Psalm 18:34
Consider the righteousness of God as it appears in:

1. The supreme importance which he attaches to moral distinctions amongst men. Such distinctions are often made light of in comparison with wisdom, might, and riches (Jeremiah 9:23); and those who possess the latter despise and trample upon the ignorant, the weak, and the poor (ver. 27). But God has chiefly respect to men in their moral attitude toward himself, their relation to the law of right, their personal character (1 Samuel 2:30). With him the great distinction is that between the righteous and the wicked (Psalm 34:15, 16). Whilst his infinite greatness dwarfs earthly power and honour into insignificance, his perfect righteousness exalts moral worth beyond measure.

2. The different treatment which he adopts toward men of different character. In himself he is always the same (1 Samuel 15:29); but the aspect which his character and dealings assume toward them is determined by their own character and conduct, and is the necessary manifestation of his unchangeable rectitude - on the one hand, toward the "loving," etc., full of love (all that is kind, desirable, and excellent); on the other, toward the "perverse," perverse (contrary, antagonistic, "as an enemy," Lamentations 2:5; Leviticus 26:23, 24; Hosea 2:6), inflicting severe chastisement. "There is a higher law of grace, whereby the sinfulness of man but draws forth the tenderness of a father's pardoning pity; and the brightest revelation of his love is made to froward prodigals. But this is not the psalmist's view here, nor does it interfere with the law of retribution in its own sphere" (Maclaren).

3. The signal change which he makes in their relative positions; saving and exalting the oppressed and afflicted, and humbling the proud oppressor; his purpose therein being to vindicate, honour, and promote righteousness, and to restrain, correct, and put an end to iniquity (1 Samuel 2:8, 10). "What is God doing now?" it was asked of Rabbi Jose, and the reply was, "He makes ladders on which he causes the poor to ascend and the rich to descend" (The Midrash). - D.







He teacheth my hands to war.
God raises up men specially qualified to meet the exigencies of human society — the soldier, the statesman, the lawgiver, the teacher of religion, the ready writer, the eloquent man, and the cunning artificer. He had need of a soldier to accomplish the purposes of His will, and He qualified David for the work, and so long as David prosecuted his wars, free of ambitious and malevolent feelings, and solely with the desire of accomplishing the will of God, he served God as acceptably in the field as he could have served Him in His temple. Provided his cause be just, and he prosecute it with right motives, the patriot soldier is engaged on as holy a work as the priest at the altar. God so taught David the art of war that "a bow of steel was broken by his arms." It required the use of both hands and feet to bend the ancient bow of steel; how great, then, must David's strength have been to break it with his arms. This verse has, of course, a spiritual application, showing how easily God can clothe with overcoming might all who are engaged in the good fight of faith, enabling them to overcome, with a moiety of their strength, the strongest weapons with which they may be assailed.

(David Caldwell, A. M.)

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