Psalm 40:4
Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
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(4) Respecteth not.—Better, turneth not towards proud men and false apostates. The words are, however, somewhat obscure. The LXX. and Vulg. have “vanities and false madnesses.” The words we have rendered false apostates are by some translated “turners after idols.” Idolatry is doubtless implied, but not expressed.

Psalm 40:4. Blessed is the man, &c. — I said, many shall trust in the Lord, and they shall not be losers by it, nor disappointed of their hope; but they are and shall be blessed. And respecteth not — ולא פנה, velo-panah, looketh not toward, namely, with delight and desire to imitate; or with confidence and expectation of relief; the proud — Or the mighty; the great and proud potentates of the world, to whom most men are apt to look and trust. Nor such as turn aside — From God, in whom alone they ought to trust. To lies — To lying vanities, such as worldly power, and wisdom, and riches, and all other earthly things or persons, in which men are prone to trust; which are called lies, because they promise more than they perform.

40:1-5 Doubts and fears about the eternal state, are a horrible pit and miry clay, and have been so to many a dear child of God. There is power enough in God to help the weakest, and grace enough to help the unworthiest of all that trust in him. The psalmist waited patiently; he continued believing, hoping, and praying. This is applicable to Christ. His agony, in the garden and on the cross, was a horrible pit and miry clay. But those that wait patiently for God do not wait in vain. Those that have been under religious melancholy, and by the grace of God have been relieved, may apply ver. 2 very feelingly to themselves; they are brought up out of a horrible pit. Christ is the Rock on which a poor soul can alone stand fast. Where God has given stedfast hope, he expects there should be a steady, regular walk and conduct. God filled the psalmist with joy, as well as peace in believing. Multitudes, by faith beholding the sufferings and glory of Christ, have learned to fear the justice and trust in the mercy of God through Him. Many are the benefits with which we are daily loaded, both by the providence and by the grace of God.Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust - See the notes at Psalm 34:8. Compare Psalm 27:1. Literally, here, "The blessings of the man who places Yahweh for his confidence;" that is, who makes Him his seeurity, or who feels that his security for happiness and salvation is in Him.

And respecteth not the proud - The haughty, or those who are confident in themselves. Literally, "who looks not to the proud;" that is, who does not depend on them for help and for salvation.

Nor such as turn aside to lies - Who depart from the straight path, and incline to that which is false and deceitful. The reference is to those who are easily made to swerve from that which is true and honest to that which is delusive and false. Their integrity cannot be confided in. There is no security that they will be disposed to do right. The idea is, that the man who trusts in God is blessed or happy, as compared with one who trusts in man; man confident in himself; man liable to fall into error; man who is easily led astray; man who is deceitful, and who cannot, therefore, be relied on. God is mighty, but not haughty; God never is drawn aside from the truth; he never deceives.

4. Blessed—(Ps 1:1; 2:12).

respecteth—literally, "turns towards," as an object of confidence.

turn aside—from true God and His law to falsehood in worship and conduct.

4 Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

5 Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

Psalm 40:4

"Blessed." This is an exclamation similar to that of thePsa 1:1-6, "Oh, the happiness of the man." God's blessings are emphatic, "I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed," indeed and in very truth. "Is that man that maketh the Lord his trust." Faith obtaineth promises. A simple, single-eyed confidence in God is the sure mark of blessedness. A man may be as poor as Lazarus, as hated as Mordecai, as sick as Hezekiah, as lonely as Elijah, but while his hand of faith can keep its hold on God, none of his outward afflictions can prevent his being numbered among the blessed but the wealthiest and most prosperous man who has no faith is accursed, be he who he may. "And respecteth not the proud." The proud expect all men to bow down and do them reverence, as if the worship of the golden calves were again set up in Israel; but believing mean are too noble to honour mere money-bags, or cringe before bombastic dignity. The righteous pay their respect to humble goodness, rather than to inflated self-consequence. Our Lord Jesus was in this our bright example. No flattery of kings and great ones ever fell from his lips; he gave no honour to dishonourable men. The haughty were never his favourites. "Nor such as turn aside to lies." Heresies and idolatries are lies, and so are avarice, worldliness, and pleasure-seeking. Woe to those who follow such deceptions. Our Lord was ever both the truth and the lover of truth, and the father of lies had no part in him. We must never pay deference to apostates, time-servers, and false teachers; they are an ill leaven, and the more we purge ourselves of them the better; they are blessed whom God preserves from all error in creed and practice. Judged by this verse, many apparently happy persons must be the reverse of blessed, for anything in the shape of a purse, a fine equipage, or a wealthy establishment, commands their reverence, whether the owner be a rake or a saint, an idiot or a philosopher. Verily, were the arch-fiend of hell to start a carriage and pair, and live like a lord, he would have thousands who would court his acquaintance.

