|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
32:8-11 God teaches by his word, and guides with the secret intimations of his will. David gives a word of caution to sinners. The reason for this caution is, that the way of sin will certainly end in sorrow. Here is a word of comfort to saints. They may see that a life of communion with God is far the most pleasant and comfortable. Let us rejoice, O Lord Jesus, in thee, and in thy salvation; so shall we rejoice indeed.
Verses 8, 9. - St. Jerome, and others after him, including Dr. Kay, have regarded this passage as an utterance of God, who first admonishes David, and then passes on to an admonition of the Israelites generally. But such a sudden intrusion of a Divine utterance, without any notice of a change of speaker, is without parallel in the Psalms, and should certainly not be admitted without some plain necessity. Here is no necessity at all. The words are quite suitable in the mouth of David, as an admonition to the Israelites of his time; they accord with the title, which he himself seems to have prefixed to the psalm, and explain it; and they fulfil the promise made in Psalm 51:15. Verse 8. - I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go. We must suppose the "godly man" of ver. 6 addressed, if we regard David as the speaker. Such a man was not beyond the need of instruction and teaching, since he was liable to sins of infirmity, and even to grievous falls, as had been seen by David's example. I will guide thee with mine eye; i.e. "I will keep watch over thee with mine eye, and guide thee as I see to be necessary."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I will instruct thee,.... Or "cause thee to understand" (q). These are by many thought to be the words of the Lord, who gives to a man an understanding of spiritual things; he instructs by his providence, and even by afflictive dispensations of providence; and by his word, which is written for the learning of men, and is profitable for doctrine and instruction in righteousness, and by the ministers of it, who are therefore called instructors in Christ; and by his Spirit, when he instructs effectually and to purpose; by him he instructs men in the knowledge of themselves, and of himself in Christ, and of peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation by Christ; and leads into all truth as it is in Jesus; and opens the understanding to understand the Scriptures, and the doctrines contained in them;
and teach thee in the way which shall go; the path of duty, from whence men are apt to wander; when the Lord hedges up the way they would go with thorny providences, and by his ministers, word, and Spirit, directs them in the right way; saying, this is the way, walk in it; and the way of truth, which is clearly pointed to in the Scriptures of truth, and by the Spirit of truth; and also the way of life and salvation by Christ, revealed in the Gospel and which the preachers of it show to the sons of men;
I will guide thee with mine eye; as a master guides his scholar; or as "mine eye" (r): with as much care and tenderness as if thou wert the apple of mine eye; see Deuteronomy 32:10; or the words may be rendered, "I will counsel", or "give counsel"; as he does, who is wonderful in counsel, and that by his Son, who is the wonderful Counsellor; and by his word and testimonies, which are the delight of his people, and the men of their counsel: "mine eye is upon thee" (s); as the eye of the Lord is upon the righteous, to watch over them for good, to provide for them, guide and direct them. These words may very well be considered as the words of David, in which he determines to act a part, agreeable to the title of the psalm, "Maschil"; which signifies instructing, or causing to understand; and as he thought himself bound in duty to do, under the influence of the grace and mercy he had received from the Lord, in the forgiveness of his sins; and which he elsewhere resolved to do in a like case, and which is an instance parallel to this, Psalm 51:13; he here promises to "instruct" men in the way of attaining to the blessedness he had been speaking of, by directing them to take the steps he did; namely, to go to the, Lord, and acknowledge and confess their sins before him, when they might expect to find pardoning mercy and grace, as he did; and to "teach" them the way of their duty upon this, to fear the Lord and his goodness, and to serve him in righteousness and holiness all the days of their lives; and to "guide them with his eye"; by declaring to them the gracious experiences he had been favoured with, by telling them what he himself had seen and known.
(q) "intellectum tibi dabo", V. L. Musculus; "intelligere faciam te", Pagninus, Montanus; so Ainsworth. (r) "consulam tibi sicut oculo meo", Drusius. (s) "Consulam, super te est oculus meus", Cocceius, Gejerus, Ainsworth; so the Targum.
The Treasury of David
8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye.
9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go." Here the Lord is the speaker, and gives the Psalmist an answer to his prayer. Our Saviour is our instructor. The Lord himself deigns to teach his children to walk in the way of integrity, his holy word and the monitions of the Holy Spirit are the directors of the believer's daily conversation. We are not pardoned that we may henceforth live after our own lusts, but that we may be educated in holiness and trained for perfection. A heavenly training is one of the covenant blessings which adoption seals to us: "All thy children shall be taught by the Lord." Practical teaching is the very best of instruction, and they are thrice happy who, although they never sat at the feet of Gamaliel, and are ignorant of Aristotle, and the ethics of the schools, have nevertheless learned to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. "I will guide thee with mine eye." As servants take their cue from the master's eye, and a nod or a wink is all that they require, so should we obey the slightest hints of our Master, not needing thunderbolts to startle our incorrigible sluggishness, but being controlled by whispers and love-touches. The Lord is the great overseer, whose eye in providence overlooks everything. It is well for us to be the sheep of his pasture, following the guidance of his wisdom.
"Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding." Understanding separates man from a brute - let us not act as if we were devoid of it. Men should take counsel and advice, and be ready to run where wisdom points them the way. Alas! we need to be cautioned against stupidity of heart, for we are very apt to fall into it. We who ought to be as the angels, readily become as the beasts. "Whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee." It is much to be deplored that we so often,iced to be severely chastened before we will obey. We ought to be as a feather in the wind, wafted readily in the breath of the Holy Spirit, but alas! we lie like motionless logs, and stir not with heaven itself in view. Those cutting bits of affliction show how hard-mouthed we are, those bridles of infirmity manifest our headstrong and wilful manners. We should not be treated like mules if there were not so much of the ass about us. If we will be fractious, we must expect to be kept in with tight rein. Oh for grace to obey the Lord willingly, lest like the wilful servant, we are beaten with many stripes. Calvin renders the last words, "Lest they kick against thee," a version more probable and more natural, but the passage is confessedly obscure - not, however, in its general sense.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Whether, as most likely, the language of David (compare Ps 51:13), or that of God, this is a promise of divine guidance.
I will … mine eye—or, My eye shall be on thee, watching and directing thy way.
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