|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
73:1-14 The psalmist was strongly tempted to envy the prosperity of the wicked; a common temptation, which has tried the graces of many saints. But he lays down the great principle by which he resolved to abide. It is the goodness of God. This is a truth which cannot be shaken. Good thoughts of God will fortify against Satan's temptations. The faith even of strong believers may be sorely shaken, and ready to fail. There are storms that will try the firmest anchors. Foolish and wicked people have sometimes a great share of outward prosperity. They seem to have the least share of the troubles of this life; and they seem to have the greatest share of its comforts. They live without the fear of God, yet they prosper, and get on in the world. Wicked men often spend their lives without much sickness, and end them without great pain; while many godly persons scarcely know what health is, and die with great sufferings. Often the wicked are not frightened, either by the remembrance of their sins, or the prospect of their misery, but they die without terror. We cannot judge men's state beyond death, by what passes at their death. He looked abroad, and saw many of God's people greatly at a loss. Because the wicked are so very daring, therefore his people return hither; they know not what to say to it, and the rather, because they drink deep of the bitter cup of affliction. He spoke feelingly when he spoke of his own troubles; there is no disputing against sense, except by faith. From all this arose a strong temptation to cast off religion. But let us learn that the true course of sanctification consists in cleansing a man from all pollution both of soul and body. The heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ laid hold upon by faith; and by the begun works of the Lord's Spirit, manifested in the hearty resolution, purpose, and study of holiness, and a blameless course of life and actions, the hands are cleansed. It is not in vain to serve God and keep his ordinances.
Verse 9. - They set their mouth against the heavens. So Hupfeld and Canon Cook, who understand the expression of blasphemy; but most modern critics translate, "They have set their mouth in the heavens," and regard the meaning as nearly allied to that of the second clause of the preceding verse, "They speak as though they were inhabitants of the heavens." And their tongue walketh through the earth. Their tongue is always busily employed - boasting (ver. 3), lying, backbiting.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They set their mouth against the heavens,.... Against God in heaven, see Daniel 4:26, against his being, saying, there is no God; against his perfections, thinking him to be such an one as themselves; against his purposes and decrees, replying against him, and charging him with insincerity, cruelty, and unrighteousness; and against his providence, either denying it, or affirming it to be unequal; and against his doctrines, ordinances, and ministers. Aben Ezra interprets it also of the angels of heaven, who are spoken against, when it is denied that there are any such beings, as were by the Sadducees; and blasphemed, when the worshipping of them is introduced. The Targum understands it of the saints of heaven, with which compare Revelation 13:6 it may be applied to civil magistrates, the higher powers, who represent on earth God in heaven; and there are some that despise dominion, and speak evil of such dignities:
and their tongue walketh through the earth: sparing none, high nor low, but injures all sorts of persons with their lies and calumnies. This denotes the unbridled liberty which wicked men take with their tongues; there is no restraint upon them, no stopping of them; see Psalm 12:5 the universal mischief they are continually doing, and the diabolical influence of their detraction and falsehood; like Satan, their tongues walk to and fro in the earth, doing all the injury to the credit and characters of men they possibly can.
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