|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
112:1-10 The blessedness of the righteous. - We have to praise the Lord that there are a people in the world, who fear him and serve him, and that they are a happy people; which is owing entirely to his grace. Their fear is not that which love casts out, but that which love brings in. It follows and flows from love. It is a fear to offend. This is both fear and trust. The heart touched by the Spirit of God, as the needle touched with the loadstone, turns direct and speedily to God, yet still with trembling, being filled with this holy fear. Blessings are laid up for the faithful and their children's children; and true riches are bestowed on them, with as much of this world's possessions as is profitable for them. In the darkest hours of affliction and trial, the light of hope and peace will spring up within them, and seasonable relief shall turn mourning into joy. From their Lord's example they learn to be kind and full of compassion, as well as just in all their dealings; they use discretion, that they may be liberal in that manner which appears most likely to do good. Envy and slander may for a time hide their true characters here, but they shall be had in everlasting remembrance. They need not fear evil tidings. A good man shall have a settled spirit. And it is the endeavour of true believers to keep their minds stayed upon God, and so to keep them calm and undisturbed; and God has promised them both cause to do so, and grace to do so. Trusting in the Lord is the best and surest way of establishing the heart. The heart of man cannot fix any where with satisfaction, but in the truth of God, and there it finds firm footing. And those whose hearts are established by faith, will patiently wait till they gain their point. Compare all this with the vexation of sinners. The happiness of the saints is the envy of the wicked. The desire of the wicked shall perish; their desire was wholly to the world and the flesh, therefore when these perish, their joy is gone. But the blessings of the gospel are spiritual and eternal, and are conferred upon the members of the Christian church, through Christ their Head, who is the Pattern of all righteousness, and the Giver of all grace.
Verse 4. - Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness. God's Word is "a lantern unto their feet, and a light unto their paths" (Psalm 119:105) - sufficient under most circumstances to guide their steps aright. When this is not enough, he vouchsafes an inward light to them (Psalm 27:1; Psalm 36:9; Isaiah 58:10; Isaiah 49:6, etc.). He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. It is a very forced interpretation to understand this as said of Jehovah. The entire subject of the psalm is the righteous, God-like man. In him are reflected shadows of all the Divine qualities.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness,.... Upright ones are sometimes in the darkness of affliction, under divine desertions, without spiritual joy, and in an uncomfortable condition; when on a sudden light arises to them, like break of day, or the morning light: they have deliverance from affliction, and enjoy prosperity; the light of God's countenance is lifted up on them; the sun of righteousness arises upon them with healing in his wings; and spiritual joy and comfort are communicated unto them. It may denote the comforts the people of God have amidst their afflictions and troubles, even while they are in them; and the light they enjoy, while darkness is round about others, like the children of Israel in Egypt: or the suddenness of deliverance from adversity, temporal or spiritual; weeping endures for a night, joy comes in the morning, and at evening time it is light, Psalm 30:5.
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous; that is, the Lord is so. Thus the Arabic version,
"the Lord God is merciful and bountiful;''
and the Ethiopic version,
"merciful and compassionate is the Lord, and righteous is our King.''
And because God is the God of all grace, and is able to make it abound to his people, and is compassionate to them in distress, and is just and faithful to his promises; therefore he causes light to arise to them in darkness; and which, on such account, they may believe and expect; see Micah 7:8. Some understand this of the upright man and of his character; that he is "gracious", kind, and bountiful; that he is "full of compassion", tenderhearted, and shows mercy to distressed objects; and is righteous, through Christ, and lives soberly and righteously. This sense agrees both with what goes before, and follows after.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. light—figurative for relief (Ps 27:1; 97:11).
the upright—are like God (Lu 6:36; Ps 111:4).
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