Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning…
There have been several different views entertained of the state after death. The realm of departed seals was called by the Hebrews Sheol, or the all-demanding world; by the Greeks Hades, or the unknown world. Practically, either word may be used, since the two simply refer to the same realm looked at under different aspects. To the pagan, Sheol (or Hades) was a dim and grim underworld, with no light beyond. To the Hebrews, Sheol was a dim underworld, with the light at the end - "in the awakening" To the Christian, Hades is a realm of perfect rest in Christ, where the righteous are awaiting the resurrection morn. And we may now set forth the believer's hopes as to that day in far brighter and more vivid tones than were possible to the psalmists and seers of old.
I. THERE WILL BE A RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD. Whether or no the psalmist descried this, we cannot tell; but we do, for Jesus has brought life and incorruption to light through the gospel. He is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the Saviour of the body; and "whosoever liveth and believeth in him shall never die." It will be indeed a glorious "morning" when death shall be swallowed up in victory.
II. JEHOVAH-JESUS WILL THEN BE THE SHEPHERD OF HIS FLOCK. As he was their Shepherd when here, and had guard of them between death and the resurrection, so he will be their Shepherd still, to lead and feed them with his own hand. "The upright" will have no such doleful shepherd as death; they will know nothing of dying. In the loving care of Jesus they will know only life and joy.
III. THEN THOSE WHO HAVE FOLLOWED THE LORD JESUS WILL HAVE THE SUPREMACY. "Many that are last shall be first, and the first last," even within the kingdom. But how much more will this reversal be seen in the case of those who are not in the kingdom at all! Many who were among the great, the high, the noble, of earth will not then be owned by the King; while many a poor but humble Christian, whom the world knew not because it knew him not, will hear a voice saying, "Friend, come up higher." Then many of earth's despised ones shall enter into the presence of the King; they shall sit with him on his throne; and they shall have dominion "in the morning." God will cause "all things" to work together for good to those that love him. Evil may ride high for a time, but it must hide its head at last. And when the wicked are ashamed, the righteous will lift up their heads, for the day of their redemption will have come. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.
WEB: They are appointed as a flock for Sheol. Death shall be their shepherd. The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning. Their beauty shall decay in Sheol, far from their mansion.