Psalm 31:23
O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) Preserveth the faithful.—Or, perhaps, by rendering by the abstract instead of the concrete, keeps faith. The LXX. and Vulg. have “requireth truths.”

Psalm 31:23. O love the Lord, all ye his saints — Those that have their own hearts full of love to God, cannot but desire that others also should love him: for in his love there is no need to fear a rival. It is the character of all the saints, that they love God; and yet they must still be called upon to love him; to love him more, and to give better proofs of their love. For the Lord preserveth the faithful — Who receive and walk in the truth, who are steady and constant in their attachment to God and his cause, and are faithful to every trust reposed in them by God and man. They are opposed to the proud doer mentioned in the next clause. The words, however, נצר

אמונים, may be rendered, who keepeth faithfulness, or faithfulnesses, that is, is faithful in fulfilling his promises; and plentifully rewardeth — Hebrew, על יתר, gnal jether, rewardeth with abundance, the proud doer — The enemies and persecutors of God’s faithful ones, before mentioned, are here intended. These he terms proud doers, because of their rebellion against God’s will, and their contempt of his threatenings and judgments, and their most insolent and contemptuous conduct toward his people; all which proceeded from the pride of their hearts, Psalm 10:4.

31:19-24 Instead of yielding to impatience or despondency under our troubles, we should turn our thoughts to the goodness of the Lord towards those who fear and trust in Him. All comes to sinners through the wondrous gift of the only-begotten Son of God, to be the atonement for their sins. Let not any yield to unbelief, or think, under discouraging circumstances, that they are cut off from before the eyes of the Lord, and left to the pride of men. Lord, pardon our complaints and fears; increase our faith, patience, love, and gratitude; teach us to rejoice in tribulation and in hope. The deliverance of Christ, with the destruction of his enemies, ought to strengthen and comfort the hearts of believers under all their afflictions here below, that having suffered courageously with their Master, they may triumphantly enter into his joy and glory.O love the Lord, all ye his saints - This is the "application" of all the truths suggested in the psalm. The experience of the psalmist had shown the wisdom of trusting in God in times of danger and trouble, and had laid the foundation for a proper exhortation to others to imitate his example; an argument why all the people of God should love him, and should be of good courage. The reason here assigned for their loving the Lord is, that he preserves those who are faithful to him, and "rewards the proud doer." This is a reason for loving God, or for putting our trust in him, though the psalmist does not say that this is the only reason for doing it. The meaning here is, that the dealings of God toward the psalmist had established this truth in regard to the character of God, that he does preserve the faithful, and does punish the proud, and that this fact constitutes a reason why all his people should confide in him.

For the Lord preserveth the faithful - The faithful; those who put their trust in him; those who do not give up in despondency and despair in time of danger and trouble; those who do not forsake him even though for a time he seems to forsake them. What God looks for mainly in his people is confidence; faithfulness; trust; fidelity.

And plentifully rewardeth - "Abundantly" rewards. Literally, "in plenty." That is, his punishment does not fall short of the desert of the wicked man. It is ample or full. He does full justice.

The proud doer - "The man working pride." The reference is to the man who is confident in himself; who seeks to aggrandize himself, and who in doing this is regardless of the rights of others.

23, 24. the Lord … proud doer—literally, "the Lord is keeping faith," that is, with His people, and is repaying, &c. Then let none despair, but take courage; their hopes shall not be in vain. 23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Psalm 31:23

"O love the Lord, all ye his saints." A most affecting exhortation, showing clearly the deep love of the writer to his God: there is the more beauty in the expression, because it reveals love towards a smiting God, love which many waters could not quench. To bless him who gives is easy, but to cling to him who takes away is a work of grace. All the saints are benefited by the sanctified miseries of one, if they are led by earnest exhortations to love their Lord the better. If saints do not love the Lord, who will? Love is the universal debt of all the saved family: who would wish to be exonerated from its payment? Reasons for love are given, for believing love is not blind. "For the Lord preserveth the faithful." They have to bide their time, but the recompense comes at last, and meanwhile all the cruel malice of their enemies cannot destroy them. "And plentifully rewardeth the proud doer." This also is cause for gratitude: pride is so detestable in its acts that he who shall mete out to it its righteous due, deserves the love of all holy minds.

