Blessed is the man whom you chasten, O LORD, and teach him out of your law;…
It alters everything when we can see our trouble to be Divine chastening. Look on it as human oppression, the masterfulness of unprincipled magistrates, the persecution of an idolatrous Jezebel, the scheme of those who cherish enmity against the righteous, anti our trouble is hard to bear; everything noble in us rises up to resist. But have a supreme faith in God; feel sure of his comprehensive ruling; apprehend that he works for the highest moral ends, and uses even the self-will and the wrong doing of men as agents in the accomplishing of his loving purposes; - and then the soul goes down into the quietness of a holy submission, and out of its enduring sings its songs of hope, even as apostles sang their joy in God when in the dungeon at Philippi. We can never read life aright until we can fully receive the idea of the Divine chastening. "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and seourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Illustration may be found in God's dealings with his ancient people. In Egypt, in the days of the judges, and in the age of the later kings, we find what, at first sight, seem to be pure calamities. But we are helped to read them aright, and then we see that they are chastenings, designed to secure the moulding and the correcting of God's people. See also the story of the patriarch Job. There, too, we have calamities, but we are taught to see in them chastenings, and chastenings of the highest order, not meant to secure mere correction, but designed to effect the noblest spiritual culture.
I. WE MAY MISTAKE IF WE READ THE TRIUMPH OF THE WICKED FROM BELOW. That is, as those actually crushed down under it. Suffering prevents both right feeling and right thinking.
II. WE MAY MISTAKE IF WE READ THE TRIUMPH OF THE WICKED FROM THE LEVEL. That is, as those who are not suffering themselves, but are watching the depressions and woes of God's people. So far as earthly issues are concerned, we can see no good in the trouble. Indeed, evil seems better off than good.
III. WE CAN ONLY READ THE TRIUMPH OF THE WICKED FROM ABOVE. From God's point of view. Then we can see how things fit, and what things work towards. The wicked are only his staff with which he chastises his children for their good. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;