William Kelly Major Works Commentary - Psalms 37:1 - 37:40

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William Kelly Major Works Commentary - Psalms 37:1 - 37:40


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This beautiful psalm is a moral and, one might say, aphoristic application from the wicked and his doom to the profit of the righteous who can abide in Jehovah. It has an alphabetic order not carried out perfectly. The preceding psalm rises as far as was possible under the law, though of course only for faith, to enjoy mercy and loving-kindness in God, yea the fatness of His house an the river of His pleasures, wonderfully suggestive of what is our portion as Christians - the communion of the Father and the Son in the power of the Spirit. Here we are shown the blessedness of faith in the moral government of God, which delivers from fretfulness no less than envy - a government which is yet to be displayed in "the land" as nowhere else. But it is ever true in its principles, though for the Christian now in a less visible way. Hence the allusions to the psalm in the N.T., as citations from Ps. 34 in 1 Peter 3. The Lord Himself refers to it in Matt. 5.

The next two psalms (Ps. 38, Ps. 39) constitute a pair, distinct from and rightly following those that precede, and as duly followed by Ps. 40, Ps. 41. They do not express the path of the just sustained by trusting in Jehovah, and tried in the face of confident prosperous enemies, with the land in full view spite of all. Here it is the far deeper distress under Jehovah's anger because of sins. Nevertheless God is unhesitatingly looked to in the sense of His arrows and of utter corruption in themselves. This is carried out yet more in the companion psalm, where it is rather the sense of self, and man at large, being mere breath or vanity, and all under God's consuming hand; but the hope is in the Lord, as before in Jehovah.