The fear of the wicked, it shall come on him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.
The wisest saying of a certain heathen philosopher was, "Look to the end." God asks, "What will ye do in the end?" We say, "All is well that ends well," which is true if it ends everlasting well. The text points to the issue, the upshot, the end, of two different classes of men — the wicked and the righteous; it indicates as well as expresses the "end of the wicked" — his hopes perish, his fears come upon him; the "end of the righteous" — his fears are dispelled, his hopes are consummated and realised. What a contrast! If the man hoped for nothing beyond success, prosperity, long life, fortune, fame, distinction, position, rank, renown, pleasure; when he has got them he hath his reward, what he sought, and what he desired. And now what has he left? "Vanity of vanities," if all ends here. Often such a man's hope comes to an end with reference to this world only. They try to make hope for themselves; but self-made hopes are but vain hopes. And such a man's fears are realised and accomplished. The boldest, most hardened, most sensual men, have their fears. What is a man's fear, when at last it comes upon a man? And there is the contrast in both these respects. The fears of the righteous shall all vanish. Righteous men cannot but have fears, and they are full of fears. The reward of his fears is, that they shall not come upon him. The desires of the righteous shall be granted. They may be, because they are kept in harmony with God's will, and the righteous stand in God's favour.
(H. Stowell, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.