|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 27. - For lo, they that are far from thee shall perish. As God is the source of all life, to be "far from him" is to perish - to have this life depart from us, even if existence of any kind remains. The psalmist is vague with respect to the ultimate fate of the wicked, confident only of the continued existence, in a condition which he declares to be "good," of the righteous. Thou hast destroyed all them that go a-whoring from thee. The strong phrase here used is rare in the Psalms, occurring only in this place and in Psalm 106:39. It commonly refers to idolatrous practices, but is used sometimes of other kinds of declension and alienation from God (see Leviticus 20:6; Numbers 14:33).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For, lo, they that are far from thee,.... Who are alienated from the life of God, far from the law of God, and subjection and obedience to it; and from righteousness either moral or evangelical, and from the love and fear of God, and worship of him:
shall perish; not merely at death, as even righteous men do, but be lost eternally:
thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee; that follow after other gods, and worship them; which is spiritual adultery and fornication, the Scriptures often speak of, and intend by it idolatry; see Deuteronomy 31:16 or who set their hearts and affections upon the creature, and have them alienated from God; and love the creature more and besides the Creator: the past tense seems to be put for the future, and so some render it, "thou shalt destroy", or "cut off" (i); destroy them soul and body, and punish them with an everlasting destruction in hell; the Targum is,
"that wander from thy fear;''
that is, from the worship of God.
(i) "perdes", Tigurine version, Musculus, so some in Vatablus; "exscindes", Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27, 28. The lot of apostates, described by a figure of frequent use (Jer 3:1, 3; Eze 23:35), is contrasted with his, who finds happiness in nearness to God (Jas 4:8), and his delightful work the declaration of His praise.
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