By Henry Law
Two very diverse views appear. The wickedness of the wicked is very vile. The glory of God shines brightly. May our thoughts rise from earth and rest in heaven!
1. "Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God to restrain them."
There is obscurity in these words; but the truth they seem to teach is, that sin has a voice. It loudly speaks in the vile sinner's course, and the godly have intelligence to hear. Within their heart the echo sounds, that the transgressor does not fear God. Dreadful is this state. The Lord of all power and might is ignored and is defied.
2, 3, 4. "For he flatters himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity is found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit; he has left off to be wise, and to do good. He devises mischief upon his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he abhors not evil."
Dark colors are here laid. Conscience is steeped in deadness. The wicked clings to self-deception until discovery reveals his guilt. He shuns the path of holy wisdom. In secret hours he plots iniquity. He devises schemes of evil. No holy dread restrains him from commission. The evil thoughts bear fruits of evil life.
5. "Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds."
The eye of faith turns quickly from the hateful scene. It seeks relief in God. It looks above, and rejoices in sights of glory. Mercy is seen. It sits enthroned in heaven. It reigns supreme to bless God's happy children. By its side is God's unfailing truth. It pierces the clouds. It is co-inhabitant of the heaven of heavens. Let us delight to lift our gaze, and see mercy and truth pouring down blessings on us!
6. "Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast."
Eternal righteousness rules all God's dealings. Ofttimes we are perplexed. We cannot understand the purpose. But nothing can cause God's righteousness to waver. It is fairly rooted as the everlasting hills. It is far easier to uproot their base than to subvert His equity. The orderings of His rule are far beyond our power to fathom. The lines of reason cannot descend into the deep abyss. But all is well. It is our wisdom to trust His heart, when we are too weak to trace His dealings. We see a gracious hand preserves all living beings. The least of His creatures receive food. His care will not fail us.
7. "How excellent is Your lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings."
No tongue can adequately praise God's loving mercies. They exceed all praise. They are inscribed on providential dealings. They are written in letters of gold throughout the Gospel-page. Who in the Spirit's light can see the Cross, and not exclaim, Our God is Love! Attractive power goes forth, and allures to Him for shelter from every enemy; for comfort at every moment. May our chosen home be shelter by His side!
8. "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Your house; and You shall make them drink of the river of Your pleasures."
What precious joys await true faith! A feast is spread, super-abounding in spiritual delight. The Word, the promises, the ordinances present enriching food. A river never dry, ever full and ever flowing, invites to constant draughts of pleasure. Let us scorn the broken cistern of this world's vanity, and dwell beside these heavenly streams until we reach the land, in which the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, shall feed us, and shall lead us to living fountains of water.
9. "For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light shall we see light."
In the world is barren emptiness. It holds nothing; therefore, nothing can it yield. But God in Christ is an unfathomable spring of life. Life spiritual and eternal flow in deep streams from Him. Oh! let us drink; let us drink freely and abundantly, and thus live in joy, and live forever.
10, 11, 12. "O continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You; and Your righteousness to the upright in heart. Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me. There are the workers of iniquity fallen; they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise."
Assurance restrains not, but rather quickens, prayer. Continuance of love is sought while it is known that love can never fail. But let it never be forgotten that these prospects belong only to the happy seed, who receive God as reconciled in Christ; who know Him as their Father, and walk before Him in pure truth. While we pray constantly for deliverance from the assaults of wicked men, we may look onward to the time when all their evil shall have ended. They shall fall and never more rise. If we are made to differ, let us sing praises to God's free grace!