Psalm 31:24

"Be of good courage." Keep up your spirit, let no craven thoughts blanch your cheek. Fear weakens, courage strengthens. Victory waits upon the banners of the brave. "And he shall strengthen your heart." Power from on high shall be given in the most effectual manner by administering force to the fountain of vitality. So far from leaving us, the Lord will draw very near to us in our adversity, and put his own power into us. "All ye that hope in the Lord." Every one of you, lift up your heads and sing for joy of heart. God is faithful, and does not fail even his little children who do but hope, wherefore then should we be afraid?

The Lord preserveth the faithful; or, keepeth faithfulness, or faithfulnesses, i.e. is faithful in fulfilling his promises; or rather, the faithful, who is opposed to the proud doer in the next clause of the verse.

Plentifully, Heb. with (for so the Hebrew al sometimes signifies) abundance.

The proud doer; the enemies and persecutors of God’s faithful ones before mentioned, whom he calls here proud doers, because of their rebellion against God’s will, and their contempt of his threatenings and judgments, and their most insolent and contemptuous carriage towards his people; all which proceeds from the pride of their heart, Psalm 10:4.

O love the Lord, all ye his saints,.... To whom his goodness extends; who are favoured with the blessings of his grace, as pardon, peace, and righteousness; and who particularly are sanctified by his Spirit, and have principles of grace and holiness wrought in their hearts: these, even all of them, are called upon to love the Lord, having that grace implanted in their souls; that is, to express it, not by words, but by deeds, under a sense of the love and kindness of God to them; and to join with the psalmist in an affectionate reverence of him, trust in him, and thankfulness to him, on account of his marvellous kindness showed him;

for the Lord preserveth the faithful; such as trust in him, believe in Christ, and are faithful to his word and ordinances, abide by them, and stays near his people; these he not only preserves in a providential way, but he preserves them in a way of special grace; he keeps them "from evil", as the Targum; from the evil of sin; from a total and final falling away by it; from the evil of the world, so as not to be drawn off from Christ and his ways, either by its frowns or flatteries; and from the evil one, Satan, from being destroyed by him and his temptations; and these are preserved safe to the kingdom and glory of Christ, by the mighty power of God: some render the words, "the Lord keepeth faithfulness" (i); he will never suffer his own faithfulness to fail; he is a covenant keeping God, and is always true to his word and promise;

and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer; such as all self-righteous persons are, and all that speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the truly righteous, Psalm 31:18; who bear hard upon them, and oppress them; and such as antichrist and his party, who exalts himself above all that is called God; but in what those deal proudly, God is above them, an more than a match for them, and he sets himself against them; he resists them, and will reward them according to their works.

(i) "fidelitatem", Gejerus; or "fidelitles", Ainsworth.

O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23, 24. Concluding exhortation to the faithful. Cp. Psalm 30:4; Psalm 27:14; Psalm 32:11.

preserveth the faithful] Or, keepeth faithfulness. Cf. Exodus 34:7, note.

plentifully rewardeth the proud doer] The judgment of the wicked is, in the view of the O.T., the necessary complement of the triumph of the saints. See Introd. p. xci.

