If I am not mistaken, David has now seen in the eye of his mind the Lord ascending to his judgment-seat, and beholding him seated there in royal state, he draws near to him to urge his suit anew. In the last two verses he besought Jehovah to arise, and now that he is arisen, he prepares to mingle with “the congregation of the people” who compass the Lord about. The royal heralds proclaim the opening of the court with the solemn words, “_The Lord shall judge the people_.” Our petitioner rises at once, and cries with earnestness and humility, “_Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me_.” His hand is on an honest heart, and his cry is to a righteous Judge. He sees a smile of complacency upon the face of the King, and in the name of all the assembled congregation he cries aloud, “_Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just_.” Is not this the universal longing of the whole company of the elect? When shall we be delivered from the filthy conversation of these men of Sodom? When shall we escape from the filthiness of Mesech and the blackness of the tents of Kedar?
What a solemn and weighty truth is contained in the last sentence of the ninth verse! How deep is the divine knowledge!–“_he trieth_.” How strict, how accurate, how intimate his search!– “_he trieth the hearts_,” the secret thoughts, “_and reins_,” the inward affections. “All things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS.
Verse 8.–Believers! let not the terror of that day dispirit you when you meditate upon it; let those who have slighted the Judge, and continue enemies to him and the way of holiness, droop and hang down their heads when they think of his coming; but lift ye up your heads with joy, for the last day will be your best day. the judge is your head and husband, your redeemer and your advocate. Ye must appear before the judgment-seat; but ye shall not come into condemnation. His coming will not be against you, but for you. It is otherwise with unbelievers, _a neglected Saviour_ will be a _severe Judge_.–^Thomas Boston,. 1676-1732.
Verse 9.–“_The righteous God trieth the hearts and reins_.” As common experience shows that the workings of the mind, particularly the passions of joy, grief, and fear, have a very remarkable effect on the _reins_ or _kidneys_ (see #Pr 23:16; Ps 73:21|), so from their retired situation in the body, and their being hid in fat, they are often used to denote the most secret workings and affections of the soul. And to “see or examine the _reins_,” is to see or examine those most secret thoughts or desires of the soul.–^John Parkhurst, 1762.
Verse 9 (last clause).–“_The righteous God trieth the hearts and reins_.” “I that alone am infinite, can try How deep within itself thine heart doth lie. Thy seamen’s plummet can but reach the ground, I find that which thine heart itself ne’er found.”
^Francis Quarles, 1592-1644.
Verse 9.–“_The heart_” may signify the cogitations, and the “_reins_” the affections.–^Henry Ainsworth.
HINTS TO PREACHERS.
Verse 8.–The character of the Judge before whom we all must stand.
Verse 9 (first clause).–(1) By changing their hearts; or (2) by restraining their wills, (3) or depriving them of power, (4) or removing them. Show the times when, the reasons why, such a prayer should be offered, and how, in the first sense, we may labour for its accomplishment.
Verse 9.–This verse contains two grand prayers, and a noble proof that the Lord can grant them.
Verse 9.–The period of sin, and the perpetuity of the righteous:–^Matthew Henry.
Verse 9.–“_Establish the just_.” By what means and in what sense the just are established, or, the true established church.
Verse 9 (last clause).–God’s trial of men’s hearts.