|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
125:4,5 God's promises should quicken our prayers. The way of holiness is straight; there are no windings or shiftings in it. But the ways of sinners are crooked. They shift from one purpose to another, and turn hither and thither to deceive; but disappointment and misery shall befal them. Those who cleave to the ways of God, though they may have trouble in their way, their end shall be peace. The pleading of their Saviour for them, secures to them the upholding power and preserving grace of their God. Lord, number us with them, in time, and to eternity.
Verse 5. - As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways. The word translated "crooked ways" occurs only here and in Judges 5:6. It means properly "by-paths," deviations from the straight path of right. The Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity. God shall give them no better portion than he assigns to the open evildoers, since their heart is not really whole with him. But peace shall be upon Israel; rather, but peace be upon Israel. The psalmist winds up with a prayer, not a prophecy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways,.... The ways of sin, immorality, or error; which are crooked ways, not agreeing with the word of God, the rule of faith and practice. This seems to design not openly profane sinners, who have always lived in a course of sin and wickedness; but carnal professors, who, through affliction and persecution because of the word, are offended, and desert the good ways of God; and turn from the holy commandment, word, and ordinances, they have professionally embraced;
the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity; the Targum adds,
These hypocrites shall be led forth by the Lord with abandoned sinners, like malefactors to the place of execution; when he shall bid them depart from him, and they shall go into everlasting fire; and if there is any place in hell hotter than another, those shall have it; see Matthew 7:23;
but peace shall be upon Israel; upon every true Israelite, upon the whole Israel of God; the apostle seems to have respect to this passage in Galatians 6:16; such shall have spiritual peace in their hearts now, and eternal peace hereafter. The words may be read either as a prayer that it might be, or as a prophecy that it should be; and may have regard unto the latter day, when all the enemies of Christ and his church shall be destroyed, and there shall be abundance of peace, so long as the moon endures, Psalm 72:7. Aben Ezra observes, that the psalmist prays that God would remove the wicked far off, and then there would be peace in Israel; and to the same purpose Arama and Kimchi interpret it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. Those who turn aside (under temptation) permanently show that they are hypocrites, and their lot or portion shall be with the wicked (Ps 28:3).
crooked ways—(Compare De 9:16; Mal 2:8, 9).
their—is emphatic; the "crooked ways" proceed from their own hearts. The true Israel is here distinguished from the false. Scripture everywhere opposes the Jewish delusion that mere outward descent would save (Ro 2:28, 29; 9:6, 7; Ga 6:16). The byways of sin from the way of life.
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