Blessed is the man whom you chasten, O LORD, and teach him out of your law;…
I. THE QUALITIES OF THE MAN HERE BLESSED BY THE PROPHET.
1. He is chastised of God.
(1) This must teach us patience when we are wronged, injured and oppressed in any sort by evil men, because then being under them we are under God's rod.
(2) It is a doctrine of singular comfort to the children of God being in the hands of their cruel and crafty adversaries, because their adversaries also are in the hands of God, as a rod in the hand of the smiter.
2. He is taught of God in His law. If in our affliction we will learn anything, we must take God's Book into our hands, and seriously peruse it. And hereby shall it appear that our afflictions have been our teachers, if by them we have felt ourselves stirred up to greater diligence, zeal, and reverence in reading and hearing the Word.
3. The lessons which affliction teacheth.
(1) Those who are yet to be converted. They by their afflictions are taught this one worthy lesson, worth all the lessons in the world; namely, to convert and turn to the Lord, to repent and believe the Gospel.
(2) The second kind of lessons taught by affliction is to those already converted. Concerning the right manner of bearing affliction. Concerning the right profit and holy use of afflictions. These lessons are proper to the converted, it being impossible for a man unconverted to leave either of them.
II. THE BLESSEDNESS WHICH BELONGETH TO THE CHILD OF GOD.
1. The first kind of blessedness I call privative, because it consisteth in taking away of that curse which naturally cleaves to all afflictions.
2. There is also a positive blessedness in the afflictions of the godly. There is not only the absence of evil from affliction, but good also is present, in regard whereof the afflicted worthily are called and counted blessed.
(1) The good from whence they have their original; namely, the love of God disposing these afflictions to us.
(2) The good annexed to them, and necessarily concomitant with them. Our conformity with Christ our elder brother, who first suffered, and then entered into glory, who first wore a crown of thorns, and then of glory; who first felt the weight of His burdensome cross, and then that eternal weight of happiness (Romans 8:29). Our communion with Christ who is a fellow-sufferer with us in all our afflictions, unless such wherein we suffer as evil-doers (1 Peter 4:18). The powerful presence of God's Spirit, cheering and comforting us in our affliction. Blessedness is nothing else but enjoying sweet communion with God. Now, since this communion is most of all enjoyed in affliction, worthily are the afflicted counted blessed.
(3) The good confirmed to us by them. The present good is our adoption, whereof they are assured pledges and badges unto us (Hebrews 12.). Good which afflictions confirm unto us is future. And that twofold.(i.) In this life, an enlargement of comforts both inward and outward, even answerable to the measure of afflictions.(ii.) In the life to come. "If we suffer with Him," etc. Thus were the martyrs blessed in their afflictions, blessed in their martyrdom, God honouring them like Elias, sending for them, as M. Bradford speaks, to heaven in a fiery chariot. Thus we see how in every respect the afflicted are to be accounted blessed.
(D. Dyke, B.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;