Psalm 94:12
Blessed is the man whom you chasten, O LORD, and teach him out of your law;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12, 13) Blessed.—A far higher note than one of mere complaint, or even of trust in God, is struck here. The beatitude of suffering could not be made altogether plain in the Old Testament, though in Job the spirit of it is nearly reached. Here the poet sees thus far, that he who is the victim of misfortunes may be congratulated if he may stand aside and calmly watch the course of Divine Providence involving evil men in punishment. What he has himself endured has chastened him, and caused him to be quiet from the evil daysi.e., has calmed him in viewing evil circumstances. It would, however, but for the next clause, be more natural to understand, “shall deliver him from evil days.”

Pit.—Comp. Psalm 9:15.

Psalm 94:12-13. Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest — Not he that prospers in his wickedness is happy, but he whom the Lord chasteneth when he acts amiss, and thereby teaches to study and obey his law with the greater care and diligence. That thou mayest give him rest, &c. — For the present and short troubles of the righteous prepare them for, and lead them to, true rest and blessedness, while the seeming felicity of the wicked makes way for those tremendous judgments which God hath prepared for them.94:12-23 That man is blessed, who, under the chastening of the Lord, is taught his will and his truths, from his holy word, and by the Holy Spirit. He should see mercy through his sufferings. There is a rest remaining for the people of God after the days of their adversity, which shall not last always. He that sends the trouble, will send the rest. The psalmist found succour and relief only in the Lord, when all earthly friends failed. We are beholden, not only to God's power, but to his pity, for spiritual supports; and if we have been kept from falling into sin, or shrinking from our duty, we should give him the glory, and encourage our brethren. The psalmist had many troubled thoughts concerning the case he was in, concerning the course he should take, and what was likely to be the end of it. The indulgence of such contrivances and fears, adds to care and distrust, and renders our views more gloomy and confused. Good men sometimes have perplexed and distressed thoughts concerning God. But let them look to the great and precious promises of the gospel. The world's comforts give little delight to the soul, when hurried with melancholy thoughts; but God's comforts bring that peace and pleasure which the smiles of the world cannot give, and which the frowns of the world cannot take away. God is his people's Refuge, to whom they may flee, in whom they are safe, and may be secure. And he will reckon with the wicked. A man cannot be more miserable than his own wickedness will make him, if the Lord visit it upon him.Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord - "Happy the man;" or "Oh the blessedness of the man." See the notes at Psalm 1:1. The word here rendered "chastenest" does not mean to chasten in the sense of afflicting or punishing. It means here to instruct; to warn; to admonish; to exhort. So the word is employed in Proverbs 9:7; Job 4:3; Psalm 16:7. The meaning here is, that the man is blessed or happy whom God so "instructs, warns, or teaches," that he understands the principles of the divine administration. Such a man will see reasons for confidence in him in trouble, and for calmness of mind until punishment is brought upon his enemies.

And teachest him out of thy law - Causest him, from thy word, to understand the great principles of thy government.

12, 13. On the other hand He favors though He chastens, the pious, and will teach and preserve them till the prosperous wicked are overthrown.12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law;

13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.

14 For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will be forsake his inheritance.

15 But judgment shall return unto righteousness; and all the upright in heart shall follow it.

Psalm 94:12

"Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord." The Psalmist's mind is growing quiet. He no longer complains to God or argues with men, but tunes his harp to softer melodies, for his faith perceives that with the most afflicted believer all is well. Though he may not feel blessed while smarting under the rod of chastisement, yet blessed he is; he is precious in God's sight, or the Lord would not take the trouble to correct him, and right happy will the results of his correction be. The Psalmist calls the chastened one a "man" in the best sense, using the Hebrew word which implies strength. He is a man, indeed, who is under the teaching and training of the Lord. "And teachest him out of thy law." The book and the rod, the law and the chastening, go together, and are made doubly useful by being found in connection. Affliction without the word is a furnace for the metal, but there is no flux to aid the purifying; the word of God supplies that need, and makes the fiery trial effectual. After all, the blessing of God belongs far rather to those who suffer under the divine hand than to those who make others suffer; better far to lie and cry out as a "man" under the hand of our heavenly Father, than to roar and rave as a brute, and to bring down upon one's self a death blow from the destroyer of evil. The afflicted believer is under tuition, he is in training for something higher and better, and all that he meets with is working out his highest good, therefore is he a blessed man, however much his outward circumstances may argue the reverse.

Psalm 94:13

"That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked." The chastening hand and instructive book are sanctified to us, so that we learn to rest in the Lord. We see that his end is our everlasting benefit, and therefore abide quiet under all trying providences and bitter persecutions, waiting our time. The Mighty Hunter is preparing the pit for the brutish ones; they are prowling about at this time, and tearing the sheep, but they will soon be captured and destroyed, therefore the people of the Lord learn to rest in days of adversity, and tarry the leisure of their God. Wicked men may not yet be ripe for punishment, nor punishment ready for them; hell is a prepared place for a prepared people; as days of grace ripen saints for glory, so days of wantonness help sinners to rot into the corruption of eternal destruction.

Psalm 94:14

"For the Lord will not cast off his people." He may cast them down, but he never can cast them off. During fierce persecutions the saints have been apt to think that the Lord had left his own sheep, and given them over to the wolf; but it has never been so, nor shall it ever be, for the Lord will not withdraw his love, "neither will he forsake his inheritance." For a time he may leave his own with the design of benefiting them thereby, yet never can he utterly desert them.

"He may chasten and correct,

But he never can neglect;

May in faithfulness reprove,

But he ne'er can cease to love."

continued...

