Psalm 58:11

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 11. So that a man shall say. Every man however ignorant shall be compelled to say,

Verily, in very deed, assuredly, there is a reward for the righteous. If nothing else be true this is. The godly are not after all forsaken and given over to their enemies; the wicked are not to have the best of it, truth and goodness are recompensed in the long run.

Verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. All men shall be forced by the sight of the final judgment to see that there is a God, and that he is the righteous ruler of the universe. Two things will come out clearly after all -- there is a God and there is a reward for the righteous. Time will remove doubts, solve difficulties, and reveal secrets; meanwhile faith's foreseeing eye discerns the truth even now, and is glad thereat.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 11. So that a man shall say, Verily, etc. This shall be said not by a man, nor by any particular man, but by men in general, by man as opposed to God. The particle translated, verily really means only, and denotes that this and nothing else is true. J. A. Alexander.

Verse 11. So that, etc. There is something worth noting from the connexion of this verse with the context, and is implied in the first word, so that, which joins this verse with the former parts of this Psalm, and shows this to be an illation from them. What? did God so suddenly, "as with a whirlwind," overthrow those wicked judges who lorded it over his people? did he make those "lions" melt like snails? did he confirm the joints of his people, which were little before, trembling and smiting on against another, as if they had been so many forlorn wretches exposed and cast forth, and no eye to pity them; as if they had been floating with Moses upon the sea in a basket of bulrushes, without any pilot to guide them, and even ready to cry out with the disciple, "Master, carest not that we perish?" Did he then command a calm, and bring them to the haven where they would be? did he turn their howling like dragons and chattering like cranes, under the whips and saws of tyrannical taskmasters, into a song of joy and triumph? did he dismantle himself of that cloud wherein for a time he had so enveloped himself, that he seemed not to behold the pressures of his people? did he, I say, then step in to his people's rescue, by breaking their yokes as in the day of Midian, and kissing them with kisses of his mouth? So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. Observe: Though the passages of God's providence may seem so rugged and uncouth, as if they were destructive to his church, and likely to put out the eye of his own glory; yet our God will so dispose of them in the close, that they shall have an advantageous tendency, to the setting forth of his honour and our good. John Hinckley, 1657.

Verse 11. Some of the judgments of God are a shallow, or a ford, over which a lamb may wade; every child may read the meaning of them; and a man -- any ordinary man -- may say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. Joseph Caryl.

Verse 11. This judging here does not refer to the judgment to come, at the last day, when there shall be a general convention of quick and dead before the Lord's dreadful tribunal; though so, it is most true affore tempus, that there will be a time when God will ride his circuit here in a solemn manner, so that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth; but that is not the scope of this place. It is in the present tense, o krinwn, that now judgeth, or is now judging the earth and the inhabitants thereof; and therefore it must be understood of a judgment on this side, the judgment of the great day; and so God judges the earth, or in the earth, three manner of ways. First, by a providential ordering and wise disposal of all the affairs of all creatures. Secondly, in relieving the oppressed, and pleading the cause of the innocent. Thirdly, in overthrowing and plaguing the wicked doers. John Hinckley.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 11. Remarkable cases of divine judgments and their results.