|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
73:21-28 God would not suffer his people to be tempted, if his grace were not sufficient, not only to save them from harm, but to make them gainers by it. This temptation, the working of envy and discontent, is very painful. In reflecting upon it, the psalmist owns it was his folly and ignorance thus to vex himself. If good men, at any time, through the surprise and strength of temptation, think, or speak, or act amiss, they will reflect upon it with sorrow and shame. We must ascribe our safety in temptation, and our victory, not to our own wisdom, but to the gracious presence of God with us, and Christ's intercession for us. All who commit themselves to God, shall be guided with the counsel both of his word and of his Spirit, the best counsellors here, and shall be received to his glory in another world; the believing hopes and prospects of which will reconcile us to all dark providences. And the psalmist was hereby quickened to cleave the closer to God. Heaven itself could not make us happy without the presence and love of our God. The world and all its glory vanishes. The body will fail by sickness, age, and death; when the flesh fails, the conduct, courage, and comfort fail. But Christ Jesus, our Lord, offers to be all in all to every poor sinner, who renounces all other portions and confidences. By sin we are all far from God. And a profession Christ, if we go on in sin, will increase our condemnation. May we draw near, and keep near, to our God, by faith and prayer, and find it good to do so. Those that with an upright heart put their trust in God, shall never want matter for thanksgiving to him. Blessed Lord, who hast so graciously promised to become our portion in the next world, prevent us from choosing any other in this.
Verse 23. - Nevertheless I am continually with thee; i.e. "nevertheless, I have not fallen away, but have kept always my hold upon thee;" and, on thy part, thou hast holden me by my right hand; i.e. thou hast upheld me and prevented me from slipping (comp. Psalm 18:35; Psalm 89:21; Psalm 119:117).
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Nevertheless, I am continually with thee,.... Upon the heart of God, in his hands, under his eye, under his wings of protection and care, and not suffered to depart from him finally and totally; he could not be disunited and removed from him by the above temptation; nor was he left to cast off the fear of the Lord, and to forsake his worship and service; nor altogether to lose his love and affection for him, which still continued; see Psalm 73:25, or "I shall be always with thee" (z); not now, for though the saints are always in union with the Lord, yet they have not always communion with him; but hereafter, in heaven, to all eternity:
thou hast holden me by my right hand; as an instance of condescension, respect, and familiarity; see Acts 23:19, as a parent takes his child by the hand, and learns it to go, so the Lord takes his children by the hand, and teaches them to walk by faith in him, Hosea 11:3 or in order to keep them from falling, and bear them up under temptations and exercises; as well as to lead them into more intimate communion with himself in his sanctuary, and to raise them up out of their low estate to an exalted one; see Isaiah 45:1, and likewise to put something into their hands, to supply their wants, and fill them with his good things; see Ezekiel 16:49.
(z) "ego jugiter futurus sum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "itaque ego in posterum semper tecum ero", Michaelis.
Psalm 73:23 Parallel Commentaries
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