|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
73:15-20 The psalmist having shown the progress of his temptation, shows how faith and grace prevailed. He kept up respect for God's people, and with that he restrained himself from speaking what he had thought amiss. It is a sign that we repent of the evil thoughts of the heart, if we suppress them. Nothing gives more offence to God's children, than to say it is vain to serve God; for there is nothing more contrary to their universal experience. He prayed to God to make this matter plain to him; and he understood the wretched end of wicked people; even in the height of their prosperity they were but ripening for ruin. The sanctuary must be the resort of a tempted soul. The righteous man's afflictions end in peace, therefore he is happy; the wicked man's enjoyments end in destruction, therefore he is miserable. The prosperity of the wicked is short and uncertain, slippery places. See what their prosperity is; it is but a vain show, it is only a corrupt imagination, not substance, but a mere shadow; it is as a dream, which may please us a little while we are slumbering, yet even then it disturbs our repose.
Verse 17. - Until I went into the sanctuary of God; literally, the sanctuaries (comp. Psalm 68:35; Psalm 84:1; Psalm 132:7). The three subdivisions of beth the tabernacle and the first temple, viz. the court, the holy place, and the holy of holies, constituted three sanctuaries. The psalmist, in his perplexity, took his doubts into the sanctuary of God, and there, "in the calmness of the sacred court" (Kay), reconsidered the hard problem. Compare Hezekiah's action with the perplexing letter of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:14). Then understood I their end. There came to him in the sanctuary the thought that, to judge aright of the happiness or misery of any man, it is necessary to await the end (comp. Herod., 1:32; Soph., 'OEd. Tyr.,' ad fin.; Eurip., 'Andromach.,' 50:100; Aristot., ' Eth. Nic.,' 1:10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Until I went into the sanctuary of God,.... The tabernacle or house of God, where the Word of God was read and explained, prayer was made, and sacrifices offered up, and where fellowship was had with the saints, and communion with God himself; which for one hour or moment is preferable to all the prosperity of the wicked, during their whole life. This shows that though the psalmist was beset with the temptation, yet not overcome; it did not so far prevail as to cause him to neglect public worship, and relinquish the house of God, and the ordinances of it; and it is right, under temptations, doubts, and difficulties, to attend the public ministrations, which is the way and means to have relief under temptations, to have doubts resolved, and difficulties removed: some by "the sanctuary of God" understand the Scriptures, which are holy and of God, and are profitable for instruction, and are to be consulted and entered into by a serious reading of and deep meditation on them; whereby may be known the happiness that is prepared for the saints in the other world, and the misery of the wicked, and hereby judgment may be made of the present case and condition of each: others interpret it of the world of spirits, which may be entered into by contemplation; when it may be observed that the spirits of just men upon their dissolution possess unspeakable joys and glories, and the souls of the wicked are in inconceivable torments:
then understood I their end; both of the godly and of the wicked; that the end of the righteous is peace, rest, salvation, and eternal life, and the end of the wicked is ruin, destruction, and death; see Psalm 37:35.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. went into the sanctuary—to enquire (compare Ex 25:22; Ps 5:7; 27:4).
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