Psalm 37:24
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
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37:21-33 The Lord our God requires that we do justly, and render to all their due. It is a great sin for those that are able, to deny the payment of just debts; it is a great misery not to be able to pay them. He that is truly merciful, will be ever merciful. We must leave our sins; learn to do well, and cleave to it. This is true religion. The blessing of God is the spring, sweetness, and security of all earthly enjoyments. And if we are sure of this, we are sure not to want any thing good for us in this world. By his grace and Holy Spirit, he directs the thoughts, affections, and designs of good men. By his providence he overrules events, so as to make their way plain. He does not always show them his way for a distance, but leads them step by step, as children are led. God will keep them from being ruined by their falls, either into sin or into trouble, though such as fall into sin will be sorely hurt. Few, if any, have known the consistent believer, or his children, reduced to abject, friendless want. God forsakes not his saints in affliction; and in heaven only the righteous shall dwell for ever; that will be their everlasting habitation. A good man may fall into the hands of a messenger of Satan, and be sorely buffeted, but God will not leave him in his enemy's hands.Though he fall - That is, though he is sometimes disappointed; though he is not always successful; though he may be unfortunate - yet this will not be final ruin. The word here does not refer to his falling into "sin," but into misfortune, disappointment, reverses, calamities. The image is that of a man who is walking along on a journey, but who stumbles, or fails to the earth - a representation of one who is not always successful, but who finds disappointment spring up in his path.

He shall not be utterly cast down - The word used here - טול ṭûl - means to "throw down at full length, to prostrate;" then, "to cast out, to throw away." Compare Isaiah 22:17; Jeremiah 16:13; Jeremiah 22:26; Jonah 1:5, Jonah 1:15. Here it means that he would not be "utterly" and "finally" prostrated; he would not fall so that he could not rise again. The calamity would be temporary, and there would be ultimate prosperity.

For the Lord upholdeth him with his hand - It is by no power of his own that he is recovered, but it is because, even when he falls, he is held up by an invisible hand. God will not suffer him to sink to utter ruin.

23, 24. steps—way, or, "course of life"; as ordered by God, failures will not be permanent. Fall; either,

1. Into sin, as this word is used, Jeremiah 8:4 1 Corinthians 10:12; or rather,

2. Into distress or trouble, as Micah 7:8.

Not be utterly cast down, i.e. not totally nor irrecoverably ruined.

Though he fall,.... Into temptation, and by it into sins, and these very great ones; from a lively and comfortable exercise of grace, and a degree of steadfastness in the doctrine of grace:

he shall not be utterly cast down; because he is in the arms of everlasting love, and in the hands of Christ Jesus; is on him as the sure foundation, and is kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, and so shall not perish, but have everlasting life;

for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand; with the right hand of his righteousness, and keeps him from falling finally and totally; see Isaiah 41:10; and See Gill on Psalm 37:17.

Though he {q} fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

(q) When God exercises his faith with various temptations.

24. shall not be utterly cast down] Or, shall not lie prostrate. Cp. Proverbs 24:16.

upholdeth him with his hand] Better, as R.V. marg., upholdeth his hand. Cp. Psalm 37:17; Isaiah 41:13; Isaiah 51:18.

Verse 24. - Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down. "The difference," as Hengstenberg observes, "is that between misfortune or loss, and absolute ruin." The good man may be afflicted; he may even fall into some fault (Galatians 6:1) or grievous sin (2 Samuel 11:4); but so long as "the root of the matter is in him" (Job 19:28), God will not suffer him to be prostrated. For the Lord upholdeth him with his hand; literally, the Lord supports his hand. If he falls, God (as Luther says) "catches him by the hand, and raises him up again." So David had himself experienced (2 Samuel 12:13). Psalm 37:24By Jahve (מן, ἀπό, almost equivalent to ὑπό with the passive, as in Job 24:1; Ecclesiastes 12:11, and in a few other passages) are a man's steps made firm, established; not: ordered or directed (lxx, Jerome, κατευθύνεται), which, according to the extant usage of the language, would be הוּכנוּ (passive of הכין, Proverbs 16:9; Jeremiah 10:23; 2 Chronicles 27:6), whereas כּוננוּ, the Pulal of כּונן, is to be understood according to Psalm 40:3. By גּבר is meant man in an emphatic sense (Job 38:3), and in fact in an ethical sense; compare, on the other hand, the expression of the more general saying, "Man proposes, and God disposes," Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 20:24; Jeremiah 10:23. Psalm 37:23 shows that it is the upright man that is meant in Psalm 37:23: to the way, i.e., course of life, of such an one God turns with pleasure (יחפּץ pausal change of vowel for יחפּץ): supposing he should fall, whether it be a fall arising from misfortune or from error, or both together, he is not prostrated, but Jahve upholds his hand, affords it a firm point of support or fulcrum (cf. תּמך בּ, Psalm 63:9, and frequently), so that he can raise himself again, rise up again.
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