|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:20-28 Those that forsake the ways of the Lord, depart from their God. But though conscious to ourselves of many a false step, let there not be a wicked departure from our God. David kept his eye upon the rule of God's commands. Constant care to keep from that sin, whatever it be, which most easily besets us, proves that we are upright before God. Those who show mercy to others, even they need mercy. Those who are faithful to God, shall find him all that to them which he has promised to be. The words of the Lord are pure words, very sure to be depended on, and very sweet to be delighted in. Those who resist God, and walk contrary to him, shall find that he will walk contrary to them, Le 26:21-24. The gracious recompence of which David spoke, may generally be expected by those who act from right motives. Hence he speaks comfort to the humble, and terror to the proud; Thou wilt bring down high looks. And he speaks encouragement to himself; Thou wilt light my candle: thou wilt revive and comfort my sorrowful spirit; thou wilt guide my way, that I may avoid the snares laid for me. Thou wilt light my candle to work by, and give me an opportunity of serving thee. Let those that walk in darkness, and labour under discouragements, take courage; God himself will be a Light to them.
Verse 27. - For thou wilt save the afflicted people; i.e. the oppressed and down-trodden, who are assumed to be pious and God-fearing (comp. Psalm 10:12-14; Psalm 11:2, etc.). But wilt bring down high looks (comp. Psalm 101:5 and Proverbs 6:17). The fact of "pride going before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall," was noticed by the heathen of the ancient world, no less than by the" peculiar people." And both alike attributed the downfall of the proud to God. "Seest thou," says Herodotus, "how God with his lightning smites always the bigger animals, and will not suffer them to wax insolent, while those of a lesser bulk chafe him not? How likewise his bolts ever fall on the highest houses and the tallest trees? So plainly does he love to bring down everything that exalts itself. Thus ofttimes a mighty host is discomfited by a few men, when God in his jealousy sends panic or storm from heaven, and they perish in a way unworthy of them. For God allows no one to have high thoughts but himself" (vii. 10, § 5). But the heathen seem to have imagined that God envied the proud ones, and therefore cast them down.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For thou wilt save the afflicted people,.... As the people of God commonly are; they are afflicted with sin, and the corruption of their own hearts, and with Satan and his temptations, and with the world, its reproaches, and persecutions; but God in his own time saves them out of them, if not here, yet hereafter. This is particularly and eminently true of the Christians who lived between the crucifixion of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem; who were greatly afflicted and persecuted by the Jews, but were in a remarkable manner saved a little before the destruction of Jerusalem, by being directed to go out of it to a place called Pella (c); so that not one Christian suffered in it;
but wilt bring down high looks; or proud men, whom God humbles; these he abhors, resists, sets himself against, scatters and destroys. The Jews were a very proud people, and behaved in an insolent and insulting manner towards Christ and his followers; but the high looks of the chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, were brought down to a purpose, when their city, temple, and nation, were destroyed; see Isaiah 2:11.
(c) Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. the afflicted people—that is, the humbly pious.
high looks—pride (Ps 101:5; 131:1).
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