Verse 4. They only consult to cast him down from his excellency. The excellencies of the righteous are obnoxious to the wicked, and the main object of their fury. The elevation which God gives to the godly in Providence, or in dispute, is also the envy of the baser sort, and they labour to pull them down to their own level. Observe the concentration of malice upon our point only, as here set in contrast with the sole reliance of the gracious one upon his Lord. If the wicked could but ruin the work of grace in us, they would be content; to crush our character, to overturn our influence, is the object of their consultation.
They delight in lies; hence they hate the truth and the truthful, and by falsehood endeavour to compass their overthrow. To lie is base enough, but to delight in it is one of the blackest marks of infamy.
They bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Flattery has ever been a favourite weapon with the enemies of good men; they can curse bitterly enough when it serves their turn; meanwhile, since it answers their purpose, they mask their wrath, and with smooth words pretend to bless those whom they would willingly tear in pieces. It was fortunate for David that he was well practised in silence, for to cozening deceivers there is no other safe reply.
Selah. Here pause, and consider with astonishment the futile rancour of unholy men, and the perfect security of such as rest themselves upon the Lord.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 4. They only consult, etc. Truly I am he whom if they shall consult to cast down from his excellency, they shall delight in a lie, they shall bless with their mouth and curse inwardly. That is: what I have said of worldly men, boasting themselves upon a man, falling into ruin, I desire that you should know that the same fate shall never befall me who trust in God; for otherwise does the matter stand. Hermann Venema.
Verse 4. Excellency. Rather, elevation; the figure of the preceding verse being followed out. Religious Tract Society's Notes.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 4. Wherein lies a believer's excellency? Who would cast him down, and why, and how they seek to do it?
Verse 4. They delight in lies. Those who invent them, or spread them, or laugh at them, or readily believe them. Romanists, self righteous persons, the presumptuous, persecutors, zealous errorists, etc.