Psalm 28:3
Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbors, but mischief is in their hearts.
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(3) Draw me not.—Better, Drag me not. In Ezekiel 32:18 seq., we have a magnificent vision of judgment, in which the wicked nations are represented as being dragged to death and destruction. In the person of the poet, Israel prays not to be involved in such a punishment. The words “which speak peace “may refer to some overture of alliance from such, or it may be generally those who “hide hatred with lying lips” (Proverbs 10:18).

Psalm 28:3. Draw me not away with the wicked — The sense is, either, 1st, Do not suffer me to be drawn away, by their counsel or example, to imitate them in their evil courses. For God is often said to do that which he doth not effect, but only permits. Or, 2d, Do not drag me, as thou dost or wilt these evil-doers, to execution and destruction. Let me not die the death of the wicked. This seems best to suit with the following context, wherein he foretels that destruction to be coming upon his enemies which he deprecates for himself. Mischief is in their heart — They are hypocritical and perfidious persons: while I, through thy grace, am sincere and upright before thee. Seeing, then, I am unlike them in disposition and practice, let me not be made like them in their ruin.28:1-5 David is very earnest in prayer. Observe his faith in prayer; God is my rock, on whom I build my hope. Believers should not rest till they have received some token that their prayers are heard. He prays that he may not be numbered with the wicked. Save me from being entangled in the snares they have laid for me. Save me from being infected with their sins, and from doing as they do. Lord, never leave me to use such arts of deceit and treachery for my safety, as they use for my ruin. Believers dread the way of sinners; the best are sensible of the danger they are in of being drawn aside: we should all pray earnestly to God for his grace to keep us. Those who are careful not to partake with sinners in their sins, have reason to hope that they shall not receive their plagues. He speaks of the just judgments of the Lord on the workers of iniquity, ver. 4. This is not the language of passion or revenge. It is a prophecy that there will certainly come a day, when God will punish every man who persists in his evil deeds. Sinners shall be reckoned with, not only for the mischief they have done, but for the mischief they designed, and did what they could to effect. Disregard of the works of the Lord, is the cause of the sin of sinners, and becomes the cause of their ruin.Draw me not away with the wicked - See the notes at Psalm 26:9. The prayer here, as well as the prayer in Psalm 26:9, expresses a strong desire not to be united with wicked people in feeling or in destiny - in life or in death - on earth or in the future world. The reason of the prayer seems to have been that the psalmist, being at this time under a strong temptation to associate with wicked persons, and feeling the force of the temptation, was apprehensive that he should be left to "yield" to it, and to become associated with them. Deeply conscious of this danger, he earnestly prays that he may not be left to yield to the power of the temptation, and fall into sin. So the Saviour Matthew 6:13 has taught us to pray, "And lead us not into temptation." None who desire to serve God can be insensible to the propriety of this prayer. The temptations of the world are so strong; the amusements in which the world indulges are so brilliant and fascinating; they who invite us to partake of their pleasures are often so elevated in their social position, so refined in their manners, and so cultivated by education; the propensities of our hearts for such indulgences are so strong by nature; habits formed before our conversion are still so powerful; and the prospect of worldly advantages from compliance with the customs of those around us are often so great - that we cannot but feel that it is proper for us to go to the throne of grace, and to plead earnestly with God that he will keep us and not suffer us to fall into the snare.

Especially is this true of those who before they were converted had indulged in habits of intemperance, or in sensual pleasures of any kind, and who are invited by their old companions in sin again to unite with them in their pursuits. Here all the power of the former habit returns; here often there is a most fierce struggle between conscience and the old habit for victory; here especially those who are thus tempted need the grace of God to keep them; here there is special appropriateness in the prayer, "Draw me not away with the wicked."

And with the workers of iniquity - In any form. With those who do evil.

Which speak peace to their neighbours - Who speak words of friendliness. Who "seem" to be persuading you to do that which is for your good. Who put on plausible pretexts. They appear to be your friends; they profess to be so. They use flattering words while they tempt you to go astray.

