon themselves. They do it by the desert of their sin; God does it by the justice of his wrath, v. 8. When God deals with men according to the desert of their tongue-sins, and brings those mischiefs upon them which they have passionately and maliciously imprecated upon others, then he makes their own tongues to fall upon them; and it is weight enough to sink a man to the lowest hell, like a talent of lead. Many have cut their own throats, and many more have damned their own souls, with their tongues, and it will be an aggravation of their condemnation. O Israel! thou hast destroyed thyself, art snared in the words of thy mouth. If thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. Those that love cursing, it shall come unto them. Sometimes men's secret wickedness is brought to light by their own confession, and then their own tongue falls upon them.

II. The influence which these judgments should have upon others; for it is done in the open sight of all, Job xxxiv. 26.

1. Their neighbours shall shun them and shift for their own safety. They shall flee away, as the men of Israel did from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, Num. xvi. 27. Some think this was fulfilled in the death of Saul, when not only his army was dispersed, but the inhabitants of the neighbouring country were so terrified with the fall, not only of their king but of his three sons, that they quitted their cities and fled, 1 Sam. xxxi. 7.

2. Spectators shall reverence the providence of God therein, v. 9. (1.) They shall understand and observe God's hand in all (and, unless we do so, we are not likely to profit by the dispensations of Providence, Hos. xiv. 9): They shall wisely consider his doing. There is need of consideration and serious thought rightly to apprehend the matter of fact, and need of wisdom to put a true interpretation upon it. God's doing is well worth our considering (Eccl. vii. 13), but it must be considered wisely, that we put not a corrupt gloss upon a pure text. (2.) They shall be affected with a holy awe of God upon the consideration of it. All men (all that have any thing of the reason of a man in them) shall fear and tremble because of God's judgments, Ps. cxix. 120. They shall fear to do the like, fear being found persecutors of God's people. Smite the scorner and the simple shall beware. (3.) They shall declare the work of God. They shall speak to one another and to all about them of the justice of God in punishing persecutors. What we wisely consider ourselves we should wisely declare to others, for their edification and the glory of God. This is the finger of God.

3. Good people shall in a special manner take notice of it, and it shall affect them with a holy pleasure, v. 10. (1.) It shall increase their joy: The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, not glad of the misery and ruin of their fellow-creatures, but glad that God is glorified, and his word fulfilled, and the cause of injured innocency pleaded effectually. (2.) It shall encourage their faith. They shall commit themselves to him in the way of duty and be willing to venture for him with an entire confidence in him. (3.) Their joy and faith shall both express themselves in a holy boasting: All the upright in heart, that keep a good conscience and approve themselves to God, shall glory, not in themselves, but in the favour of God, in his righteousness and goodness, their relation to him and interest in him. Let him that glories glory in the Lord.