Verse 23. - O love ye the Lord, all ye his saints. The psalmist winds up with a short burst of song, in which his heart goes out to others. He calls upon all God's saints to "love" him, on the ground of his own experience, which is that the Lord preserveth the faithful (literally, those who stand firm, Kay), and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer; i.e. visits with ample vengeance such as in their pride set themselves against him and against his people. Psalm 31:23(Heb.: 31:20-25) In this part well-grounded hope expands to triumphant certainty; and this breaks forth into grateful praise of the goodness of God to His own, and an exhortation to all to wait with steadfast faith on Jahve. The thought: how gracious hath Jahve been to me, takes a more universal form in Psalm 31:20. It is an exclamation (מה, as in Psalm 36:8) of adoring admiration. טוּב יהוה is the sum of the good which God has treasured up for the constant and ever increasing use and enjoyment of His saints. צפן is used in the same sense as in Psalm 17:14; cf. τὸ μάννα τὸ κεκρυμμένον, Revelation 2:17. Instead of פּעלתּ it ought strictly to be נתתּ; for we can say פּעל טּוב, but not פּעל טוּב. What is meant is, the doing or manifesting of טּוב springing from this טוּב, which is the treasure of grace. Jahve thus makes Himself known to His saints for the confounding of their enemies and in defiance of all the world besides, Psalm 23:5. He takes those who are His under His protection from the רכסי אישׁ, confederations of men (from רכס, Arab. rks, magna copia), from the wrangling, i.e., the slanderous scourging, of tongues. Elsewhere it is said, that God hides one in סתר אהלו (Psalm 27:5), or in סתר כּנפיו (Psalm 61:5), or in His shadow (צל, Psalm 91:1); in this passage it is: in the defence and protection of His countenance, i.e., in the region of the unapproachable light that emanates from His presence. The סכּה is the safe and comfortable protection of the Almighty which spans over the persecuted one like an arbour or rich foliage. With בּרוּך ה David again passes over to his own personal experience. The unity of the Psalm requires us to refer the praise to the fact of the deliverance which is anticipated by faith. Jahve has shown him wondrous favour, inasmuch as He has given him a עיר מצור as a place of abode. מצור, from צוּר to shut in (Arabic misr with the denominative verb maṣṣara, to found a fortified city), signifies both a siege, i.e., a shutting in by siege-works, and a fortifying (cf. Psalm 60:11 with Psalm 108:11), i.e., a shutting in by fortified works against the attack of the enemy, 2 Chronicles 8:5. The fenced city is mostly interpreted as God Himself and His powerful and gracious protection. We might then compare Isaiah 33:21 and other passages. But why may not an actual city be intended, viz., Ziklag? The fact, that after long and troublous days David there found a strong and sure resting-place, he here celebrates beforehand, and unconsciously prophetically, as a wondrous token of divine favour. To him Ziklag was indeed the turning-point between his degradation and exaltation. He had already said in his trepidation (חפז, trepidare), cf. Psalm 116:11 : I am cut away from the range of Thine eyes. נגרזתּי is explained according to גּרזן, an axe; Lamentations 3:54, נגרזתּי, and Jonah 2:5, נגרשׁתּי, favour this interpretation. He thought in his fear and despair, that God would never more care about him. אכן, verum enim vero, but Jahve heard the cry of his entreaty, when he cried unto Him (the same words as in Psalm 28:2). On the ground of these experiences he calls upon all the godly to love the God who has done such gracious things, i.e., to love Love itself. On the one hand, He preserves the faithful (אמוּנים, from אמוּן equals אמוּן, πιστοί, as in Psalm 12:2), who keep faith with Him, by also proving to them His faithfulness by protection in every danger; on the other hand, not scantily, but plentifully (על as in Isaiah 60:7; Jeremiah 6:14 : κατὰ περισσείαν) He rewardeth those that practise pride-in the sight of God, the Lord, the sin of sins. An animating appeal to the godly (metamorphosed out of the usual form of the expression חזק ואמץ, macte esto), resembling the animating call to his own heart in Psalm 27:14, closes the Psalm. The godly and faithful are here called "those who wait upon Jahve." They are to wait patiently, for this waiting has a glorious end; the bright, spring sun at length breaks through the dark, angry aspect of the heavens, and the esto mihi is changed into halleluja. This eye of hope patiently directed towards Jahve is the characteristic of the Old Testament faith. The substantial unity, however, of the Old Testament order of grace, or mercy, with that of the New Testament, is set before us in Psalm 32:1-11, which, in its New Testament and Pauline character, is the counterpart of Psalm 19:1-14.
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