But mischief is in their hearts - They are secretly plotting your ruin. They wish to lead you into such courses of life in order that you may fall into sin; that you may dishonor religion; that you may disgrace your profession; or that they may in some way profit by your compliance with their counsels. So the wicked, under plausible pretences, would allure the good; so the corrupt would seduce the innocent; so the enemies of God would entice his friends, that they may bring shame and reproach upon the cause of religion.

3. Draw me not away—implies punishment as well as death (compare Ps 26:9). Hypocrisy is the special wickedness mentioned.3 Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.

4 Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.

5 Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

Psalm 28:3

"Draw me not away with the wicked." - They shall be dragged off to hell like felons of old drawn on a hurdle to Tyburn, like logs drawn to the fire, like fagots to the oven. David fears lest he should be bound up in their bundle, drawn to their doom; and the fear is an appropriate one for every godly man. The best of the wicked are dangerous company in time, and would make terrible companions for eternity; we must avoid them in their pleasures, if we would not be confounded with them in their miseries. "And with the workers of iniquity." These are overtly sinful, and their judgment will be sure; Lord, do not make us to drink of their cup. Activity is found with the wicked even if it be lacking to the righteous. Oh! to be "workers" for the Lord. "Which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts." They have learned the manners of the place to which they are going: the doom of liars is their portion for ever, and lying is their conversation on the road. Soft words, oily with pretended love, are the deceitful meshes of the infernal net in which Satan catches the precious life; many of his children are learned in his abominable craft, and fish with their father's nets, almost as cunningly as he himself could do it. It is a sure sign of baseness when the tongue and the heart do not ring to the same note. Deceitful men are more to be dreaded than wild beasts: it were better to be shut up in a pit with serpents than to be compelled to live with liars. He who cries "peace" too loudly, means to sell it if he can get his price. "Good wine needs no bush:" if he were so very peaceful he would not need to say so; he means mischief, make sure of that.

Psalm 28:4

When we view the wicked simply as such, and not as our fellow-men, our indignation against sin leads us entirely to coincide with the acts of divine justice which punish evil, and to wish that justice might use her power to restrain by her terrors the cruel and unjust; but still the desires of the present verse, as our version renders it, are not readily made consistent with the spirit of the Christian dispensation, which seeks rather the reformation than the punishment of sinners. If we view the words before us as prophetic, or as in the future tense, declaring a fact, we are probably nearer to the true meaning than that given in our version. Ungodly reader, what will be your lot when the Lord deals with you according to your desert, and weighs out to you his wrath, not only in proportion to what you have actually done, but according to what you would have done if you could? Our "endeavours" are taken as facts; God takes the will for the deed, and punishes or rewards accordingly. Not in this life, but certainly in the next, God will repay his enemies to their faces, and give them the wages of their sins. Not according to their fawning words, but after the measure of their mischievous deeds, will the Lord mete out vengeance to them that know him not.

Psalm 28:5

"Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands." God works in creation - nature teems with proofs of his wisdom and goodness, yet purblind atheists refuse to see him: he works in providence, ruling and overruling and his hand is very manifest in human history, yet the infidel will not discern him: he works in grace - remarkable conversions are still met with on all hands, yet the ungodly refuse to see the operations of the Lord. Where angels wonder, carnal men despise. God condescends to teach, and man refuses to learn. "He shall destroy them." he will make them "behold, and wonder, and perish." If they would not see the hand of judgment upon others, they shall feel it upon themselves. Both soul and body shall be overwhelmed with utter destruction for ever and ever. "And not build them up." God's curse is positive and negative; his sword has two edges, and cuts right and left. Their heritage of evil shall prevent the ungodly receiving any good; the ephah shall be too full of wrath to contain a grain of hope. They have become like old, rotten, decayed houses of timber, useless to the owner, and harbouring all manner of evil, and, therefore, the Great Builder will demolish them utterly. Incorrigible offenders may expect speedy destruction: they who will not mend, shall be thrown away as worthless. Let us be very attentive to all the lessons of God's word and work, lest being found disobedient to the divine will, we be made to suffer the divine wrath.

