The righteous is more excellent than his neighbor: but the way of the wicked seduces them.
Every righteous man has a neighbour whom he excels. The righteous man and his neighbour are here placed side by side. The righteous is more excellent —
I. IN HIS BIRTH AND PARENTAGE.
1. Now "sons of God" — by adoption, by birth, by privilege.
2. "Of your father the devil." Satan nursed into strength the principles of evil, and then planted them in human nature (Genesis 3.).
II. IN THE VISIBLE CHARACTER THAT HE BEARS.
1. The name "righteous" is sufficiently indicative.
2. "The lusts of your father ye will do."
III. IN THE PRINCIPLE ON WHICH HE ACTS, i.e., LOVE. Two opposite principles — love, hatred. The principles of the righteous are better than their outward character. The pinciples of the ungodly are worse.
IV. IN THE ENDS WHICH HE PURSUES.
1. The glory of God — lasting, noble.
2. The interests of self — transient, base (2 Timothy 3:2).
V. IN THE INFLUENCE WHICH HE EXERTS. The world is a field.
1. The righteous sow in it — to the spirit.
2. The ungodly sow in it — to the flesh.
VI. IN THE PLEASURES WHICH HE ENJOYS.
1. Divine, holy, satisfying.
2. Earthly, polluting, unsatisfying (Luke 15:16).
VII. IN THE DESTINY WHICH AWAITS HIM.
1. The maturity of holiness — like Christ.
2. The maturity of ungodliness — like Satan.
(1) The deserts of Christ's obedience and atonement — the enjoyment of God for ever.
(2) The deserts of sin — "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish."
Parallel VersesKJV: The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.