Persecution in another form here agitates the Psalmist's
mind. A fearful picture of the persecutors' hate is next exhibited.
Confidence in their ruin is expressed. God surely will maintain the
1-2. "Justice—do you rulers know the meaning of the
word? Do you judge the people fairly? No, all your dealings are crooked; you
hand out violence instead of justice."
If any seat should be preeminently conspicuous in honest
equity, it is the tribunal of justice. But when the cause of God has called
for righteous judgment, how often has iniquity perverted the decree! David
found no acquittal from the courts of Saul. Mark, also, the Sanhedrin and
the unstable judge who administered the Roman law! Spotless innocence did
not avert unrighteous condemnation. No guilt was found; freedom from shadow
of blame was allowed; but the sentence was, 'Let him die.' Crucifixion was
decreed. Happy are those who look to Him whose right hand is full of
righteousness, and look to the tribunal where the plea "Christ died" cannot
be urged in vain, but ensures not acquittal only, but exaltation to the
throne of glory.
3-5. "The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go
astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the
poison of a serpent; they are like the deaf adder that stops her ear; which
will not listen to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely."
Injustice and cruelty are here traced to the first cause
of original corruption. These noxious streams issue from an evil spring.
These hateful berries hang on branches rotten to the core. Men are shaped in
iniquity; in sin do mothers conceive their offspring. If heavenly grace
comes not mercifully to renew, convert, and sanctify, a corrupt offspring
cannot fail to move in paths of corruption. Mark what issues from the
nursery—proneness to depart far from God; tendency to fabricate untruth, and
to misrepresent, and to delight in lies. Their words contain all venom. The
viper's poison is the emblem of their destroying tongues. To all instruction
they are deaf. As the adder with closed ears is unmoved by sweetest melody,
so they are touched not by the silver notes of God's enchanting word.
6-9. "Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; tear
out, O Lord, the fangs of the lions! Let them vanish like water that flows
away; when they draw the bow, let their arrows be blunted. Like a slug
melting away as it moves along, like a stillborn child, may they not see the
sun. God will sweep them away, both young and old, faster than a pot heats
on an open flame."
The Spirit here, to support and console afflicted saints,
gives strong assurance of approaching vengeance. The weapons of their foes
shall be broken. Their power of evil shall gradually be brought to nothing,
as waters lessen when they flow away. They may bend the bow, and prepare the
arrows, but these implements shall take no effect. Graphic images of
weakness portray their utter impotency to prosecute their schemes. Wrath
shall break suddenly upon them, and sweep them from the earth, as the fury
of an unexpected whirlwind. Quickly will they perish, even more quickly than
the blazing fuel can warm a caldron.
10. "The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the
vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked."
When God's holy indignation is thus conspicuously
displayed, the godly should thankfully recognize God's just displeasure.
Pity for the miserable offenders they should feel, but joy in God's glory
should prevail. The blood of the wicked should be as a fountain, in which
their feet should wash, and as a warning to walk more warily.
11. "So that a man shall say, truly there is a reward
for the righteous; truly He is a God who judges in the earth."
The truth will brightly shine, and compel acknowledgment
that the righteous shall at last inherit manifestations of favor, and God's
unerring tribunal will righteously dispense justice. When the great white
throne is set, may we receive the welcome, "Come, blessed children of my
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the