a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

Psalm 92

Thanksgiving for Vindication

A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath Day.


It is good to give thanks to the L ord,

to sing praises to your name, O Most High;


to declare your steadfast love in the morning,

and your faithfulness by night,


to the music of the lute and the harp,

to the melody of the lyre.


For you, O L ord, have made me glad by your work;

at the works of your hands I sing for joy.



How great are your works, O L ord!

Your thoughts are very deep!


The dullard cannot know,

the stupid cannot understand this:


though the wicked sprout like grass

and all evildoers flourish,

they are doomed to destruction forever,


but you, O L ord, are on high forever.


For your enemies, O L ord,

for your enemies shall perish;

all evildoers shall be scattered.



But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;

you have poured over me fresh oil.


My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;

my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.



The righteous flourish like the palm tree,

and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.


They are planted in the house of the L ord;

they flourish in the courts of our God.


In old age they still produce fruit;

they are always green and full of sap,


showing that the L ord is upright;

he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

6 The foolish man shall not know them. This is added with propriety, to let us know that the fault lies with ourselves, in not praising the Divine judgments as we ought. For although the Psalmist had spoken of them as deep and mysterious, he here informs us that they would be discerned without difficulty, were it not for our stupidity and indifference. By the foolish, he means unbelievers in general, tacitly contrasting them with believers who are divinely enlightened by the word and Spirit. The ignorance and blindness to which he alludes have possession of all without exception, whose understandings have not been illuminated by Divine grace. It ought to be our prayer to God, that he would purge our sight, and qualify us for meditation upon his works. In short, the Psalmist vindicates the incomprehensible wisdom of God from that contempt which proud men have often cast upon it, charging them with folly and madness in acting such a part; and he would arouse us from that insensibility which is too prevalent, to a due and serious consideration of the mysterious works of God.

7 When the wicked flourish as the grass. He points out, and exposes, by a striking and appropriate figure, the folly of imagining that the wicked obtain a triumph over God, when he does not, it may be, immediately bring them under restraint. He makes an admission so far — he grants that they spring up and flourish — but adds immediately, by way of qualification, that they flourish, like the grass, only for a moment, their prosperity being brief and evanescent. In this way he removes what has been almost a universal stumbling-block and ground of offense; for it would be ridiculous to envy the happiness of men who are doomed to be speedily destroyed, and of whom it may be said, that to-day they flourish, and to-morrow they are cut down and wither, (Psalm 129:6.) It will be shown, when we come to consider the psalm now quoted, that the herbs to which the wicked are compared are such as grow on the roofs of houses, which want depth of soil, and die of themselves, for lack of nourishment. In the passage now before us, the Psalmist satisfies himself with using simply the figure, that the prosperity of the wicked draws after it the speedier destruction, as the grass when it is full grown is ready for the scythe. There is an antithesis drawn, too, between the shortness of their continuance and the everlasting destruction which awaits them; for they are not said to be cut down that they may flourish again, as withered plants will recover their vigor, but to be condemned to eternal perdition. 591591     “Comme s’il disoit qu’ils ne sont point retranchez, afin que sur le prim-temps ils rejettent derechef, ainsi que les herbes mortes reprenent nouvelle vigueur, mais qu’ils sont condamnez a perdition eternelle. — Fr. When he says of God, that he sits exalted for evermore, some understand him to mean, that God holds the power and office of governing the world, and that we may be certain nothing can happen by chance when such a righteous governor and judge administers the affairs of the world. Various other meanings have been suggested. But it seems to me that the Psalmist compares the stability of God’s throne with the fluctuating and changeable character of this world, reminding us that we must not judge of Him by what we see in the world, where there is nothing of a fixed and enduring nature. God looks down undisturbed from the altitude of heaven upon all the changes of this earthly scene, which neither affect nor have any relation to him. And this the Psalmist brings forward with another view than simply to teach us to distinguish God from his creatures, and put due honor upon his majesty; he would have us learn in our contemplations upon the wonderful and mysterious providence of God, to lift our conceptions above ourselves and this world, since it is only a dark and confused view which our earthly minds can take up. It is with the purpose of leading us into a proper discovery of the Divine judgments which are not seen in the world, that the Psalmist, in making mention of the majesty of God, would remind us, that he does not work according to our ideas, but in a manner corresponding to his own eternal being. We, short-lived creatures as we are, often thwarted in our attempts, embarrassed and interrupted by many intervening difficulties, and too glad to embrace the first opportunity which offers, are accustomed to advance with precipitation; but we are taught here to lift our eyes unto that eternal and unchangeable throne on which God sits, and in wisdom defers the execution of his judgments. The words accordingly convey more than a simple commendation of the glorious being of God; they are meant to help our faith, and tell us that, although his people may sigh under many an anxious apprehension, God himself, the guardian of their safety, reigns on high, and shields them with his everlasting power.

VIEWNAME is study