|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:5-11 The way of the just is evenness, a steady course of obedience and holy conversation. And it is their happiness that God makes their way plain and easy. It is our duty, and will be our comfort, to wait for God, to keep up holy desires toward him in the darkest and most discouraging times. Our troubles must never turn us from God; and in the darkest, longest night of affliction, with our souls must we desire him; and this we must wait and pray to him for. We make nothing of our religion, whatever our profession may be, if we do not make heart-work of it. Though we come ever so early, we shall find God ready to receive us. The intention of afflictions is to teach righteousness: blessed is the man whom the Lord thus teaches. But sinners walk contrary to him. They will go on in their evil ways, because they will not consider what a God he is whose laws they persist in despising. Scorners and the secure will shortly feel, what now they will not believe, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. They will not see the evil of sin; but they shall see. Oh that they would abandon their sins, and turn to the Lord, that he may have mercy upon them.
Verse 10. - Let favor be showed to the wicked. This is a further explanation of the reason why the righteous had so earnestly desired the coming of God's judgments upon the earth. They had felt that further mercy and long-suffering wine thrown away upon the wicked, and "only did them harm" (Kay). When "favor was showed them," they did but persist in unrighteousness. In the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly. Even good example does not convert the wicked man. Though he live in a "land of righteousness," where God and his Law are acknowledged, where true religion is professed, where the gospel is preached, he will continue wicked, he will "deal unjustly;" he will not behold - or, consider - the majesty of the Lord.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Let favour be showed to the wicked,.... As it often is in a providential way; they have the good things of this life, and sometimes more than heart could wish for; nor are they in trouble as other men; they have many mercies, and many deliverances; they have their portion here, and are filled with hidden treasure, and are spared when others are cut off; and, besides sparing mercy and providential goodness, sometimes enjoy the means of grace, have the word and ordinances:
yet will ye not learn righteousness; neither repent of sin, nor reform from it; though "the goodness of God" should, yet it does not, "lead" him "to repentance"; he neither learns the righteousness of God, nor of Christ, nor the insufficiency of his own righteousness, nor to live a truly righteous and godly life; all means and mercies will not do, without the efficacious grace of God:
in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly; in the land of Judea, where were the laws and statutes of God, which were just and equitable, the word and worship of God, and many good men, who lived uprightly, and set good examples; and yet wicked men went on in their sinful courses. Jarchi interprets it of Jerusalem, and the temple, and of men's spoiling, plundering, and destroying there; and the Talmud (x) of wicked Esau, by whom the Romans are meant, that should destroy Jerusalem, and the land of Israel. It seems best to understand it of any land or country in later times, or present ones, where there is a good polity, good and wholesome laws are enacted, vice is corrected and punished, and virtue encouraged, and where also the Gospel is preached, and the ordinances of it administered; and yet, notwithstanding all laws, instructions, precepts, and precedents, such men will go on to live unrighteous and ungodly lives and conversations:
and will not behold the majesty of the Lord; visible in the government of the world; in the dispensations of his providence, in protecting and defending his own people, and in punishing of the wicked; in the Gospel, and in the success of it: in the effusion of the Spirit; and in the setting up of the kingdom of Christ in greater glory in the latter day.
(x) T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 6. 1. & Gloss. in ib.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. uprightness—rather, as in Isa 26:7, "prosperity," answering to "favor" in the parallelism, and in antithesis to "judgments in the earth" (Isa 26:9); where prosperity attends the wicked as well as the just, "he will not learn righteousness," therefore judgments must be sent that he may "learn" it [Maurer].
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