|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 19. - How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! There is something very striking in the suddenness with which the prosperity of a wicked man often collapses. Saul, Jezebel, Athaliah, Epiphanes, Herod Agrippa, are cases in point, likewise Nero, Galerius, Julian. The first and second Napoleonic empires may also be cited. They are utterly consumed with terrors; literally, they perish; they come to an end through terrors (comp. Job 18:11; Job 24:17; Job 27:20).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment?.... Very suddenly, which is often the case of wicked men, who cry Peace and safety, and sudden destruction comes upon them, 1 Thessalonians 5:3, so as in a moment were the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah, of Pharaoh and his host, and of Korah and his company, Lamentations 4:6, the words are expressed with admiration, as wondering at the sudden and amazing turn of things:
they are utterly consumed with terrors: their destruction is not only sudden, but entire; it is like the breaking in pieces of a potter's vessel; a shard of which cannot be gathered up and used, or like the casting of a millstone into the sea, which will never rise more; such will be the destruction of antichrist; see Revelation 2:27 and this is done "with terrors"; either by terrible judgments inflicted on them from without; or with terrors inwardly seizing upon their minds and consciences; as, at the time of temporal calamities, or at death, however at judgment, when the awful sentence will be pronounced upon them; see Job 27:20.
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