Psalm 37:33
The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
37:21-33 The Lord our God requires that we do justly, and render to all their due. It is a great sin for those that are able, to deny the payment of just debts; it is a great misery not to be able to pay them. He that is truly merciful, will be ever merciful. We must leave our sins; learn to do well, and cleave to it. This is true religion. The blessing of God is the spring, sweetness, and security of all earthly enjoyments. And if we are sure of this, we are sure not to want any thing good for us in this world. By his grace and Holy Spirit, he directs the thoughts, affections, and designs of good men. By his providence he overrules events, so as to make their way plain. He does not always show them his way for a distance, but leads them step by step, as children are led. God will keep them from being ruined by their falls, either into sin or into trouble, though such as fall into sin will be sorely hurt. Few, if any, have known the consistent believer, or his children, reduced to abject, friendless want. God forsakes not his saints in affliction; and in heaven only the righteous shall dwell for ever; that will be their everlasting habitation. A good man may fall into the hands of a messenger of Satan, and be sorely buffeted, but God will not leave him in his enemy's hands.The Lord will not leave him in his hand - Compare 2 Peter 2:9. That is, He will rescue him out of the hand of the wicked; he will not leave him, so that the wicked shall accomplish his purpose. The psalmist here undoubtedly means to refer mainly to what will occur in the present life - to the fact that God will interpose to deliver the righteous from the evil designs of the wicked, as he interposes to save his people from famine and want. The meaning is not that this will universally occur, for that would not be true; but that this is the general course of things; this is the tendency and bearing of the divine interpositions and the divine arrangements. Those interpositions and arrangements are, on the whole, favorable to virtue, and favorable to those who love and serve God; so much so that it is an advantage even in the present life to serve God. But this will be absolutely and universally true in the future world. The righteous will be wholly and forever placed beyond the reach of the wicked.

Nor condemn him when he is judged - literally, He will not regard or hold him to be guilty when he is judged. He will regard and treat him as a righteous man. This may refer either

(a) to a case where a judgment is pronounced on a good man "by his fellow-men," by which he is condemned or adjudged to be guilty - meaning that God will not so regard and treat him; or

(b) to the final judgment, when the cause comes "before God" - meaning that then he will regard and treat him as righteous.

Both of these are true; but it seems probable that the former is particularly referred to here. DeWette understands it in the latter sense; Rosenmuller in the former. Rosenmuller remarks that the idea is, that the wicked, when he is not permitted to assail the righteous by violence, makes his appeal to the courts, and seeks to secure his condemnation there, but that God will not permit this. As he has saved him from violence, so he will interpose and save him from an unrighteous condemnation in the courts. This seems to me to be the true idea. Of course, this is to be understood only in a "general" sense, or as marking the "general" course of things under the divine administration. On this subject, compare Dr. Taylor's Lectures on Moral Government; vol. i., pp. 252-262. See also Butler's Analogy, passim.

32, 33. The devices of the wicked against the good fail because God acquits them. Not leave him in his hand, i.e. not give him up to his power and rage.

Nor condemn him, i.e. nor give his consent to the sentence of condemnation, which the wicked have pronounced against him, but will justify him, and vindicate his innocency and deliver him; for such negatives do oft imply the contrary affirmatives; as God’s not holding a man guiltless commonly implies that he will severely punish him. The Lord will not leave him in his hand,.... Or power; but will in his own time deliver him from all the reproach, affliction, and persecution endures by him; as he will also deliver him out of all the temptations of Satan;

nor condemn him when he is judged; by the wicked man: he will not join in the sentence, but reverse it, and condemn the tongue that rises up in judgment against him, and save him from him; see Psalm 109:31; nor will the Lord condemn him when he is judged by him at the hast judgment; but will acquit him before men and angels, and introduce him into his kingdom and glory.

The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is {u} judged.

(u) For though it is sometimes so expedient both for God's glory and their salvation, yet he will approve their cause and avenge their wrong.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
33. will not leave him] Lit. will not forsake him, as in Psalm 37:28, and leave him in the hand, i.e. power, of the wicked.

nor condemn him &c.] Will not suffer him to be unjustly condemned. The explanation, that though men may condemn him unjustly, God the supreme judge will acquit him, does not satisfy the context. The Psalmist looks for a temporal deliverance.Verse 33. - The Lord will not leave him in his hand. God, as a general rule, does not allow the wicked man to work his will upon the righteous. He interposes one cheek or another, and saves the righteous man from destruction. Nor condemn him when he is judged; i.e. nor will he allow him to be condemned when the wicked man brings an accusation against him, and seeks to have him sentenced to death by an ignorant or unjust judge. These promises are not universal nor absolute, since many good men have been assassinated by their enemies, as Abel by Cain; and many have been wrongfully condemned to death and executed, as Naboth at the instigation of Jezebel. Psalm 37:27-28

The round of the exhortations and promises is here again reached as in Psalm 37:3. The imperative שׁכן, which is there hortatory, is found here with the ו of sequence in the sense of a promise: and continue, doing such things, to dwell for ever equals so shalt thou, etc. (שׁכן, pregnant as in Psalm 102:29, Isaiah 57:15). Nevertheless the imperative retains its meaning even in such instances, inasmuch as the exhortation is given to share in the reward of duty at the same time with the discharge of it. On Psalm 37:28 compare Psalm 33:5.

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