Verse 12. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy. This tender attribute sweetens the grand thought of his power: the divine strength will not crush us, but will be used for our good. God is so full of mercy that it belongs to him, as if all the mercy in the universe came from God, and still was claimed by him as his possession. His mercy, like his power, endureth for ever, and is ever present in him, ready to be revealed,
For thou renderest to every man according to his work. This looks rather like justice than mercy; but if we understand it to mean that God graciously rewards the poor, imperfect works of his people, we see in it a clear display of mercy. May it not also mean that according to the work he allots us is the strength which he renders to us? he is not a hard master; he does not bid us make bricks without straw, but he metes out to us strength equal to our day. In either meaning we have power and mercy blended, and have a double reason for waiting only upon God. Man neither helps us nor rewards us; God will do both. In him power and grace are eternally resident; our faith should therefore patiently hope and quietly wait, for we shall surely see the salvation of God. Deo soli gloria. All glory be to God only.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 11-12. See Psalms on "Psalms 62:11" for further information.
Verse 12. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy. Something more is necessary to invite us to a dependence on God than his bare power and ability to help us. There must be also a firm persuasion of the promptitude and readiness of his will to do what he is able; and this we have in the other attribute of his mercy.... "Unto thee," unto thee alone, and unto none else. The most tender mercy amongst the creatures is none at all, being compared with the divine mercy. It belongeth unto thee, as thy prerogative and peculiar excellency. Mercy is a peculiar jewel of his crown. Or, thine, O Lord, is mercy. Nothing amongst the creature deserves the name of mercy but his own. Nothing is worthy to be so called, but what is proper and peculiar to God. Or, with thee is mercy, as it is expressed elsewhere. Ps 130:4,7. It is with him; that is, it is inseparable from his nature. He is merciful in a way peculiar to himself, "the Father of mercies." 2 Corinthians 1:3 . William Wisheart.
Verse 12. For thou rend rest to every man according to his work; namely -- judgment to the wicked, and mercy to the righteous; where the Syriac interpreter giveth the good note: Est gratia Dei ut reddat homini secunda opera bona, quia merces bonorum operum est ex gratia: It is mercy in God to set his love on them that keep his commandments. Exodus 20:6 . John Trapp.
Verse 12. Thou renderest to every man according to his work. Learn to admire the grace of God in rewarding your works. It is much that he accepts them; and what is it, then, that he rewards them? It is much that he doth not damn you for them, seeing they are all defiled, and have something of sin cleaving to them; and what is it, then, that he crowns them? You would admire the bounty and munificence of a man that should give you a kingdom for taking up a straw at his foot, or give you a hundred thousand pounds for paying him a penny rent you owed him: how, then, should you adore the rich grace and transcendent bounty of God in so largely recompensing such mean services, in setting a crown of glory upon your heads, as the reward of those works which you can scarcely find in your hearts to call good ones! You will even blush one day to see yourselves so much honoured for what you are ashamed of, and are conscious to yourselves that you have deserved nothing by. You will wonder then to see God recompensing you for doing what was your duty to do, and what was his work in you; giving you grace, and crowning that grace; enabling you to do things acceptable to him, and then rewarding you as having done them. Edward Veal (--1708), in "The Morning Exercises."
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 11-12. The constant union of power and mercy in the language of Scripture.