|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 8. - Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked. The "desires of the wicked" are hurtful both to themselves and others. It is in his mercy that God does not grant them. Further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. So the LXX., μήποτε ὑψωθῶσιν. Others translate, "Or how they will exalt themselves!" The third stanza here terminates.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked,.... Of Doeg, as the Targum, and of other wicked men, who were desirous both of taking him, and of taking away his life: but the desires of such men are under the restraints of the Lord; nor can they fulfil them unless they have leave from him, which is here deprecated. The psalmist entreats he might not be delivered up to their will, or they have their will of him; see Psalm 27:12. Jarchi interprets it of Esau, as in Psalm 140:1; and it is applicable enough to antichrist and his wicked followers; who, could they have their desires, would root the Gospel, and the interest of Christ and his people, out of the world;
further not his wicked device: or, "let not his wicked device come forth" (l), or proceed to execution, or be brought to perfection; let him be disappointed in it, that he may not be able to perform his enterprise, or execute his designs; which cannot be done without the divine permission. The Rabbins, as Jarchi and others, render it, "let not his bridle come out" (m); the bridle out of his jaws, with which he was held by the Lord, and restrained from doing his will; let him not be left to his liberty, and freed from the restraints of divine Providence; see Isaiah 37:29;
lest they exalt themselves. Grow proud, haughty, and insolent to God and man; see Deuteronomy 32:27. Or, "let them not be exalted" (n); upon the ruin of me and my friends.
Selah; on this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.
(l) "ne facias prodire", Vatablus; "ne sinas exire", Cocceius, Michaelis. (m) "Vel frenum ejus ne sinas exire", Cocceius. (n) "ne exaltentur", Vatablus, Gejerus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. (Compare Ps 37:12; 66:7).
lest they exalt themselves—or, they will be exalted if permitted to prosper.
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