Verse 12. What man is he that feareth the Lord? Let the question provoke self examination. Gospel privileges are not for every pretender. Art thou of the seed royal or no? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. Those whose hearts are right shall not err for want of heavenly direction. Where God sanctifies the heart he enlightens the head. We all wish to choose our way; but what a mercy is it when the Lord directs that choice, and makes free will to be goodwill! If we make our will God's will, God will let is have our will. God does not violate our will, but leaves much to our choice; nevertheless, he instructs our wills, and so we choose that which is well pleasing in his sight. The will should be subject to law; there is a way which we should choose, but so ignorant are we that we need to be taught, and so wilful that none but God himself can teach us effectually.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 12. What man is he that feareth the Lord? Blessed shall he be -- 1. In the sacred knowledge of Christ's will; Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. 2. Blessed shall he be in the quiet peace of a good conscience; "His soul shall dwell at ease." 3. Blessed he shall be in the present comfort of a hopeful progeny; "His seed shall inherit the earth." Robert Mossom.
Verse 12. What man is he that feareth the Lord? There is nothing so effectual to obtain grace, to retain grace, as always to be found before God not over wise, but to fear: happy art thou, if thy heart be replenished with three fears; a fear for received grace, a greater fear for lost grace, a greatest fear to recover grace. Bernard.
Verse 12. He that feareth the Lord. Present fear begetteth eternal security: fear God, which is above all, and no need to fear man at all. Augustine.
Verse 12. Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose, i.e., that the good man shall pitch upon. God will direct him in all dealings to make a good choice, and will give good success. This is not in a man's own power to do. Jeremiah 10:23 . John Trapp.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 12. Holiness the best security for a well ordered life. Free will at school, questioned and instructed.