Verse 7. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings. He shall have no dread that evil tidings will come, and he shall not be alarmed when they do come. Rumours and reports he despises; prophecies of evil, vented by fanatical mouths, he ridicules; actual and verified information of loss and distress he bears with equanimity, resigning everything into the hands of God.
His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. He is neither fickle nor cowardly; when he is undecided as to his course he is still fixed in heart: he may change his plan, but not the purpose of his soul. His heart being fixed in solid reliance upon God, a change in his circumstances but slightly affects him; faith has made him firm and steadfast, and therefore if the worst should come to the worst, he would remain quiet and patient, waiting for the salvation of God.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 7. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings. How can you affright him? Bring him word his estate is ruined; "yet my inheritance is safe," says he. Your wife, or child, or dear friend is dead; "yet my Father lives." You yourself must die; "well, then, I go home to my Father, and to my inheritance."
For the public troubles of the Church, doubtless it is both a most pious and generous temper, to be more deeply affected for these than for all our private ones; and to sympathise in the common calamities of any people, but especially of God's own people, hath been the character of men near unto him. Observe the pathetic strains of the prophet's bewailing, when he foretells the desolation even of foreign kingdoms, much more of the Lord's chosen people, still mindful of Sion, and mournful of her distresses. ( Jeremiah 9:1 , and the whole Book of Lamentations.) Yet even in this, with much compassion, there is a calm in a believer's mind; he finds amidst all hard news, yet still a fixed heart, trusting, satisfied in this, that deliverance shall come in due time, Psalms 102:13 , and that in those judgments that are inflicted, man shall be humbled and God exalted, Isaiah 2:11 Isaiah 2:15 Isaiah 2:16 ; and that in all tumults and changes, and subversion of states, still the throne of God is fixed, and with that the believer's heart likewise, Psalms 93:2 . So Psalms 29:10 . --Robert Leighton.
Verse 7. He shall not be afraid, etc. If a man would lead a happy life, let him but seek a sure object for his trust, and he shall be safe: He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. A man that puts his confidence in God, if he hears bad news of mischief coming towards him, as suppose a bad debt, a loss at sea, accidents by fire, tempests, or earthquakes, as Job had his messenger's of evil tidings, which came thick and threefold upon him, yet he is not afraid, for his heart is fixed on God: he hath laid up his confidence in God, therefore his heart is kept in an equal poise; he can say, as Job, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord," Job 1:21 . His comforts did not ebb and flow with the creature, but his heart was fixed, trusting in the Lord. --Thomas Manton.
Verse 7 (first clause). The good man will not be alarmed by any report of danger, whilst the dishonest man, conscious of his wickedness, is always in a state of fear. -- George Phillips.
Verse 7. His heart is fixed, or prepared, ready, and in arms for all services; resolved not to give back, able to meet all adventures, and stand its ground. God is unchangeable; and therefore faith is invincible, for it sets the heart on him; fastens it there on the rock of eternity; then let winds blow and storms arise, it cares not. --Robert Leighton.
Verse 7. His heart is fixed -- established fearlessly. So Moses, with the Red Sea before and the Egyptian foes behind ( Exodus 14:13 ); Jehoshaphat before the Ammonite horde of invaders ( 2 Chronicles 20:12 2 Chronicles 20:15 2 Chronicles 20:17 ); Asa before Zerah, the Ethiopian's "thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots" ( 2 Chronicles 14:9-12 ). Contrast with the persecuted David's fearless trust, Saul's panic stricken feeling at the Philistine invasion, inasmuch as he repaired for help to a witch. How bold were the three youths in prospect of Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace! How fearless Stephen before the council! Basilius could say, in answer to the threats of Caesar Valens, "such bug bears should be set before children." Athanasius said of Julian, his persecutor, "He is a mist that will soon disappear." --A. R. Fausset.
Verse 7. Trusting in the Lord, I need not prove that a man can have no other sure comfort and support. For what can he confide in? His treasure? This may soon be exhausted, or it may awaken the avarice or ambition of a powerful enemy, as Hezekiah's did the king of Babylon, and so instead of being a defence, prove the occasion of his ruin. Can he confide in power? Alas, he knows that when this is grown too big to fall by any other hands, it generally falls by its own. Can he finally confide in worldly wisdom? Alas, a thousand unexpected accidents, and unobserved latent circumstances, cross and frustrate this, and render the Ahithophels not only unfortunate, but often contemptible too. --Richard Lucas, 1648-1715.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- "He shall not be afraid," etc.: peaceful.
- "His heart is fixed": restful.
- "Trusting in the Lord": trustful; the cause of the former.
- The waves: "evil tidings."
- The steady ship: "he shall not be afraid."
- The anchor: "his heart is fixed, trusting."
- The anchorage: "in the Lord."