|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:11-22 Let young persons set out in life with learning the fear of the Lord, if they desire true comfort here, and eternal happiness hereafter. Those will be most happy who begin the soonest to serve so good a Master. All aim to be happy. Surely this must look further than the present world; for man's life on earth consists but of few days, and those full of trouble. What man is he that would see the good of that where all bliss is perfect? Alas! few have this good in their thoughts. That religion promises best which creates watchfulness over the heart and over the tongue. It is not enough not to do hurt, we must study to be useful, and to live to some purpose; we must seek peace and pursue it; be willing to deny ourselves a great deal for peace' sake. It is the constant practice of real believers, when in distress, to cry unto God, and it is their constant comfort that he hears them. The righteous are humbled for sin, and are low in their own eyes. Nothing is more needful to true godliness than a contrite heart, broken off from every self-confidence. In this soil every grace will flourish, and nothing can encourage such a one but the free, rich grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The righteous are taken under the special protection of the Lord, yet they have their share of crosses in this world, and there are those that hate them. Both from the mercy of Heaven, and the malice of hell, the afflictions of the righteous must be many. But whatever troubles befal them, shall not hurt their souls, for God keeps them from sinning in troubles. No man is desolate, but he whom God has forsaken.
Verse 13. - Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. If the end be happiness, the means will be right moral conduct; and, first of all, right government of the tongue. Sins of the tongue are numerous, and abundantly noted in the Psalms (Psalm 5:9; Psalm 10:7; Psalm 12:3; Psalm 15:3; Psalm 50:19; Psalm 57:4; Psalm 73:8, 9, etc.). They are more difficult to avoid than any others; they cling closer to us; they are scarcely ever wholly laid aside. "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body" (James 3:2). The meek Moses "spake unadvisedly with his lips" (Psalm 106:33). Job "darkened counsel by words without knowledge "(Job 38:2). St. Peter's words on one occasion drew upon him the rebuke, "Get thee behind me, Satan" (Matthew 16:23).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Keep thy tongue from evil,.... This, and what follows in this verse and Psalm 34:14, point at the things wherein the fear of God shows itself; and suggest, that those who have it, and which is known by these fruits, shall enjoy the desirable and good days before mentioned. The tongue is an instrument of much evil, an unruly member, and needs restraint; and it is from evil, and not from good, it is to be kept; from evil speaking of God, from cursing and swearing; from evil speaking of men, reproaching and reviling them; from filthy speaking, from all obscene and unchaste words, and from all lying ones; for where such evil speaking is indulged, the fear of God cannot be in that man;
and thy lips from speaking guile; hypocritical and deceitful words, speaking with flattering lips and a double heart: some speak bad words in common conversation, through an evil habit and custom; and some speak good words with an ill design; and in neither of them is the fear of God before their eyes, nor in their hearts.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13, 14. Sins of thought included in those of speech (Lu 6:45), avoiding evil and doing good in our relations to men are based on a right relation to God.
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