The judge has heard the cause, has cleared the guiltless, and uttered his voice against the persecutors. Let us draw near, and learn the results of the great assize. Yonder is the slandered one with his harp in hand, hymning the justice of his Lord, and rejoicing aloud in his own deliverance. “_My defence is of God, which saveth the upright heart_.” Oh, how good to have a true and upright heart. Crooked sinners, with all their craftiness, are foiled by the upright in heart. God defends the right. Filth will not long abide on the pure white garments of the saints, but shall be brushed off by divine providence, to the vexation of the men by whose base hands it was thrown upon the godly. When God shall try our cause, our sun has risen, and the sun of the wicked is set for ever. Truth, like oil, is ever above, no power of our enemies can drown it; we shall refute their slanders in the day when the trumpet wakes the dead, and we shall shine in honour when lying lips are put to silence. O believer, fear not all that thy foes can do or say against thee, for the tree which God plants no winds can hurt. “_God judgeth the righteous_,” he hath not given thee up to be condemned by the lips of persecutors. Thine enemies cannot sit on God’s throne, nor blot thy name out of his book. Let them alone, then, for God will find time for his revenges.
“_God is angry with the wicked every day_.” He not only detests sin, but is angry with those who continue to indulge in it. We have no insensible and stolid God to deal with; he can be angry, nay, he is angry to-day and every day with you, ye ungodly and impenitent sinners. The best day that ever dawns on a sinner brings a curse with it. Sinners may have many feast days, but no safe days. From the beginning of the year even to its ending, there is not an hour in which God’s oven is not hot, and burning in readiness for the wicked, who shall be as stubble.
“_If he turn not, he will whet his sword_.” What blows are those which will be dealt by that long uplifted arm! God’s sword has been sharpening upon the revolving stone of our daily wickedness, and if we will not repent, it will speedily cut us in pieces. Turn or burn if the sinner’s only alternative. “_He hath bent his bow and made it ready_.” Even now the thirsty arrow longs to wet itself with the blood of the _persecutor_. The bow is bent, the aim is taken, the arrow is fitted to the string, and what, O sinner, if the arrow should be let fly at thee even now! Remember, God’s arrows never miss the mark, and are, every one of them, “instruments of death.” Judgment may tarry, but it will not come too late. The Greek proverb saith, “The mill of God grinds late, but grinds to powder.”
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS.
Verse 10.–“_My defence is of God_.” Literally, “_My shield is upon God_,” like Ps 62:7|, “My salvation is _upon_ God.” The idea may be taken from the armour-bearer, ever ready at hand to give the needed weapon to the warrior.–^Andrew A. Bonar.
Verse 11.–“_God judgeth the righteous_,” etc. Many learned disputes have arisen as to the meaning of this verse; and it must be confessed that its real import is by no means easily determined: without the words written in italics, which are not in the original, it will read thus, “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry every day.” The question still will be, is this a good rendering? To this question it may be replied, that there is strong evidence for a contrary one. Ainsworth translates it, “God _is_ a just judge; and God angrily threateneth every day.” With this corresponds the reading of Coverdale’s Bible, “God is a righteous judge, and God is ever threatening.” In King Edward’s Bible, of 1549, the reading is the same. But there is another class of critics who adopt quite a different view of the text, and apparently with much colour of argument. Bishop Horsley reads the verse, “God is a righteous judge, although he is not angry every day.” In this rendering he seems to have followed most of the ancient versions. The Vulgate reads it, “God is a judge, righteous, strong, and patient; will he be angry every day?” The Septuagint reads it, “God is a righteous judge, strong, and longsuffering; not bringing forth his anger every day.” The Syriac has it, “God is the judge of righteousness; he is not angry every day.” In this view of the text Dr. A. Clarke agrees, and expresses it as his opinion that the text was first corrupted by the Chaldee. This learned divine proposes to restore the text thus, “_