Verse 4. I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly. The Lord bids the boasters boast not, and commands the mad oppressors to stay their folly. How calm is he, how quiet are his words, yet how divine the rebuke. If the wicked were not insane, they would even now hear in their consciences the still small voice bidding them cease from evil, and forbear their pride.
And to the wicked, Lift not up the horn. He bids the ungodly stay their haughtiness. The horn was the emblem of boastful power; only the foolish, like wild and savage beasts, will lift it high; but they assail heaven itself with it, as if they would gore the Almighty himself. In dignified majesty he rebukes the inane glories of the wicked, who beyond measure exalt themselves in the day of their fancied power.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 4. Fools. The ungodly are spiritual fools. If one had a child very beautiful, yet if he were a fool, the parent would have little joy in him. The Scripture hath dressed the sinner in a fool's coat: and let me tell you, better be a fool void of reason, than a fool void of grace: this is the devil's fool. Proverbs 14:9 . Is not he a fool who refuseth a rich portion? God offers Christ and salvation, but the sinner refuseth this portion: "Israel would none of me." Psalms 81:11 . Is not he a fool who prefers an annuity before an inheritance? Is not he a fool who tends his mortal part, and neglects his angelical part? As if one should paint the wall of his house, and let the timber rot. Is not he a fool who will feed the devil with his soul? As that emperor who fed his lion with a pheasant. Is not he a fool who lays a snare for himself? Proverbs 1:18 . Who consults his own shame? Habakkuk 2:10 . Who loves death? Proverbs 8:36 . Thomas Watson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- Who spoke to them? I.
- Who were they? Fools, wicked.
- What did you say?
- What was the good of it? Or, Rebuke of sin, a duty.
Verse 4. The unhallowed trio: -- wickedness, folly, pride.