Verse 20. Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee? Such thrones there are, and they plead a right divine, but their claim is groundless, a fraud upon mankind and a blasphemy of heaven. God enters into no alliance with unjust authority, he gives no sanction to unrighteous legislation.
Which frameth mischief by a law? They legalise robbery and violence, and then plead that it is the law of the land; and so indeed it may be, but it is a wickedness for all that. With great care men prepare enactments intended to put down all protests, so as to render wrong-doing a permanent institution, but one element is necessary to true Conservatism, viz., righteousness; and lacking that, all their arrangements of the holders of power must come to an end, and all their decrees must in process of time be wiped out of the statute book. Nothing can last for ever but impartial right. No injustice can be permanent, for God will not set his seal upon it, nor have any fellowship with it, and therefore down it must come, and happy shall be the day which sees it fall.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 20. The throne of iniquity... which frameth mischief by a law. The first pretext of wicked men to colour their proceedings against innocent men is their throne; the second is the law; and the third is their council. What tyrant could ask more? But God has prepared an awful hell for impenitent tyrants, and they will be in it long before they now expect to leave the world. William Nicholson.
Verse 20. The throne of iniquity... which frameth mischief by a law. If there never had been such thrones in the world, there would not have been that mention made of them in the Scripture. But such there have been. That of Jeroboam was one, who would not suffer the people, according to the divine command, to go up to Jerusalem to worship God, who had there placed his name; but spread, for them that went, nets upon Mizpah, and set snares upon Mount Tabor. ( Hosea 5:1 ) And such thrones there have been since, too many of them. Well saith the Psalmist, Shall they have fellowship with thee? No, no; God keeps his distance from them. Those that we call "stinking dunghills" are not so offensive to God as thrones of iniquity are, which shall neither be approved by him nor secured. Stay a while, Christians, and "in patience possess your souls;" for the world shall see that in due time he will overturn them all. Samuel Slater, in "The Morning Exercises."
Verse 20. Which frameth mischief by a law, i.e., frame wicked laws, or under the colour of law and justice, oppress the innocent. Summum jus, summa injuria, the higher the law, the greater the injustice, and injuries may and are too often done ex prava interpretatione legis, from a wicked interpretation of the law. With those who do injustice with the sword of justice, God will have no fellowship. William Nicholson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 20. "It is the law of the land, you know," -- the limit of this authority both in temporal and spiritual matters.
- God can have no fellowship with the wicked.
- The wicked can have no fellowship with God. G. R.
Verse 20. Divine politics.
- There are thrones erected in opposition to the throne of God, "thrones of iniquity," e.g. which trespass on civil liberty, which infringe religious equality, which derive revenue from evil commerce, etc.
- Such thrones, whatever their pretensions, are excluded from divine fellowship; between them and God a great gulf is fixed. C.A.D.