Verse 9. He will not always chide. He will sometimes, for he cannot endure that his people should harbour sin in their hearts, but not for ever will he chasten them; as soon as they turn to him and forsake their evil ways he will end the quarrel. He might find constant cause for striving with us, for we have always something in us which is contrary to his holy mind, but he refrains himself lest our spirits should fail before him. It will be profitable for any one of us who may be at this time out of conscious fellowship with the Lord, to inquire at his hands the reason for his anger, saying, "Shew me wherefore thou contendest with me?" For he is easily entreated of, and soon ceaseth from his wrath. When his children turn from their sins he soon turns from his chidings.
Neither will he keep his anger for ever. He bears no grudges. The Lord would not have his people harbour resentments, and in his own course of action he sets them a grand example. When the Lord has chastened his child he has done with his anger: he is not punishing as a judge, else might his wrath burn on, but he is acting as a father, and, therefore, after a few blows he ends the matter, and presses his beloved one to his bosom as if nothing had happened; or if the offence lies too deep in the offender's nature to be thus overcome, he continues to correct, but he never ceases to love, and he does not suffer his anger with his people to pass into the next world, but receives his erring child into his glory.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 9. He will not always chide. Certainly it is as unpleasing to God to chide, as it is to us to be chidden; and so little he likes of anger, that he rids his hands of it as fast as th can: he is not so slow in coming to it, but he is as quick in getting from it; for chiding is a bar to mercy, and anger an impediment to compassion; nothing is so distasteful to God as that any block should lie in the way of his mcrcy, or that the liberty of his compassion should have any cause of restraint: and then we may be sure he will not himself lay a block in the way with chiding, nor be a cause to restrain his compassion by keeping his anger. Sir R. Baker.
Verse 9. (Second Clause). To keep anger for ever, corresponds with the French phrase, Je lui garde, Il me la garde, (*"I am watching him, as he has watched to do a bad turn to me") which we use when the man, who cannot forgive the injuries he has received, cherishes secret revenge in his heart, and waits for an opportunity of retaliation. Now David denies that God, after the manner of men, keeps anger on account of injuries done to him, since he condescends to be reconciled. Calvin.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- What God will do to his people. He will sometimes chide -- contend with them.
- Providentially, by outward trials.
- Experimentally, by inward conflicts.
- What he will not do to them.
- Not chide continually in this life.
- Not chide in the least hereafter.
- "The days of their mourning shall be ended." G. R.