The fear of the wicked, it shall come on him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.
Scripture is a book full of the strongest contrasts. As in the work of an eminent painter, it contains light and shade.
I. WHO ARE THE WICKED? We must not confine our ideas to the notoriously profligate. As long as a man is uncalled of God, and unregenerate, he is a stranger to all that is truly spiritual, and knows not the true nature of sin. Malachi describes the righteous thus, "He serveth God." He describes the wicked thus, "He serveth Him not." The wicked servant "hid his Lord's talent in the earth." In the description of the sheep and goats, there is no mark of profligacy fixed on the goats. The great besetting sin of the unregenerate man is pride. Neglect of Christ, contempt of Christ, impenitence, carnality, and worldliness, God declares to be the great condemning sin of the world. Whoever and whatever the wicked may be, they must have their fear.
II. THE RIGHTEOUS AND THEIR DESIRE. Who are the righteous?? They are the justified. They are the sanctified. A man trusting to his own righteousness cannot be a holy man. The very first elements of holiness are wanting in him — humiliation before God, real acquaintance with God, real desire after God. It is a great delusion to imagine that a justified soul is not also sanctified. The activity of spiritual life shows itself in spiritual desire. It wants pardon, peace, righteousness, happiness. What encouragement does the text give to these desires? There is no limit, no exception, no peradventure. "It shall be granted."
(J. Harrington Evans, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.