And whereas these ungodly persons esteem themselves the only happy men, and conclude thy people to be of all men the most miserable, because of the manifold persecutions and afflictions which they commonly suffer, and upon this account dispute against thy providence, so far is their opinion from the truth, that the contrary is most certain, that as their prosperity is a real mischief to them, so those afflictions of good men which are accompanied with Divine instructions are great and true blessings to them, themselves being judges. Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord,.... Much more happy now, and hereafter, than the proud insulting persecutor of him; he is chastened of the Lord, that he might not be condemned with the world; he is chastened not in wrath, but in love; not with the chastisement of a cruel one, nor indeed of a magistrate nor a master; but of a tenderhearted father, who always does it for his profit and advantage, and therefore is he "blessed", or happy; for these chastenings are tokens of God's love, evidences of sonship, or of a man's being an adopted child of God; are for, and do work for good, either temporal, spiritual, or eternal, and even in every sense; and, besides, the Lord grants his presence in them, supports under them, and teaches by them, as follows:

and teachest him out of thy law; or "doctrine" (f); and may be understood of the doctrine of the Gospel, as well as of the law; the Lord teaches by his Spirit, his word, and providences; and, even by afflictive ones, he teaches men their sins and transgressions, and shows them wherein they have exceeded; brings them to a sense and confession of them, repentance and reformation; he teaches them hereby their duty, both to himself and all men, which they have neglected, and departed from; he teaches many lessons of faith, patience, humility, self-denial, and submission to his will in the school of affliction; here they learn much of God, of his power and faithfulness, truth, goodness, grace, and love, and of evangelical doctrines; of his everlasting love, of eternal election, the covenant of grace, the righteousness of Christ, and salvation by him; which the Lord makes known unto them at such seasons, and on which account they are pronounced blessed, or happy persons.

(f) "ex lege", sc. "doctrina verbi tui", Michaelis.

Blessed is the man whom thou {h} chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

(h) God has care over his, and chastised them for their own good, that they should not perish for ever with the wicked.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12, 13. Happy the man whom thou instructest, Jah,

And teachest out of thy law,

To give him rest from the days of evil,

Until a pit be dug for the wicked.

Israel, as well as the nations (Psalm 94:10) is being divinely educated, and that with a higher teaching, the teaching of revelation. This will give him such an insight into the ways of God’s Providence, as will enable him to endure calmly, without murmuring or losing heart, until the day of retribution overtakes the wicked. Cp. Habakkuk 3:16. The A.V. rendering chastenest limits the meaning of the verb, which is the same as that in Psalm 94:10. But doubtless it includes the discipline of suffering which Israel was undergoing. Cp. Job 5:17; Proverbs 3:11-12. The conception of life as a discipline and education is specially characteristic of the Book of Proverbs. The wise man welcomes it, but the fool rebels against it. Thy law is not limited to the Pentateuch or any part of it, but is synonymous with the word of Jehovah, and includes all Divine revelation as the guide of life (Psalm 1:2). The days of evil, or, of the evil man, are the times when wrong and wrong-doers seem to have undisputed sway. Cp. Psalm 49:5.

until a pit &c.] Until the day of retribution comes, as it certainly will do; a metaphor from the pitfalls used by hunters. Cp. Psalm 7:15; Psalm 35:7; Psalm 57:6.

12–15. The Psalmist consoles himself and his fellow-sufferers with the thought that they are being educated by God, and that, sooner or later, Right must have its rights.Verses 12-19. - The blessedness of the righteous. The psalmist proceeds to console and comfort himself by considering in how many ways the righteous man is blessed.

1. God chastises him.

2. God teaches him.

3. God gives him a time of rest.

4. God never forsakes him.

5. God judges him righteously.

6. God helps him against evil doers (vers. 16, 17).

7. God upholds him when he is in danger of falling.

8. God inwardly comforts his soul. Verse 12. - Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord. The blessedness of chastening appears in Deuteronomy 7:5; 2 Samuel 7:14, 15; Job 5:17; Psalm 89:32, 33; Proverbs 3:12; and is the main point of Elihu's teaching in Job 33:15-30. It is not, as some have argued, entirely a New Testament doctrine. Unassisted human reason might discover it. Greek poets noted the connection between παθεῖν and μαθεῖν. Our own great dramatist draws upon his experience when he says-

"Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Bears yet a precious jewel in his head."
And teachest him out of thy Law. The existence of "the Law," and the general knowledge of it by God's people, is assumed here, as elsewhere in the Psalms (see especially Psalm 119.). Also it is assumed that "the Law" is a revelation from God. The second strophe describes those over whom the first prays that the judgment of God may come. הבּיע (cf. הטּיף) is a tropical phrase used of that kind of speech that results from strong inward impulse and flows forth in rich abundance. The poet himself explains how it is here (cf. Psalm 59:8) intended: they speak עתק, that which is unrestrained, unbridled, insolent (vid., Psalm 31:19). The Hithpa. התאמּר Schultens interprets ut Emiri (Arab. 'mı̂r, a commander) se gerunt; but אמיר signifies in Hebrew the top of a tree (vid., on Isaiah 17:9); and from the primary signification to tower aloft, whence too אמר, to speak, prop. effere equals effari, התאמּר, like התימּר in Isaiah 61:6, directly signifies to exalt one's self, to carry one's self high, to strut. On ודכּאוּ cf. Proverbs 22:22; Isaiah 3:15; and on their atheistical principle which ויּאמרוּ places in closest connection with their mode of action, cf. Psalm 10:11; Psalm 59:8 extrem. The Dagesh in יּהּ, distinct from the Dag. in the same word in Psalm 94:12, Psalm 118:5, Psalm 118:18, is the Dag. forte conjunct. according to the rule of the so-called דחיק.
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