Verse 3. Since the Lord is so good and so worthy to be praised, it must be for our happiness to obey him.
Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times. Multiplied are the blessings which must descend upon the whole company of the keepers of the way of justice, and especially upon that one rare man who at all times follows that which is right. Holiness is happiness. The way of right is the way of peace. Yet men leave this road, and prefer the paths of the destroyer. Hence the story which follows is in sad contrast with the happiness here depicted, because the way of Israel was not that of judgment and righteousness, but that of folly and iniquity. The Psalmist, while contemplating the perfections of God, was impressed with the feeling that the servants of such a being must be happy, and when he looked around and saw how the tribes of old prospered when they obeyed, and suffered when they sinned, he was still more fully assured of the truth of his conclusion. O could we but be free of sin we should be rid of sorrow! We would not only be just, but "keep judgment"; we would not be content with occasionally acting rightly, but would "do justice at all times."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 3. -- Blessed are they that keep judgment, etc. That are of right principles and upright practices; this is real and substantial praising of God. Thanks doing is the proof of thanksgiving; and the good life of the thankful is the life of thankfulness. Those that thank God only, and no more, are not only contumelious, but injurious. --John Trapp.
Verse 3. -- Keep judgment; doeth righteousness. I doubt not that there is some difference; viz. that he is said to keep judgment who judgeth rightly, but he to do righteousness who acts righteously. --Augustine.
Verse 3. -- I have read of Louis, king of France, that when he had through inadvertency granted an unjust suit, as soon as ever he had read those words of the Psalmist, "Blessed is he that doeth righteousness at all times," he presently recollected himself, and upon better thoughts gave his judgment quite contrary. --Thomas Brooks.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 3. The blessedness of a godly life.