|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:1-5 David is very earnest in prayer. Observe his faith in prayer; God is my rock, on whom I build my hope. Believers should not rest till they have received some token that their prayers are heard. He prays that he may not be numbered with the wicked. Save me from being entangled in the snares they have laid for me. Save me from being infected with their sins, and from doing as they do. Lord, never leave me to use such arts of deceit and treachery for my safety, as they use for my ruin. Believers dread the way of sinners; the best are sensible of the danger they are in of being drawn aside: we should all pray earnestly to God for his grace to keep us. Those who are careful not to partake with sinners in their sins, have reason to hope that they shall not receive their plagues. He speaks of the just judgments of the Lord on the workers of iniquity, ver. 4. This is not the language of passion or revenge. It is a prophecy that there will certainly come a day, when God will punish every man who persists in his evil deeds. Sinners shall be reckoned with, not only for the mischief they have done, but for the mischief they designed, and did what they could to effect. Disregard of the works of the Lord, is the cause of the sin of sinners, and becomes the cause of their ruin.
Verse 3. - Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity (comp. Psalm 26:9). The metaphor implied in "draw me not away "is that of a hunter, drawing prey of all kinds to him enclosed within a net. The psalmist prays that he may not share the fate of the workers of iniquity, over whom he seems to see some terrible judgment impending. Which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. (For extreme instances of this kind of wickedness, see 2 Samuel 3:27; 2 Samuel 20:9, 10; and for the wide prevalence of such treacherous dealing, comp. Psalm 55:20, 21; Jeremiah 9:8.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Draw me not away with the wicked,.... That is, with those who are notoriously wicked; who are inwardly and outwardly wicked; whose inward part is very wickedness, and who sell themselves and give up themselves to work wickedness: the sense is, that God would not suffer him to be drawn away, or drawn aside by wicked men, but that he would deliver him from temptation; or that he would not give him up into their hands, to be at their mercy; who he knew would not spare him, if they had him in their power; or that he might not die the death of the wicked, and perish with them; see Psalm 26:9;
and with the workers of iniquity; who make it the trade and business of their lives to commit sin; and which may be applied, not only to profane sinners, but to professors of religion, Matthew 7:23; since it follows,
which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts; hypocrites, double minded men, who have a form of godliness, but deny the power of it; pretend to religion, and have none; and speak fair to the face, but design mischief and ruin; as Saul and his servants did to David, 1 Samuel 18:17.
The Treasury of David
3 Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.
4 Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.
5 Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.
"Draw me not away with the wicked." - They shall be dragged off to hell like felons of old drawn on a hurdle to Tyburn, like logs drawn to the fire, like fagots to the oven. David fears lest he should be bound up in their bundle, drawn to their doom; and the fear is an appropriate one for every godly man. The best of the wicked are dangerous company in time, and would make terrible companions for eternity; we must avoid them in their pleasures, if we would not be confounded with them in their miseries. "And with the workers of iniquity." These are overtly sinful, and their judgment will be sure; Lord, do not make us to drink of their cup. Activity is found with the wicked even if it be lacking to the righteous. Oh! to be "workers" for the Lord. "Which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts." They have learned the manners of the place to which they are going: the doom of liars is their portion for ever, and lying is their conversation on the road. Soft words, oily with pretended love, are the deceitful meshes of the infernal net in which Satan catches the precious life; many of his children are learned in his abominable craft, and fish with their father's nets, almost as cunningly as he himself could do it. It is a sure sign of baseness when the tongue and the heart do not ring to the same note. Deceitful men are more to be dreaded than wild beasts: it were better to be shut up in a pit with serpents than to be compelled to live with liars. He who cries "peace" too loudly, means to sell it if he can get his price. "Good wine needs no bush:" if he were so very peaceful he would not need to say so; he means mischief, make sure of that.
When we view the wicked simply as such, and not as our fellow-men, our indignation against sin leads us entirely to coincide with the acts of divine justice which punish evil, and to wish that justice might use her power to restrain by her terrors the cruel and unjust; but still the desires of the present verse, as our version renders it, are not readily made consistent with the spirit of the Christian dispensation, which seeks rather the reformation than the punishment of sinners. If we view the words before us as prophetic, or as in the future tense, declaring a fact, we are probably nearer to the true meaning than that given in our version. Ungodly reader, what will be your lot when the Lord deals with you according to your desert, and weighs out to you his wrath, not only in proportion to what you have actually done, but according to what you would have done if you could? Our "endeavours" are taken as facts; God takes the will for the deed, and punishes or rewards accordingly. Not in this life, but certainly in the next, God will repay his enemies to their faces, and give them the wages of their sins. Not according to their fawning words, but after the measure of their mischievous deeds, will the Lord mete out vengeance to them that know him not.
"Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands." God works in creation - nature teems with proofs of his wisdom and goodness, yet purblind atheists refuse to see him: he works in providence, ruling and overruling and his hand is very manifest in human history, yet the infidel will not discern him: he works in grace - remarkable conversions are still met with on all hands, yet the ungodly refuse to see the operations of the Lord. Where angels wonder, carnal men despise. God condescends to teach, and man refuses to learn. "He shall destroy them." he will make them "behold, and wonder, and perish." If they would not see the hand of judgment upon others, they shall feel it upon themselves. Both soul and body shall be overwhelmed with utter destruction for ever and ever. "And not build them up." God's curse is positive and negative; his sword has two edges, and cuts right and left. Their heritage of evil shall prevent the ungodly receiving any good; the ephah shall be too full of wrath to contain a grain of hope. They have become like old, rotten, decayed houses of timber, useless to the owner, and harbouring all manner of evil, and, therefore, the Great Builder will demolish them utterly. Incorrigible offenders may expect speedy destruction: they who will not mend, shall be thrown away as worthless. Let us be very attentive to all the lessons of God's word and work, lest being found disobedient to the divine will, we be made to suffer the divine wrath.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. Draw me not away—implies punishment as well as death (compare Ps 26:9). Hypocrisy is the special wickedness mentioned.
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