|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
140:8-13 Believers may pray that God would not grant the desires of the wicked, nor further their evil devices. False accusers will bring mischief upon themselves, even the burning coals of Divine vengeance. And surely the righteous shall dwell in God's presence, and give him thanks for evermore. This is true thanksgiving, even thanks-living: this use we should make of all our deliverances, we should serve God the more closely and cheerfully. Those who, though evil spoken of and ill-used by men, are righteous in the sight of God, being justified by the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to them, and received by faith, as the effect of which, they live soberly and righteously; these give thanks to the Lord, for the righteousness whereby they are made righteous, and for every blessing of grace, and mercy of life.
Verse 12. - I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted. The psalmist is confident, not only that the wicked will be punished, but also that the righteous, whatever sufferings may come upon them, will ultimately be delivered out of their afflictions (comp. Psalm 9:4, 9, 12, 18, etc.). And the right of the poor. It is not to be supposed that "the right" is always with "the poor;" but, when it is, God will assuredly be their champion.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I know,.... Here is a double reading: the "Keri", or marginal reading, is, "thou knowest"; an appeal of the psalmist to God, who knew the thoughts of the wicked concerning him, and their devices against him; as Kimchi: but the Scripture reading is, I know; expressing his full persuasion and assurance
that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor; of his poor and afflicted people, that are afflicted within and without, by men and devils; and who are poor as to the things of this world, and poor in spirit, and sensible of their spiritual poverty, but rich in grace: the cause of these God will maintain against their oppressors, and right their wrongs, and avenge their injuries; this the psalmist knew, and was assured of from the word of God, from instances and examples in former times, and from his own experience, Psalm 9:4.
The Treasury of David
12 I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name - the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
"I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor." All through the Psalm the writer is bravely confident, and speaks of things about which he had no doubt: in fact, no Psalm can be more grandly positive than this protest against slander. The slandered saint knew Jehovah's care for the afflicted, for he had received actual proofs of it himself. "I will maintain it" is the motto of the great Defender of the rights of the needy. What confidence this should create within the bosoms of the persecuted and poverty-stricken! The prosperous and wealthy can maintain their own cause, but those who are otherwise shall find that God helps those who cannot help themselves. Many talk as if the poor had no rights worth noticing, but they will sooner or later find out their mistake when the judge of all the earth begins to plead with them.
"Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name." The former Psalm had its "surely," but this is a more pleasing one. As surely as God will slay the wicked he will save the oppressed, and fill their hearts and mouths with praises. Whoever else may be silent, the righteous will give thanks; and whatever they may suffer, the matter will end in their living through the trial, and magnifying the Lord for his delivering grace. On earth ere long, and in heaven for ever, the pure heart shall sing unto the Lord. How loud and sweet will be the songs of the redeemed in the millennial age, when the meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace!
"The upright shall dwell in thy presence." Thus shall they give thanks in the truest and fullest manner. This abiding before the Lord shall render to him "songs without words," and therefore all the more spiritual and true. Their living and walking with their God shall be their practical form of gratitude. Sitting down in holy peace, like children at their father's table, their joyful looks and language shall speak their high esteem and fervent love to him who has become their dwelling-place. How high have we climbed in this Psalm - from being hunted by the evil man to dwelling in the divine presence; so doth faith upraise the saint from the lowest depths to heights of peaceful repose. Well might the song be studded with Selahs, or uplifters.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. (Compare Ps 9:4).
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