Verse 3. Wealth and riches shall be in his house. Understood literally this is rather a promise of the old covenant than of the new, for many of the best of the people of God are very poor; yet it has been found true that uprightness is the road to success, and, all other things being equal, the honest man is the rising man. Many are kept poor through knavery and profligacy; but godliness hath the promise of the life that now is. If we understand the passage spiritually it is abundantly true. What wealth can equal that of the love of God? What riches can rival a contented heart? It matters nothing that the roof is thatched, and the floor is of cold stone: the heart which is cheered with the favour of heaven is "rich to all the intents of bliss."
And his righteousness endureth for ever. Often when gold comes in the gospel goes out; but it is not so with the blessed man. Prosperity does not destroy the holiness of his life, or the humility of his heart. His character stands the test of examination, overcomes the temptations of wealth, survives the assaults of slander, outlives the afflictions of time, and endures the trial of the last great day. The righteousness of a true saint endureth for ever, because it springs from the same root as the righteousness of God, and is, indeed, the reflection of it. So long as the Lord abideth righteous he will maintain by his grace the righteousness of his people. They shall hold on their way, and wax stronger and stronger. There is also another righteousness which belongs to the Lord's chosen, which is sure to endure for ever, namely, the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus, which is called "everlasting righteousness," belonging as it does to the Son of God himself, who is "the Lord our righteousness."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 3. Wealth and riches shall be in his house, and his righteousness endureth for ever. He is not the worse for his wealth, nor drawn aside by the deceitfulness of riches, which yet is hard and happy. --John Trapp.
Verse 3. In the lower sense, we may read these words literally of abundant wealth bestowed on the righteous by God, and used, not for pride and luxury, but for continual works of mercy, whence it is said of the person so enriched, that
his righteousness endureth for ever. But the higher meaning bids us see here those true spiritual riches which are stored up for the poor in spirit, often most needy in the prosperity of the world; and we may come at the truest sense by comparing the words wherein the great apostle describes his own condition, "As poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." 2 Corinthians 6:10 . For who can be richer than he who is heir of God and joint heir with Jesus Christ? --Agellius, Chrysostom, and Didymus, in Neale and Littledale.
Verse 3. His righteousness endureth for ever. It seems a bold thing to say this of anything human, and yet it is true; for all human righteousness has its root in the righteousness of God. It is not merely man striving to copy God. It is God's gift and God's work. There is a living connexion between the righteousness of God and the righteousness of man, and therefore the imperishableness of the one appertains to the other also. Hence the same thing is affirmed here of the human righteousness which in Psalms 111:3 is affirmed of the Divine. --J. J. S. Perowne.
Verse 3. His righteousness endureth for ever. We are justified before God by faith only: Romans 3:4 : but they are righteous before men, who live honestly, piously, humbly, as the law of God requires. Concerning this righteousness the Psalmist says that it endureth for ever, while the feigned and simulated uprightness of hypocrites is abominable before God, and with men speedily passes away. --Solomon Gesner.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 3. The riches of a Christian: content, peace, security, power in prayer, promises, providence, yea, God himself.
Verse 3. The enduring character of true righteousness.
- Based on eternal principles.
- Growing out of an incorruptible seed.
- Sustained by a faithful God.
- United to the ever living Christ.
Verse 3. Connection of the two clauses -- How to be wealthy and righteous. Note the following verses, and show how liberality is needful if rich men would be righteous men.