Verse 2. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass. The scythe of death is sharpening. Green grows the grass, but quick comes the scythe. The destruction of the ungodly will be speedy, sudden, sure, overwhelming, irretrievable. The grass cannot resist or escape the mower. And wither as the green herb. The beauty of the herb dries up at once in the heat of the sun, and so all the glory of the wicked shall disappear at the hour of death. Death kills the ungodly man like grass, and wrath withers him like hay; he dies, and his name rots. How complete an end is made of the man whose boasts had no end! Is it worth while to waste ourselves in fretting about the insect of an hour, an ephemeral which in the same day is born and dies? Within believers there is a living and incorruptible seed which liveth and abideth for ever; why should they envy mere flesh, and the glory of it, which are but as grass, and the flower thereof?
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 2. Cut down like the grass, with a scythe, and even at one blow. Thomas Wilcocks.
Verse 2. Wither. O bitter word, which will make the ears of them that hear it to tingle! O sentence intolerable, which deprives sinners of all good things, and bringeth them to all woe! The Lord sometime accursed the fig tree, and immediately, not only the leaves, but also the body and root were wholly withered: even so, that fearful curse of the last day shall be no less effectual; for on whomsoever it falleth is shall so scorch them, and shall so make them destitute of God's grace, that they shall never more be able to do, to speak, think, or to hope for any good thing. Thomas Tymme.
Verse 2. Green herb. We cannot gather riper fruit of patience from any tree than is found upon the low shrubs of man's short life; for if that fretting canker of envy at the prosperity of the wicked have overrun thy mind, a malady from which the saints have no shelter to be freed, out of this apothecary's shop take antidote; either thy time is short to behold it, or theirs shorter to enjoy is; "they are set in slippery places, and are suddenly destroyed," Psalms 73:18 ; "They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave," Job 21:13 ; They shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Edmund Layfield's Sermon, entitled "The Mappe of Man's Mortality and Vanity", 1630.
Verse 2. Sometimes the wicked, like the green herb, wither in their spring, they fall in their rise, they perish in the beginnings of their mischievous designs; but if they do come to a full growth, they grow but to harvest, the fit season of their cutting off. Robert Mossom.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 1,2. A frequent temptation, and a double corrective -- a sight of sinners in death and hell.
Verse 2. How and when the wicked perish.