Verse 9. He sees a smile of complacency upon the face of the King, and in the name of all the assembled congregation he cries aloud,
Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just. Is not this the universal longing of the whole company of the elect? When shall we be delivered from the filthy conversation of these men of Sodom? When shall we escape from the filthiness of Mesech and the blackness of the tents of Kedar? What a solemn and weighty truth is contained in the last sentence of the ninth verse! How deep is the divine knowledge! --
He trieth. How strict, how accurate, how intimate his search! -- he trieth the hearts, the secret thoughts, and reins, the inward affections. "All things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 9. The righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. As common experience shows that the workings of the mind, particularly the passions of joy, grief, and fear, have a very remarkable effect on the reins or kidneys. ( Proverbs 23:16 Psalms 73:21 ), so from their retired situation in the body, and their being hid in fat, they are often used to denote the most secret workings and affections of the soul. And to "see or examine the reins," is to see or examine those most secret thoughts or desires of the soul. John Parkhurst, 1762.
Verse 9. (last clause). "The righteous God trieth the hearts and reins."
"I that alone am infinite, can try How deep within itself thine heart doth lie.
Thy seamen's plummet can but reach the ground, I find that which thine heart itself never found." Francis Quarles, 1592-1644.
Verse 9. The heart, may signify the cogitations, and the reins the affections. Henry Ainsworth.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 9. (first clause).
- By changing their hearts; or
- by restraining their wills,
- or depriving them of power,
- or removing them.
Show the times when, the reasons why, such a prayer should be offered, and how, in the first sense, we may labour for its accomplishment.
Verse 9. This verse contains two grand prayers, and a noble proof that the Lord can grant them.
Verse 9. The period of sin, and the perpetuity of the righteous. Matthew Henry.
Verse 9. Establish the just. By what means and in what sense the just are established, or, the true established church.
Verse 9. (last clause). God's trial of men's hearts.