Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, so that he abhorred his own inheritance.…
The design of the whole psalm is to awaken the people to a lively consciousness of the truth, that though there is much of sin in us, there is much more of grace in God; that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Suggests -
I. GOD LOVES ALL HIS CREATURES, BUT HATES THEIR SINS. (Ver. 40.) That is, he makes us feel sensible that he is forever opposed to our evil conduct, and creates in us a terror of the consequences of our sins - the punishment they entail.
II. PART OF THE PUNISHMENT OF SIN IS THAT WE ARE GIVEN OVER TO ITS TYRANNY. (Ver. 41.) Give ourselves over. This is a natural consequence, a Divine law of our constitution, and is a galling and terrible penalty of the habit of transgression. Our passions come thus to rule over us, instead of our ruling over them.
III. WHEN WE ATTEMPT TO RESIST THIS TYRANNY, WE FIND THAT OUR SLAVERY IS MORE OPPRESSIVE THAN WE THOUGHT. (Ver. 42). Men often may make some effort to break off from evil ways, but discover that they are under a heavier bondage to their sins than they had supposed. This, too, is a part of the punishment of sin - its enfeebling, debilitating influence.
IV. MEN WHOM GOD SEEMS TO HAVE DELIVERED FROM THEIR SINS, AFTER A TIME RETURN TO THEIR FORMER INIQUITY. (Ver. 43.) They are then brought low, or impoverished, or weakened - lower than they were before, because now they begin to lose all hope of recovery. House "swept and garnished" is prepared for the return of sevenfold powers of evil, that rule more absolutely than ever.
V. SUCH HELPLESS MISERY EXCITES THE DIVINE COMPASSION. (Ver. 44.) "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." God pities those whom he cannot save - because of their unwillingness. "How often would I have gathered thee as a hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"
VI. GOD DOES NOT REPENT TILL MEN REPENT. (Ver. 45) God does not change his laws to relieve the disobedient from suffering; but when they change from disobedience to obedience, the result is so great that God seems to them to have changed. To row against the current and to row with the current seems like rowing upon a different river. - S.
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.