|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-9 David flees to God for succour. But Christ alone could call on Heaven to attest his uprightness in all things. All His works were wrought in righteousness; and the prince of this world found nothing whereof justly to accuse him. Yet for our sakes, submitting to be charged as guilty, he suffered all evils, but, being innocent, he triumphed over them all. The plea is, For the righteous God trieth the hearts and the reins. He knows the secret wickedness of the wicked, and how to bring it to an end; he is witness to the secret sincerity of the just, and has ways of establishing it. When a man has made peace with God about all his sins, upon the terms of grace and mercy, through the sacrifice of the Mediator, he may, in comparison with his enemies, appeal to God's justice to decide.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,.... Which will not be till the measure of it is fully up, and that will not be till the wicked are no more; for, as long as they are in the world they will be committing wickedness, and like the troubled sea continually cast up the mire and dirt of sin; and they will remain to the end of the world, till the new Jerusalem church state shall take place, when all the Lord's people will be righteous, and there will not be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts, nor a pricking brier or grieving thorn in all the land; for, in the new earth will no sinner be, but righteous persons only; and for this state the psalmist may be thought to pray; however by this petition and the following he expresses his hatred of sin and love of righteousness: some choose to render the words (c), "let wickedness now consume the wicked"; as in the issue it will, unless the grace of God takes place; some sins consume the bodies, others the estates of wicked men, and some both; and all are the means of destroying both body and soul in hell, if grace prevent not; this may be considered as a declaration of what will be, being a prophetic petition (d);
but establish the just; or righteous one; meaning himself, and every other who is made righteous, not by his own righteousness, but by the righteousness of Christ imputed to him; and who needs not to have his righteousness established, which is in itself stable, firm, and sure, and cannot be more so; it is an everlasting one, and cannot be abolished, but abides for ever, and will answer for him in a time to come; but his faith to be established more and more in its exercise on this righteousness: nor do the persons of the just need establishing, or can they be more stable than they are, as considered in Christ, as they are the objects of God's everlasting love, secured in the covenant of grace, and built on Christ the foundation; but the graces of faith, hope, and love, need daily establishing on their proper object, they being weak, fickle, and inconstant in their acts; and the saints need more and more establishing in the doctrines of the Gospel, and in their adherence to the cause of God and Christ and true religion; and it is God's work to establish them, to whom the psalmist applies; see 1 Peter 5:10;
for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins; he is righteous himself in his nature, and in all his works, and he knows who are righteous and who are wicked; he knows the hearts, thoughts, affections, and inward principles of all men, and the springs of all their actions; he looks not at outward appearances, but at the heart; and as he can distinguish between the one and the other, he is capable of punishing the wicked and of confirming the righteous, consistent with the truth of his perfections.
(c) "consumat nunc vel quaeso malum impios", Muscuius, Vatablus, so Jarchi, Kimchi, & Ben Melech. (d) "Consumat nunc malum impios", Pagninus, Montanus, Hammond; so Obadiah Gaon.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. the hearts and reins—the affections and motives of men, or the seat of them (compare Ps 16:7; 26:2); as we use heart and bosom or breast.
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