|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:1-7 David's struggle with, and triumph over a strong temptation to distrust God, and betake himself to indirect means for his own safety, in a time of danger. - Those that truly fear God and serve him, are welcome to put their trust in him. The psalmist, before he gives an account of his temptation to distrust God, records his resolution to trust in Him, as that by which he was resolved to live and die. The believer, though not terrified by his enemies, may be tempted, by the fears of his friends, to desert his post, or neglect his work. They perceive his danger, but not his security; they give him counsel that savours of worldly policy, rather than of heavenly wisdom. The principles of religion are the foundations on which the faith and hope of the righteous are built. We are concerned to hold these fast against all temptations to unbelief; for believers would be undone, if they had not God to go to, God to trust in, and future bliss to hope for. The prosperity of wicked people in their wicked, evil ways, and the straits and distresses which the best men are sometimes brought into, tried David's faith. We need not say, Who shall go up to heaven, to fetch us thence a God to trust in? The word is nigh us, and God in the word; his Spirit is in his saints, those living temples, and the Lord is that Spirit. This God governs the world. We may know what men seem to be, but God knows what they are, as the refiner knows the value of gold when he has tried it. God is said to try with his eyes, because he cannot err, or be imposed upon. If he afflicts good people, it is for their trial, therefore for their good. However persecutors and oppressors may prosper awhile, they will for ever perish. God is a holy God, and therefore hates them. He is a righteous Judge, and will therefore punish them. In what a horrible tempest are the wicked hurried away at death! Every man has the portion of his cup assigned him. Impenitent sinner, mark your doom! The last call to repentance is about to be addressed to you, judgement is at hand; through the gloomy shade of death you pass into the region of eternal wrath. Hasten then, O sinner, to the cross of Christ. How stands the case between God and our souls? Is Christ our hope, our consolation, our security? Then, not otherwise, will the soul be carried through all its difficulties and conflicts.
Verse 5. - The Lord trieth the righteous. God tries the righteous, scrutinizing them with his penetrating glance, but a glance wherein there is protection and love. When he tries (or closely scrutinizes) the wicked, the result is different - the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Lord trieth the righteous,.... As gold is tried in the fire, by afflictive providences; hereby he tries their graces, their faith, and patience, their hope, and love, and fear; and, by so doing, expresses his love to them, since this is all for their good: and therefore, when he suffers the wicked to go great lengths in persecuting and distressing them, this should not weaken, their confidence in him; he still loves them, and loves when he rebukes and chastises them;
but the wicked, and him that loveth violence, his soul hateth; that is, such who live in a course of sin and wickedness, and who not only do injury to the persons, characters, and properties of men, but love it, and delight therein, and also take pleasure in them that do the same: these God has a continued and inward aversion to; sin and wickedness being the abominable thing his righteous soul hates: and he shows his hatred to them, by not chastising them now, as he does his own people, but reserving everlasting punishment for them hereafter; see Proverbs 13:24.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. The trial of the righteous results in their approval, as it is contrasted with God's hatred to the wicked.
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