Draw me not away with the wicked: the sense is, either,

1. Do not suffer me to be drawn away by their counsel or example to imitate their evil courses. For God is oft said to do that which he doth not effect, but only permit and order, as 2 Samuel 12:12. Or,

2. Do not draw me into the same snares and mischief with them; do not drag me, as thou dost or wilt do all these malefactors, to execution and destruction. Let me not die the death of the wicked. Compare Psalm 26:9. Thus drawing is used for drawing to death, Job 21:33 Ezekiel 32:20. This seems best to suit with the following context, wherein he imprecateth and foretelleth that destruction upon his enemies which he deprecated for himself.

Mischief is in their heart; which are hypocritical and perfidious persons, whilst I, through thy grace, am upright and sincere. Seeing then I am so unlike them in disposition and practice, let me not be made like them in their ruin. Draw me not away with the wicked,.... That is, with those who are notoriously wicked; who are inwardly and outwardly wicked; whose inward part is very wickedness, and who sell themselves and give up themselves to work wickedness: the sense is, that God would not suffer him to be drawn away, or drawn aside by wicked men, but that he would deliver him from temptation; or that he would not give him up into their hands, to be at their mercy; who he knew would not spare him, if they had him in their power; or that he might not die the death of the wicked, and perish with them; see Psalm 26:9;

and with the workers of iniquity; who make it the trade and business of their lives to commit sin; and which may be applied, not only to profane sinners, but to professors of religion, Matthew 7:23; since it follows,

which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts; hypocrites, double minded men, who have a form of godliness, but deny the power of it; pretend to religion, and have none; and speak fair to the face, but design mischief and ruin; as Saul and his servants did to David, 1 Samuel 18:17.

{c} Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.

(c) Destroy not the good with the bad.

3. Draw me not away] Cp. Psalm 26:9. But the word here is stronger, suggesting the idea of criminals being dragged off to execution. He prays that he may not share the fate of the wicked in the judgment now being executed.

which speak peace to &c.] Rather, as R.V., with. Double-hearted hypocrites; cp. Psalm 12:2; Jeremiah 9:8; and contrast Psalm 15:2.

3–5. The Psalmist’s prayer that he may be distinguished from the wicked, and that they may be judged as they deserve.Verse 3. - Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity (comp. Psalm 26:9). The metaphor implied in "draw me not away "is that of a hunter, drawing prey of all kinds to him enclosed within a net. The psalmist prays that he may not share the fate of the workers of iniquity, over whom he seems to see some terrible judgment impending. Which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. (For extreme instances of this kind of wickedness, see 2 Samuel 3:27; 2 Samuel 20:9, 10; and for the wide prevalence of such treacherous dealing, comp. Psalm 55:20, 21; Jeremiah 9:8.) He is now wandering about like a hunted deer; but God is able to guide him so that he may escape all dangers. And this is what he prays for. As in Psalm 143:10, מישׁור is used in an ethical sense; and differs in this respect from its use in Psalm 26:12. On שׁררים, see the primary passage Psalm 5:9, of which this is an echo. Wily spies dodge his every step and would gladly see what they have invented against him and wished for him, realised. Should he enter the way of sin leading to destruction, it would tend to the dishonour of God, just as on the contrary it is a matter of honour with God not to let His servant fall. Hence he prays to be led in the way of God, for a oneness of his own will with the divine renders a man inaccessible to evil. נפשׁ, Psalm 27:12, is used, as in Psalm 17:9, and in the similar passage, which is genuinely Davidic, Psalm 41:3, in the signification passion or strong desire; because the soul, in its natural state, is selfishness and inordinate desire. יפח is a collateral form of יפיח; they are both adjectives formed from the future of the verb פּוּח (like ירב, יריב): accustomed to breathe out (exhale), i.e., either to express, or to snort, breathe forth (cf. πνεῖν, or ἐμπνεῖν φόνον and θόνοῦ, θυμον, and the like, Acts 9:1). In both Hitzig sees participles of יפח (Jeremiah 4:31); but Psalm 10:5 and Habakkuk 2:3 lead back to פּוּח (פּיח); and Hupfeld rightly recognises such nouns formed from futures to be, according to their original source, circumlocutions of the participle after the manner of an elliptical relative clause (the ṣifat of the Arabic syntax), and explains יפיח כּזבים, together with יפח חמס, from the verbal construction which still continues in force.
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