Take notice of it, consider it, be assured of the truth, of it; it may be depended upon as fact,
that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself:
which may be understood of David himself, an holy good man; a man after God's own heart; whom the Lord chose, and in a marvellous manner separated from the rest of his brethren; took him from the sheepfold, and set him upon the throne of Israel, for the glory of his great name; and therefore the attempts of his enemies against him would be without success: and also of the Messiah, God's Holy One, whom he has chosen out from among the people to be their Saviour and Redeemer, to the glory of his grace; wherefore the work of the Lord has prospered in his hands: and likewise of all the saints, and of their election; which act is expressed by their being set apart, or separated from others, who are called the rest; and which is a marvellous act of grace: for the word may be rendered, "he hath wonderfully set apart" F14. It is an amazing instance of grace that God should make one to differ from another, and separate them from their mother's womb, and call them by his grace. The object of this act is "him that is godly", or "holy" F15: not that any are set apart or chosen by God for their godliness, or holiness; for they are chosen through sanctification of the Spirit, and not because they were or it was foreseen they would be holy. Holiness, faith, godliness, and good works, are the fruits of election, and not the causes of it: but the word (dyox) , rendered "godly", signifies "good" and "merciful" F16; and designs one, that God is good, and gracious, and merciful unto; who is an object of his free grace and favour; and therefore he chooses and sets him apart of his own grace and mercy, and according to his sovereign will and pleasure: and that "for himself"; for his own use and service, for his praise and honour, and to the glory of his grace; which is his grand end in predestination, election, and in all spiritual blessings. And now all attempts against such persons are in vain; all charges against them are of no avail; all methods, whether by open force of persecutors, or by the cunning of false teachers, that lie in wait to deceive, to prevail against them, prove failures: and God will avenge his elect, that cry unto him day and night; as follows;
the Lord will hear when I call unto him;
and deliver out of the hands of enemies, and cut them off: wherefore it is a vain thing for men to set themselves against Christ and his people.
F14 So Ainsworth. (hlph) "mirificavit", V. L. "mirabilem effecit", Gejerus
F15 (dyox) "sanctum", V. L. Muis, De Dieu.
F16 "Eum quem benigne acceperit", Junius & Tremellius; "beneficiarium", Gejerus, Michaelis; "gratia vel favore a Deo affectum", Hammond.