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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms
Psalms 112

 

 

Verses 1-10

Psalm 112:1-10.

V:1. It should be remarked, that the Septuagint place the word " Hallelujah," as the title to this and similar psalms. " This Psalm is composed after " the very same manner with the former; and seems in" tended for a short commentary upon the last verse of it." Bp. Patrick. The wise man is happy : the fear of the " LORD is the beginning of wisdom." Where the true fear of God possesses the heart, the man will love God"s commandments, greatly delight in obeying them, and only grieve that he " cannot do the things that he would : " and in proportion he will be happy in this world, and he will be perfectly happy in heaven for ever.

(Notes, Psalm 1:1-3. Psalm 119:1-6. John 4:31-34. Romans 7:22-25. Galatians 5:16-18; Galatians 5:17. 1 John 5:1-3.)

V:2 , 3. It is probable, that Lot thought of enriching his family, when he chose the fertile plains of wicked Sodom; yet the event was very different : but Abraham " feared " the LORD, and delighted greatly in his commandments; " and his descendants were " mighty on earth : " (Notes, Genesis 13:8-12; Genesis 14:1-24; Genesis 18:18-19.) And thus it will generally be, in every age, with the posterity of those who imitate the father of the faithful; and their disinterested and liberal conduct shall prove, in the event, a far preferable inheritance laid up for their children, than gold and silver, houses and lands, would have been.

(Notes, Psalm 37:25-26. Psalm 111:9-10. Proverbs 3:16-17; Proverbs 12:3; Proverbs 15:6; Proverbs 20:7. Isaiah 514- 8. Matthew 6:33-34. Romans 5:1-2; Romans 8:35-39. 1 Corinthians 3:18-23. 2 Corinthians 6:3-10. 1 Timothy 4:6-10; 1 Timothy 6:6-10.)

V:4. The upright believer is a follower, or imitator, of his God and Saviour, especially in kindness, and compassion, and equity. (Marg. Ref.) " The Christian"s " temper is framed after the pattern of his Master; and he " is ever ready to shew to others, that love and mercy which " have been shewn to him." Bp. Home. In this world, even men of this character may and will have darkness, or affliction; but light, or comfort, and joy, will arise in the midst of it. (Notes, Psalm 34:15-20. Psalm 37:27-38. Psalm 97:11. Romans 5:3-5.)

V:5. (Marg. Ref.) " He leads the most comfortable " life, who ...supplies the needs of others; giving to one, " and lending to another, as occasion serves : and yet " ordering all his affairs so judiciously, that he doth not " impair, but rather maintain, the good estate of his own " family." Bp. Patrick. This sentiment, which our translation establishes, is very beautiful and scriptural : yet the original words do not obviously convey it; but rather, that the upright man conducts all his concerns with" judgment," or equity. (Marg.) He is first just, then liberal. Each of the interpretations conveys its appropriate instruction. " He who thus employeth his talents for the benefit " of mankind, will be able to render a good account to his " Lord who intrusleth them with him." Bp.Horne. Lendeth.] Notes, Deuteronomy 15:9-10. Proverbs 6:1-5. Luke 6:27-38.

V:6. The Prayer of Manasseh , of whom the Psalmist spake, possessed the " things which accompany salvation," and would therefore most surely be " kept by the power of God through " faith," to the eternal enjoyment of it. (Notes, Psalm 37:23-24. Hebrews 6:9-10. 1 Peter 1:3-5.) < When his work " is done, his body will go to its repose in the dust; but " the " memorial " of his name and good deeds will be still " fresh as the morning breeze, and fragrant as the flower of the spring." Bp. Home. (Marg. Ref. Notes, Proverbs 10:7 - Matthew 26:6-13.) It Isaiah , however, in heaven alone, that all persons of this character will be remembered, and that for ever.

V:7 Dismaying fear of outward calamities, or even of death and judgment, arises, either from entire unbelief, or from weakness of faith and want of assured hope : and i hese are frequently the effect of a comparatively negligent Mid unfruitful conduct. But the character here described is strong in faith and hope, and very diligent and fruitful;;md thus exempted from those terrors which distress others. (Notes, Psalm 11:1-5. Psalm 27:1-3; Psalm 56:3-4. Proverbs 18:10-11; Proverbs 28:1. Isaiah 26: 3 , 4. Matthew 8:23-27.)

