Psalm 37:32
The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him.
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Psalm 37:32-33. The wicked watcheth the righteous — To find out a fit season or occasion to destroy him. The Lord will not leave him in his hand — That is, will not give him up to his power and rage; nor condemn him when he is judged — Will not give his consent to the sentence of condemnation, which the wicked have pronounced against him, but will justify him, and vindicate his innocence, and deliver him. Some understand the words thus: Nor shall he (the wicked) condemn him when he is judged, observing, “that it seems more to the purpose to say, that God would not suffer the wicked man to condemn the righteous, or to find him guilty, (for that probably was the way in which he proposed to murder him,) than that he would not do it himself.” — Mudge.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.The wicked watcheth the righteous ... - Observes closely; looks out for him; has his eye on him, seeking an opportunity to slay him. See the notes at Psalm 10:8-9. The sense is, that the wicked are the enemies of the righteous, and seek to do them wrong. It is a characteristic of the wicked that they seek to destroy the righteous. This was manifested in the case of the prophets; in the case of the apostles; in the case of the Saviour; and it has been so manifest in the deaths of the martyrs, and all the persecutions which the Church has suffered, as to justify the general declaration that it is one of the characteristics of a wicked world that it desires to do this. 32, 33. The devices of the wicked against the good fail because God acquits them. Watcheth, to find out a fit season or occasion to destroy him. The wicked watcheth the righteous,.... All his motions and steps, his works and actions; he watches for his halting, and to take all opportunities and advantages against him; see Jeremiah 20:10;

and seeketh to slay him; murder his reputation, destroy his substance, and take away his life: some understand it of the devil, who watches the saints, observes their failings, accuses then, before the throne, and seeks to devour them, 1 Peter 5:8.

The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
32. Cp. Psalm 10:8 ff.: Proverbs 1:11 ff. The next verse shews that wrong by judicial corruption (Isaiah 5:13) as well as actual violence is meant.

32, 33. Stanza of Tsadi. Malice defeated.

32–40. The final contrast.Verse 32. - The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. Wicked men hate righteous men, as being a reproach to them, and also as being a hindrance and a danger. The righteous thwart their plans, oppose their proceedings, often frustrate their counsels. Sometimes their opposition brings the wicked man into peril, as when it takes the shape of prosecution before a court, or of help given to one who has fallen among thieves. Hence the hatred felt by the wicked towards the righteous is not surprising. It leads the wicked to entertain murderous thoughts - to be ever "watching" for an opportunity when he may take the righteous man at a disadvantage, and, if no other means of removing him from his path present themselves, kill him. Modern civilization, with its precautions and "resources," prevents actual violence for the most part; but the tour-derous instinct remains, and even now, in his heart, many a wicked man is a murderer. There is an old theological rule: promissiones corporales intelligendae sunt cum exceptione crucis et castigationis. Temporary forsakenness and destitution the Psalm does not deny: it is indeed even intended to meet the conflict of doubt which springs up in the minds of the God-fearing out of certain conditions and circumstances that are seemingly contradictory to the justice of God; and this it does, by contrasting that which in the end abides with that which is transitory, and in fact without the knowledge of any final decisive adjustment in a future world; and it only solves its problem, in so far as it is placed in the light of the New Testament, which already dawns in the Book of Ecclesiastes.
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