Verse 24. Though he fall. Disasters and reverses may lay him low; he may, like Job, be stripped of everything; like Joseph, be put in prison; like Jonah, be cast into the deep. He shall not be utterly cast down. He shall not be altogether prostrate. He shall be brought on his knees, but not on his face; or, if laid prone for a moment, he shall be up again ere long. No saint shall fall finally or fatally. Sorrow may bring us to the earth, and death may bring us to the grave, but lower we cannot sink, and out of the lowest of all we shall arise to the highest of all. For the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. Condescendingly, with his own hand, God upholds his saints; he does not leave them to mere delegated agency, he affords personal assistance. Even in our falls the Lord gives a measure of sustaining. Where grace does not keep from going down, it shall save from keeping down. Job had double wealth at last, Joseph reigned over Egypt, Jonah was safely landed. It is not that the saints are strong, or wise, or meritorious, that therefore they rise after every fall, but because God is their helper, and therefore none can prevail against them.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 23-24. See Psalms on "Psalms 37:23" for further information.
Verse 24. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, etc. Thus the Spirit comforts and answers the secret thoughts which everyone might have, saying with himself, I have, however, seen it happen, that the righteous is oppressed, and his cause is trodden in the dust by the wicked. Nay, he replies, dear child, let it be so, that he falls; he still cannot remain lying thus and be cast away; he must be up again, although all the world doubts of it. For God catches him by the hand, and raises him again. Martin Luther.
Verse 24. Though he fall, namely, as one that were faint hearted, he shall not be cast off, namely, utterly, or for ever from God 2 Corinthians 4:9 ; "for the Lord putteth under his hand," i.e., his power and might, namely, to uphold him from utter falling away, which we should quickly do if God were not with us. Thomas Wilcocks.
Verse 24. A man pardoned, and justified by faith in Christ, though he may, and sometimes doth, fall into foul sins, yet they never prevail so far as to reverse pardon, and reduce to a state of non-justification. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand! He speaks of a good man pardoned, justified; he may fall; but how far? from pardon, from justification? No, then he should utterly fall, be cast down beneath God's hand; but the text saith, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand; or, as Montanus renders the words, the Lord upholdeth his hands, and he will not let him sink into such a condition. If it were so, then sin should have dominion over him, but, Romans 6:14 . "Sin shall not have dominion over you;" and Ro 8:2, justified ones are freed from the law of sin and death; and Romans 8:30 , the predestinated, called, justified, and glorified ones, are so linked together, that there is no breaking their chain; if they do sin, they have an "Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 2:1-2 . William Greenhill.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The divine predestination.
- The divine delight.
- The divine support.
Verse 24. Temporary trials.
- To be expected.
- Have their limit.
- Have their results.
- Our secret comfort under them.
What may be. What cannot be. What shall be.