|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:1-5 Hear me for thy mercy-sake, is our best plea. He who will not ask such blessings as pardon, and justifying righteousness, and eternal life, must perish for the want of them. Alas! that so many should make so fearful a choice. The psalmist warns against sin. Keep up holy reverence of the glory and majesty of God. You have a great deal to say to your hearts, they may be spoken with, let it not be unsaid. Examine them by serious self-reflection; let your thoughts fasten upon that which is good, and keep close to it. Consider your ways, and before you turn to sleep at night, examine your consciences with respect to what you have done in the day; particularly what you have done amiss, that you may repent of it. when you awake in the night, meditate upon God, and the things that belong to your peace. Upon a sick-bed, particularly, we should consider our ways. Be still. when you have asked conscience a question, be serious, be silent, wait for an answer. Open not the mouth to excuse sin. All confidence must be pan answer. Open not the mouth to excuse sin. All confidence only: therefore, after commanding the sacrifices of righteousness, the psalmist says, Put your trust in the Lord.
Verse 3. - But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself. The best order of the words would be, "Know that the Lord hath set apart for himself the man that is godly." The godly man is not contaminated by the evil doings of those who associate with him, and profess to act in his interest, if he neither authorizes nor condones their conduct. David had protested against Joab's proceedings on one occasion (2 Samuel 3:28), and never at any time pardoned them (1 Kings 2:5, 6). The Lord will hear when I call unto him Although I am disgraced (Ver. 2), resisted, in many ways brought to shame, by you, yet still I am God's servant, set apart to his service, and therefore 1 shall be heard by him. He will hearken to and grant my prayer.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But know,.... Take notice of it, consider it, be assured of the truth, of it; it may be depended upon as fact,
that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: which may be understood of David himself, an holy good man; a man after God's own heart; whom the Lord chose, and in a marvellous manner separated from the rest of his brethren; took him from the sheepfold, and set him upon the throne of Israel, for the glory of his great name; and therefore the attempts of his enemies against him would be without success: and also of the Messiah, God's Holy One, whom he has chosen out from among the people to be their Saviour and Redeemer, to the glory of his grace; wherefore the work of the Lord has prospered in his hands: and likewise of all the saints, and of their election; which act is expressed by their being set apart, or separated from others, who are called the rest; and which is a marvellous act of grace: for the word may be rendered, "he hath wonderfully set apart" (n). It is an amazing instance of grace that God should make one to differ from another, and separate them from their mother's womb, and call them by his grace. The object of this act is "him that is godly", or "holy" (o): not that any are set apart or chosen by God for their godliness, or holiness; for they are chosen through sanctification of the Spirit, and not because they were or it was foreseen they would be holy. Holiness, faith, godliness, and good works, are the fruits of election, and not the causes of it: but the word rendered "godly", signifies "good" and "merciful" (p); and designs one, that God is good, and gracious, and merciful unto; who is an object of his free grace and favour; and therefore he chooses and sets him apart of his own grace and mercy, and according to his sovereign will and pleasure: and that "for himself"; for his own use and service, for his praise and honour, and to the glory of his grace; which is his grand end in predestination, election, and in all spiritual blessings. And now all attempts against such persons are in vain; all charges against them are of no avail; all methods, whether by open force of persecutors, or by the cunning of false teachers, that lie in wait to deceive, to prevail against them, prove failures: and God will avenge his elect, that cry unto him day and night; as follows;
the Lord will hear when I call unto him; and deliver out of the hands of enemies, and cut them off: wherefore it is a vain thing for men to set themselves against Christ and his people.
(n) So Ainsworth. "mirificavit", V. L. "mirabilem effecit", Gejerus (o) "sanctum", V. L. Muis, De Dieu. (p) "Eum quem benigne acceperit", Junius & Tremellius; "beneficiarium", Gejerus, Michaelis; "gratia vel favore a Deo affectum", Hammond.
The Treasury of David
3 But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.
"But know." Fools will not learn, and therefore they must again and again be told the same thing, especially when it is such a bitter truth which is to be taught them, viz: - the fact that the godly are the chosen of God, and are, by distinguishing grace, set apart and separated from among men. Election is a doctrine which unrenewed men cannot endure, but nevertheless, it is a glorious and well-attested truth, and one which should comfort the tempted believer. Election is the guarantee of complete salvation, and an argument for success at the throne of grace. He who chose us for himself will surely hear our prayers. The Lord's elect shall not be condemned, nor shall their cry be unheard. David was king by divine decree, and we are the Lord's people in the same manner; let us tell our enemies to their faces, that they fight against God and destiny; when they strive to overthrow our souls. O beloved, when you are on your knees, the fact of your being set apart as God's own peculiar treasure, should give you courage and inspire you with fervency and faith. "Shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him?" Since he chose to love us he cannot but chose to hear us.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. godly—an object as well as subject of divine favor (compare Ps 105:14, 15).
Psalm 4:3 Parallel Commentaries
Psalm 4:3 NIV
Psalm 4:3 NLT
Psalm 4:3 ESV
Psalm 4:3 NASB
Psalm 4:3 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible