Verse 15. "To show that the Lord is upright " - Such persons show how faithful God is to his promises, how true to his word, how kind to them who trust in him. He is the Rock, the Fountain, whence all good comes.
"There is no unrighteousness in him. " - He does nothing evil, nothing unwise, nothing unkind. He is both just and merciful.
ANALYSIS OF THE NINETY-SECOND PSALM
I. A general proposition, ver. 1: "It is good to give thanks to the Lord," &c.; which is explained ver. 2, 3, and applied ver. 4.
II. A particular narration of such works, in which the goodness and faithfulness of God do especially consist, viz., the creation and government of the world, ver. 4, 5. And of the last he gives two instances: - 1. One in wicked men; of their stupidity, ver. 6. Then of their sudden extirpation, ver. 7-9.
2. Another in the godly, whose prosperity is great, ver. 10- 14, and security certain, ver. 15.
I. He begins with a maxim:
1. "It is good," i.e., just, profitable, pleasant, and commendable, "to give thanks to the Lord." 2. "And to sing praises (with heart and tongue) to thy glorious name, O thou Most High." And both parts he explains. 1. That we give thanks at all times, morning and evening, in prosperity and in adversity; and in our praises especially to remember his loving-kindness and faithfulness. These must be the matter of our thanksgiving: "It is good to show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night," ver. 2; and by all manner of means, ver. 3.
And thus the maxim being proposed and explained, he applies it to himself, and shows his own practice, and the reason of it: "For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work; I will triumph in the works of thy hands," ver. 4.
1. "Thou hast made me glad." He was first delighted and affected with God's work.
2. And then he exults and triumphs in it. The heart must be first truly affected with the work of God before a man shall take any true content or delight in it.
II. He had made mention of the works of God; and now he farther opens what they are: First, The creation of the universe; Secondly, His especial providence in ordering the things of this world, particularly about man.
1. First, he begins with the work of creation, upon which he enters, not with less than an admiration: "O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep." As if he said, I cannot be satisfied in the contemplation of them. There is such a depth in them, that I cannot attain to it, nor comprehend it.
2. And he ends it, not without an indignation, that the wise men of the world, who yet in his judgment, for their disregard of it, are but fools, should not consider it. In the creature they look after nothing but profit and pleasure, in which regard they are but fools. For this brutish man knows not how great are his works; this fool understands not how deep are his cogitations.
And that he may illustrate their folly the more, from the work of creation he comes to God's work of governance of the world; and shows, that as they who would be and are reputed wise, are mistaken in the one, so also they are mistaken in the other; for they think the ungodly, and such as flourish in power and wealth, happy, and that the righteous men, sometimes oppressed, are unhappy: and upon these two instances, he insists to the end of the Psalm. First, he instances the ungodly: Where the wicked spring up-rise on a sudden, (for such a time there is,) as the grass, that grows insensibly and in a night; and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish-become very conspicuous, exalted in power and pride, and abound in wealth; who would not now take them for happy men? No, saith our prophet, it is not so.
1. This their felicity is the greatest infelicity: It is, "that they may perish," be destroyed.
2. "That they may perish for ever." Remember the rich man in the Gospel.
3. And this their destruction is from God, that sits on the throne, and is immutable in his decrees and ways. Their flourish and are exalted: but it is but for a moment: "But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore." And thou wilt execute thy decree upon them.
4. Which the prophet fully opens in the next verse, which the epizeuxis makes more emphatical: "For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered." 1, Behold, they were green, they flourished: but the change shall be sudden.
2. They were enemies, thy enemies, workers of iniquity; therefore cursed with a curse.
3. "They shall perish, they shall be scattered;" they rose, they flourished as grass, and they shall be scattered as dry grass, which the wind blows from the face of the earth.
His second instance is the godly, whose happy condition he demonstrates, 1. In hypothesi, or in himself, ver. 10, 11; and, 2. In thesi; in all others that be true members of the mystical Church of Christ, ver. 12-15.
He instanceth in himself, that his condition is not like the ungodly. He shot not up as the fading grass, but his strength and power should be as a unicorn.
1. "But my horn shalt thou exalt as the horn of a unicorn;" that is, my power, and glory, and felicity shall still mount higher.
2. "And I shall be anointed with fresh oil." Anointed to be king over Israel, by Samuel, with a horn of oil; - by God, with the gracious oil of his Spirit.
3. And that which adds to my flourishing estate: "My eye shall see my desire upon my enemies, and my ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me;" which David lived to see and hear in the ruin of Saul and his house.
And that which the prophet said of himself he now transfers to all just and righteous men, whom he compares to the palm and cedar.
1. "The righteous shall flourish like a palm-tree." So a good Christian; the greater weight he carries, the more he flourishes.
2. "He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon Cedar-wood is not consumed by worms or time; nor the Church by antiquity nor persecution. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it, nor any true member of it.
Of which the reason is, because these palms and cedars-these righteous men, are planted, set by faith, watered by the word and sacraments, rooted by charity in the Church, which is the house of the Lord; and therefore they shall flourish-be green and vigorous, in the courts of our God.
Nay, which is yet more, they shall be full of sap and laden with fruit.
1. "They shall bring forth fruit in their old age." It shall be contrary to them, as with other trees. Those grow fruitless, and bear not when they grow old; these are then most laden with the fruits of grace.
2. "They shall be fat and flourishing." Other trees, when old, are hard and dry; these then are fat in juice, and flourish in good works.
3. And the reason of this vigour, of the continuance of this radical and vital moisture to old age, is, that they bring forth fruit, which is specified in the last verse: "That they might show forth God's faithfulness, praise him for that," as it is in the second verse. 1.
"That they might show that the Lord is upright," - just and righteous in himself. 2. "That he is a Rock," - a sure, stable foundation to trust to. 3. "And that there is no unrighteousness in him," - no injustice; though for a time he suffer the wicked to flourish, and the just to be under the cross. For in his good time he will show his justice in rewarding the just, and punishing the unjust.