Psalm 33:18
Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
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Psalm 33:18-19. Behold the eye of the Lord, &c. — Whosoever therefore would have safety must expect it only from the watchful eye and almighty hand of God. Is upon them that fear him — These are the chief objects of his care and favour. Upon them that hope in his mercy — That place their hope, and trust, and happiness, not in any creature, but only in God and in his mercy and blessings. To deliver their soul from death — That is, their life, when he sees it to be expedient for them: for sometimes it is better for them to die than to live, as both good and bad men have declared; and when it is so, it is known to God, but not to us. And therefore the constant accomplishment of this and the like promises, in a literal sense, is not to be expected nor simply desired, except with submission to God’s wise and gracious will.

33:12-22 All the motions and operations of the souls of men, which no mortals know but themselves, God knows better than they do. Their hearts, as well as their times, are all in his hand; he formed the spirit of each man within him. All the powers of the creature depend upon him, and are of no account, of no avail at all, without him. If we make God's favour sure towards us, then we need not fear whatever is against us. We are to give to him the glory of his special grace. All human devices for the salvation of our souls are vain; but the Lord's watchful eye is over those whose conscientious fear of his name proceeds from a believing hope in his mercy. In difficulties they shall be helped; in dangers they shall not receive any real damage. Those that fear God and his wrath, must hope in God and his mercy; for there is no flying from him, but by flying to him. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us; let us always have the comfort and benefit, not according to our merits, but according to the promise which thou hast in thy word given to us, and according to the faith thou hast by thy Spirit and grace wrought in us.Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him - He watches over them, and "he" guards them from danger. His eye is, in fact, upon all men; but it is directed with special attention to those who fear him and trust in him. Their security is in the fact that the eye of God is upon them; that he knows their wants; that he sees their dangers; that he has ample ability to deliver and save them.

Upon them that hope in his mercy - Upon the pious; upon his friends. The expression is a very beautiful one. It describes the true state of a pious heart; it in fact characterizes the whole of religion, for we imply all that there is in religion on earth when we say of a man, that - conscious of his weakness and sinfulness - "he hopes in the mercy of God."

18, 19. Contrasted is God's guidance and power to save from the greatest earthly evil and its most painful precursor, and hence from all. Whosoever therefore would have safety and deliverance, must seek and expect it only from the watchful eye and almighty hand and mercy of God.

Them that fear him; these are the chief objects of his care and favour.

Them that hope in his mercies; that place their hope, and trust, and happiness not in any creature, but only in God, and in his mercy and blessings. The conjunction and order of these two qualifications of the person whom God careth for is observable here, they must be such as fear God, and so make conscience of keeping his commands, Ecclesiastes 12:13, and then they may and must hope in or rely upon his mercy for their safety and happiness.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him,.... Not with dread of his wrath, or distrust of his grace, or for sinister ends and selfish views, but with a godly fear; by which men hate evil, depart from it, are careful not to offend God by it, but to serve and worship him; on such is not only his eye of Providence to protect from danger, to supply with the necessaries of life, but of love and grace; he looks upon them with delight and pleasure; his eye is upon them to watch over them for good, to guard them from every enemy, and from all evil, and to communicate to them every needful measure of grace;

upon them that hope in his mercy; not his absolute mercy, but his special mercy in Christ; which appears in the provision of him as a Saviour, in the mission of him into this world, and redemption by him; and is displayed in regeneration, the pardon of sin, and eternal life: and such that hope in it are they that see themselves miserable creatures, and in need of it; and who are encouraged to hope in it from the plenty and abundance of it in the heart of God; and from the many instances of it among men, and even some the chief of sinners; and they do hope in it for the forgiveness of their sins, and for salvation and eternal glory; and on these the eye of the Lord is, as before,

Behold, {m} the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

(m) God shows his mercy toward his, which man by no means is able to compass.

18. the eye of the Lord] Cp. Psalm 32:8, note; Psalm 34:15; Ezra 5:5; Job 36:7; 1 Peter 3:12.

that hope in his mercy] Or, that wait for his lovingkindness (Psalm 31:24).

Verse 18. - Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him; upon them that hope in his mercy. The eye of the Lord is in a certain sense upon all (vers. 13, 14), but it rests especially upon the righteous. He notes how all men act, but carefully watches over the safety and prosperity of his faithful ones Psalm 33:18Hence the call to praise God is supported (2) by a setting forth of that which His people possess in Him. This portion of the song is like a paraphrase of the אשׁרי in Deuteronomy 33:29. The theme in Psalm 33:12 is proved in Psalm 33:13 by the fact, that Jahve is the omniscient Ruler, because He is the Creator of men, without whose knowledge nothing is undertaken either secretly or openly, and especially if against His people. Then in Psalm 33:16 it is supported by the fact, that His people have in Jahve a stronger defence than the greatest worldly power would be. Jahve is called the fashioner of all the hearts of men, as in Zechariah 12:1, cf. Proverbs 24:12, as being their Maker. As such He is also the observer of all the works of men; for His is acquainted with their origin in the laboratory of the heart, which He as Creator has formed. Hupfeld takes יחד as an equalisation (pariter ac) of the two appositions; but then it ought to be וּמבין (cf. Psalm 49:3, Psalm 49:11). The lxx correctly renders it καταμόνας, singillatim. It is also needless to translate it, as Hupfeld does: He who formed, qui finxit; for the hearts of men were not from the very first created all at one time, but the primeval impartation of spirit-life is continued at every birth in some mysterious way. God is the Father of spirits, Hebrews 12:9. For this very reason everything that exists, even to the most hidden thing, is encompassed by His omniscience and omnipotence. He exercises an omniscient control over all things, and makes all things subservient to the designs of His plan of the universe, which, so far as His people are concerned, is the plan of salvation. Without Him nothing comes to pass; but through Him everything takes place. The victory of the king, and the safety of the warrior, are not their own works. Their great military power and bodily strength can accomplish nothing without God, who can also be mighty in the feeble. Even for purposes of victory (תּשׁוּעה, cf. ישׁוּעה, Psalm 21:2) the war-horse is שׁקר, i.e., a thing that promises much, but can in reality do nothing; it is not its great strength, by which it enables the trooper to escape (ימלּט). "The horse," says Solomon in Proverbs 21:31, "is equipped for the day of battle, but התּשׁוּעה לה, Jahve's is the victory," He giveth it to whomsoever He will. The ultimate ends of all things that come to pass are in His hands, and - as Psalm 33:18. say, directing special attention to this important truth by הנּה - the eye of this God, that is to say the final aim of His government of the world, is directed towards them that fear Him, is pointed at them that hope in His mercy (למיחלים). In Psalm 33:19, the object, לחסדּו, is expanded by way of example. From His mercy or loving-kindness, not from any acts of their own, conscious of their limited condition and feebleness, they look for protection in the midst of the greatest peril, and for the preservation of their life in famine. Psalm 20:8 is very similar; but the one passage sounds as independent as the other.
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