Verse 6. Or, as the Hebrew hath it yet more fully, The Lord is knowing the way of the righteous. He is constantly looking on their way, and though it may be often in mist and darkness, yet the Lord knoweth it. If it be in the clouds and tempest of affliction, he understandeth it. He numbers the hairs of our head; he will not suffer any evil to befall us. "He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." ( Job 23:10 .)
But the way of the ungodly shall perish. Not only shall they perish themselves, but their way shall perish too. The righteous carves his name upon the rock, but the wicked writes his remembrance in the sand. The righteous man ploughs the furrows of earth, and sows a harvest here, which shall never be fully reaped till he enters the enjoyments of eternity; but as for the wicked, he ploughs the sea, and though there may seem to be a shining trail behind his keel, yet the waves shall pass over it, and the place that knew him shall know him no more for ever. The very "way" of the ungodly shall perish. If it exist in remembrance, it shall be in the remembrance of the bad; for the Lord will cause the name of the wicked to rot, to become a stench in the nostrils of the good, and to be only known to the wicked themselves by its putridity.
May the Lord cleanse our hearts and our ways, that we may escape the doom of the ungodly, and enjoy the blessedness of the righteous!
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Behold how David here terrifies us away from all prosperous appearances, and commends to us various temptations and adversities. For this "way" of the righteous all men utterly reprobate; thinking also, that God knoweth nothing about any such way. But this is the wisdom of the cross. Therefore, it is God alone that knoweth the way of the righteous, so hidden is it to the righteous themselves. For his right hand leads them on in a wonderful manner, seeing that it is a way, not of sense, nor of reason, but of faith only; even of that faith that sees in darkness, and beholds things that are invisible. Martin Luther.
Verse 6. The righteous. They that endeavour righteous living in themselves and have Christ's righteousness imputed to them. Thomas Wilcocks, 1586.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 6. (first sentence). A sweet encouragement to the tried people of God. The knowledge here meant.
- Its character. -- It is a knowledge of observation and approbation.
- Its source. -- It is caused by omniscience and infinite love.
- Its results. -- Support, deliverance, acceptance, and glory at last.
Verse 6. (last clause). His way of pleasure, of pride, of unbelief, of profanity, of persecution, of procrastinating, of self deception, etc.: all these shall come to an end.