Righteous are you, O LORD, when I plead with you: yet let me talk with you of your judgments: Why does the way of the wicked prosper?…
I. WHY GOD SEES FIT TO AFFLICT HIS CHILDREN BY THE DISPENSATIONS OF HIS PROVIDENCE.
1. God sometimes afflicts His children to reclaim them from their delusions in religion. They are naturally bent to backsliding.
2. God sometimes afflicts His children to try their sincerity, and give them an opportunity of knowing their own hearts.
3. God sometimes afflicts His children for the purpose of displaying the beauty and excellence of true religion before the eyes of the world. In some cases, at least, we can hardly discover any other important end to be answered by afflicting His peculiar friends, than this, of displaying their superior virtue and piety.
II. WHY THEY ARE DISPOSED TO CONVERSE WITH HIM UNDER HIS AFFLICTING HAND.
1. Because they want to know why He afflicts them.
2. They wish to know how they should feel and conduct themselves in their afflicted state.
3. They desire to obtain Divine support and consolation.
III. WHAT METHODS THEY TAKE TO CONVERSE WITH GOD IN TIME OF TROUBLE.
1. By meditating upon the history of His providence.
2. By reviewing the course of His conduct towards themselves through all the past scenes and stages of their lives.
3. By prayer, while they are suffering His fatherly chastisements. For this they are greatly prepared, by musing on His past and present dispensations towards themselves and others. These fill their mouths with arguments, and constrain them to draw near to God, and make known their wants and desires, their hopes and fears. This subject may teach the children of God —
(1) to restrain their unreasonable expectations of outward prosperity in the present life.
(2) That adversity may be much more beneficial to them than prosperity.
(3) This subject exhibits a peculiar and distinguishing mark of grace, by which everyone may determine whether he is or is not a real child of God. It is the habitual disposition of the true children of God to converse with Him from day to day, under all the various dispensations of His providence.
(N. Emmons, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?