Psalm 40:5

"Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done." Creation, providence, and redemption, teem with wonders as the sea with life. Our special attention is called by this passage to the marvels which cluster around the cross and flash from it. The accomplished redemption achieves many ends, and compasses a variety of designs; the outgoing of the atonement are not to be reckoned up, the influences of the cross reach further than the beams of the sun. Wonders of grace beyond all enumeration take their rise from the cross; adoption, pardon, justification, and a long chain of godlike miracles of love proceed from it. Note that our Lord here speaks of the Lord as "my God." The man Christ Jesus claimed for himself and us a covenant relationship with Jehovah. Let our interest in our God be ever to us our peculiar treasure. "And thy thoughts which are to us-ward." The divine thoughts march with the divine acts, for it is not according to God's wisdom to act without deliberation and counsel. All the divine thoughts are good and gracious towards his elect. God's thoughts of love are very many, very wonderful very practical! Muse on them, dear reader; no sweeter subject ever occupied your mind. God's thoughts of you are many, let not yours be few in return. "They cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee." Their sum is so great as to forbid alike analysis and numeration. Human minds fail to measure, or to arrange in order, the Lord's ways and thoughts; and it must always be so, for he hath said, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." No maze to lose oneself in like the labyrinth of love. How sweet to be outdone, overcome and overwhelmed by the astonishing grace of the Lord our God! "If I would declare and speak of them," and surely this should be the occupation of my tongue at all seasonable opportunities, "they are more than can be numbered;" far beyond all human arithmetic they are multiplied; thoughts from all eternity, thoughts of my fall, my restoration, my redemption, my conversion, my pardon, my upholding, my perfecting, my eternal reward; the list is too long for writing, and the value of the mercies too great for estimation. Yet, if we cannot show forth all the works of the Lord, let us not make this an excuse for silence; for our Lord, who is in this our best example, often spake of the tender thoughts of the great Father.

His trust, i.e. his only trust or refuge, as appears from the following words: q.d. I said, many shall trust in the Lord; and they shall not be losers by it, nor disappointed of their hope, but they are and shall be blessed.

Respecteth not. Heb. looketh not towards, to wit, with love and delight, and desire to imitate them; or with confidence and expectation of relief from thence, as this phrase is oft used, as Psalm 25:15 69:3 121:1 141:8, and as the opposition of this clause to the foregoing seems to imply.

The proud or, the mighty, i.e. the great and proud potentates of the world, to whom most men are apt to look and trust, and in whom the psalmist forbids us to put our trust, Psalm 146:3.

Such as turn aside, to wit, from God, in whom alone they ought to trust.

To lies, i.e. to lying vanities, such as worldly power, and wisdom, and riches, and all other earthly things or persons in which men are prone to trust; which are called lies here, and Psalm 4:2 62:9 Micah 1:14, and elsewhere, because they promise more than they can perform. See also Psalm 7:14 119:18 Hosea 10:13 12:1.

Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust,.... For such are safe and secure in him, are possessed of all blessings of grace through him, have peace in their own souls now, and shall enjoy eternal happiness with him hereafter;

and respecteth not the proud; such as the Pharisees, and all self-righteous persons, who trust in themselves and their own righteousness, submit not to the righteousness of Christ, and despise others; to these such who trust in Christ have no respect; they neither esteem them, nor imitate them;

nor such as turn aside to lies; to idols, the lying vanities of the Gentiles; or to any doctrines injurious to the person, office, blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and grace of Christ; which are no other than lies, and which those who believe in Christ have no respect to, but abhor both them and the abettors of them.

Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth {d} not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

(d) To follow their example, which he must do who trusts not only in the Lord.

4. Happy is the man that hath mada Jehovah his trust,

And hath not turned unto the arrogant, and false apostates.

The word for man is that used in Psalm 34:8, where see note. For the opposite to ‘making Jehovah the object of trust’ see Psalm 52:7.

respecteth not] Rather, as above, hath not turned unto: non est aversus ad … Jerome. The word is specially used of turning away from God to idols or false objects of confidence (Dunt. 29:18; Hosea 3:1; Ezekiel 29:16).

the proud &c.] The word for ‘proud’ suggests the idea of overbearing arrogance and ostentatious self-assertion: ‘such as turn aside to lies’, or as R.V. marg., fall away treacherously, are those who desert God and the right cause for false objects of reliance and false aims. Idolatry does not appear to be meant, at any rate exclusively. Happy the man who is not misled by appearances to despise God’s help, and seek the patronage of worldly men who boast of their own power.

4, 5. The blessedness of such a trust.

Verse 4. - Blessed is that man (rather, the man) that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud; or, turneth not to the proud - does not go over to their party or espouse their principles. Absalom's adherents are probably the persons intended. Nor such as turn aside to lies; i.e. "prefer falsehood to truth," the cause of the ungodly to that of God himself. Psalm 40:4David, who, though not without some hesitation, we regard as the author, now finds himself in a situation in which, on the one hand, he has just been rescued from danger, and, on the other, is still exposed to peril. Under such circumstances praise rightly occupies the first place, as in general, according to Psalm 50:23, gratitude is the way to salvation. His hope, although תּוחלת ממשּׁכה (Proverbs 13:12), has not deceived him; he is rescued, and can now again sing a new song of thanksgiving, an example for others, strengthening their trust. קוּה קוּיתי, I waited with constancy and perseverance. יהוה is the accusative as in Psalm 25:5; Psalm 130:5, and not the vocative as in Psalm 39:8. אזנו is to be supplied in thought to ויּט, although after the analogy of Psalm 17:6; Psalm 31:3, one might have looked for the Hiph. wayaT instead of the Kal. בור שׁאון does not mean a pit of roaring (of water), since שׁאון standing alone (see, on the other hand, Psalm 65:8, Isaiah 17:12.) has not this meaning; and, moreover, "rushing, roaring" (Hengstenberg), tumultuous waters of a pit or a cistern does not furnish any idea that is true to nature; neither does it mean a pit of falling in, since שׁאה does not exhibit the signification deorsum labi; but the meaning is: a pit of devastation, of destruction, of ruin (Jeremiah 25:31; Jeremiah 46:17), vid., supra on Psalm 35:8. Another figure is "mire of the marsh" (יון found only here and in Psalm 69:3), i.e., water, in the miry bottom of which one can find no firm footing - a combination like מטר־גּשׁם, Zechariah 10:1, אדמת־עפר, Daniel 12:2, explained in the Mishna, Mikvaoth ix. 2, by טיט הבורות (mire of the cisterns). Taking them out of this, Jahve placed his feet upon a rock, established his footsteps, i.e., removed him from the danger which surrounded him, and gave him firm ground under his feet. The high rock and the firm footsteps are the opposites of the deep pit and the yielding miry bottom. This deliverance afforded him new matter for thanksgiving (cf. Psalm 33:3), and became in his mouth "praise to our God;" for the deliverance of the chosen king is an act of the God of Israel on behalf of His chosen people. The futures in Psalm 40:4 (with an alliteration similar to Psalm 52:8) indicate, by their being thus cumulative, that they are intended of the present and of that which still continues in the future.
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