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112. Psalm 112

Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

2His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

3Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

4Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

5A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

6Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

7He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

8His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.

9He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.

10The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

7. He shall not be afraid when he hears evil tidings This may appear to be a confirmation of the statement contained in the preceding verse, being as much as to say, That the righteous are exempted from the infamous name which the reprobate secure to themselves by their vicious conduct. I rather take the meaning to be, that the righteous, unlike unbelievers, who tremble at every even the slightest rumor, calmly and peacefully confide in God’s paternal care, amid all the evil tidings which may reach them. Whence is it that unbelievers are in constant agitation, but that they imagine they are the sport of fortune on the earth, while God remains at ease in heaven? No wonder, then, that the rustling of the falling leaf troubles and alarms them. From such uneasiness the faithful are freed, because they neither give heed to rumors, nor does the fear of them prevent them from constantly invoking God. The children of God may also manifest symptoms of fear at the prospect of impending danger; for were they altogether regardless of calamities, such indifference would be the result, not of confidence in God, but of insensibility. But should they not be able to lay aside all fear and anxiety, yet, acknowledging God as the guardian of their life, and pursuing the tenor of their way, they intrust themselves to his preserving care, and cheerfully resign themselves to his disposal. This is that magnanimity of the righteous, under the influence of which the prophet declares they can disregard those rumors of evil which strike others with alarm. Wisely, too, do they rely upon God for support; because, encompassed on all sides with deaths innumerable, we would sink into despair were we not borne up by the confidence that we are secure under God’s protection. Genuine stability, then, is that which the prophet here describes, and which consists in reposing with unshaken confidence in God. On the other hand, that presumptuous confidence with which the ungodly are intoxicated exposes them the more, to the indignation of God, inasmuch as they overlook the frailty of human life, and in their pride of heart madly set themselves in opposition to him. Therefore, when “they shall say, Peace and safety, then shall sudden destruction come upon them,” (1 Thessalonians 5:3.) But a sense of calamities, while it alarms and disconcerts the faithful, does not make them faint-hearted, because it does not shake their faith, by which they are rendered bold and steadfast. In a word, they are not insensible to their trials, 348348     “Neque ferrei sunt neque stipites.” — Lat. Ils ne sont point de fer, ne semblables a des souches.” — Fr. “They are not of iron, nor do they resemble blocks.” but the confidence which they place in God enables them to rise above all the cares of the present life. Thus they preserve calmness and composedness of mind, and wait patiently till the fit season arrives for taking vengeance upon the reprobate.


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