Refrain from anger and abandon wrath; do not fret--it can only bring harm.
I. SILENT TRUST IN GOD, WAITING FOR HIM, IS THE ONLY TRUE SOLUTION OF THE DIFFICULTY. (Ver. 7.) Do not vainly argue the question; be silent to God, and he will speak by-and-by and explain the difficulties of his providence.
II. ENVIOUS ANGER THAT THE WICKED ARE BETTER OFF THAN YOU IS SINFUL. (Ver. 8.) It is an arraignment of God's providence, which is presumptuous, and a discontent which is ungrateful, and an undervaluing of that inward prosperity which is the greatest good of life.
III. IT IS THE RIGHTEOUS WHO REALLY INHERIT THAT WHICH IS BEST IN THIS LIFE. (Vers. 9, 10.) The prosperity of evil-doers will soon come to an end; for it is unrighteous, and cannot last in the world of a righteous God. But the righteous have an inward life that turns outward things into gold; they feast royally at the table of God, as is said in the twenty-third psalm.
IV. THE PRECEDING THOUGHT IS REPEATED WITH THE PROMISE OF AN ABUNDANCE OF PEACE. (Ver. 11.) Our Lord repeats the former part of this verse in the Sermon on the Mount. "The meek - those who do not vainly strive and fret over the impossible or the inevitable - shall inherit the earth." And shall have peace of heart and mind, which the wicked have not. - S.
Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.I. IT IS A SIN AGAINST GOD. Caesar having prepared a sumptuous feast for his nobles and friends, the day appointed for it proved so inclement, that all went wrong. He was so much out of temper on this account, that he commanded all who had bows to shoot their arrows upward toward Jupiter, their chief god, as being the cause of their disappointment. The silly order was obeyed, but the arrows, instead of striking the mark aimed at, fell back with violence on their own heads. Thus, also, the inconsiderate complaints of the fretful are, in fact, arrows shot in defiance against the majesty of God, but certain to hurt none but those who send them.
II. IT IS SURE TO DESTROY AFFECTION, AND IS THE BANE OF DOMESTIC HAPPINESS. Husbands, wives, children, relatives, or servants have little real love for the fretful and the fault-finding.
III. IT OFTENTIMES ENCOURAGES AND CULTIVATES A SPIRIT OF HYPOCRISY in those who are brought under its baneful influence. Everybody is afraid of arousing the unhappy disposition and calling down the tempest on their own heads. Hence children and servants get into the habit of concealing all they possibly can from those who are so little disposed to make allowance and go forgive. They cannot get up their courage to be frank and open-hearted, and deceit and falsehood are the consequence. Fretfulness is always foolish; always a thing to be sorry for and ashamed of. Bitterness, harshness, and fault-finding are the offspring of it — and these are no agreeable inmates of the soul. However uncomfortable and hard our lot may be, it certainly will not make matters better to be sour with the world, and crusty and crabbed to those about us.
(John W. Norton.)
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