V:8. " No tidings of calamity and destruction can shake " his confidence in God; but he will hear the trump of " God, and behold the world in flames, rather with joy " than with dread; as knowing, by those tokens, that the " hour of his redemption is come, when he shall see his " enemies, and even death, the last of them, under his " feet." Bp. Home. Desire.] Note, Psalm 92:11 .

V:9. Marg. Ref. Notes, Proverbs 11:24-25. Ecclesiastes 11:1-6; Isaiah 585- 12; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. Hebrews 6:9-10. " He hath dispersed, and given to the poor : " " Dispersed " like precious seed, with prudence and discretion, accord- " ing to the nature of the soil, and in proper season, so " as to produce the most plentiful harvest. Therefore " his " " righteousness endureth for ever; " its fruits and its " good report are lasting among men; and it is never for" gotten before God." Bp. Home.

V:10. The word, rendered " grieved," is literally enraged : and it may be easily conceived, how persecutors especially will be filled with rage and madness, when they witness the final triumph, and exalted honour, and complete felicity, of the very persons whom they most implacably hate, connected with the entire and final disappointment of all their hopes, and the blackness of misery and despair. {Marg. Ref. Notes, Matthew 8:10-12; Matthew 5:12. Luke 13:22-30; Luke 5:28.)

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS.

The blessed Redeemer so delighted in the commandments of the Lord, that it was his meat to obey them perfectly, in the midst of temptation and sufferings. (Note, John 4:31-34.) His true disciples, whom he owns as brethren, share his unsearchable riches and his everlasting righteousness; and, being blessed in him, according to the degree of their faith and grace, they bear his image and tread in his steps. They are taught to fear the Lord, as well as to love and praise him; and they delight greatly in the law of God, though not able perfectly to obey it. Blessings are laid up for them and their posterity; and as much of this world"s possessions as can be profitable to them. In their darkest hours, the light of hope and peace springs up within them, and seasonable relief, from time to time, in answer to their prayers, turns their mourning into joy and thankful praises. From their Lord"s example, they learn to be " gracious and full of ompassion," as well as just in all their dealings : they shew favour, and give or lend to the poor and needy, as occasion requires and ability is afforded; and they are instructed to employ frugality and discretion in their affairs, as means of being enabled to exercise liberality. But as they should not dissipate their substance in needless expense, nor bury their talent in a napkin; so they ought not to give it away at random, but to disperse their bounty, (as the husbandman does his seed,) in that measure and manner, which is likely to produce the most good to mankind. But alas ! it must be owned that only some, nay but few, of those, who contend zealously for the doctrines of the gospel, exhibit such a character as is here drawn; especially in imitating the Saviour"s compassionate, self-denying, liberal love : and it is worthy of enquiry, whether the fears, and doubts, and complaints, of which we hear more at present than of " the voice of " joy and praise," and the language of unshaken confidence in God amidst dangers and alarms, do not arise from this source. The Lord deals with such persons, as they do with the poor; he metes to them their own measure t and no wonder they have but little comfort, who do so little to make their brethren comfortable; and but little confidence, who are so deficient in scriptural evidences of conversion. But those, who shew their faith by their works, in the way and degree here described, most certainly have a " righteousness which endureth for ever," and they shall never be separated from the love of God their Saviour. Envy and detraction may for a time hide their true characters; but " they shall be had in everlasting remembrance." They need not, and ought not, to be " afraid " of evil tidings:" and by steadfastly trusting in the Lord, they rise above terror, when they hear of wars, pestilences, earthquakes, or famines; and even at the approach of death, and in the day of judgment, they shall have confidence. Then they will behold their enemies confounded and condemned : the fruits and evidences of their faith and love will be produced before men and angels, and their horn shall be exalted with eternal honour. (Notes, Matthew 25:31-40.) But their felicity will increase the torment of the wicked, who shall " gnash with their teeth and consume away;" while all their desires and expectations shall close in eternal disappointment and despair. Lord, form us by thy grace to the character of thy redeemed people, that we may possess their unspeakable felicity !

 


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Bibliography Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 112:4". Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsp/psalms-112.html. 1804.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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