Tag Archives: matthew henry

Two Words

I read Psalm 82 this morning and was impressed by how fitting a meditation it is in light of recent events, from the SCOTUS ruling, to #PPSellsBabyParts, to this appalling NY Times piece.

God stands in the congregation of the mighty;
He judges among the gods.
How long will you judge unjustly,
And show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Defend the poor and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and needy;
Free them from the hand of the wicked.

They do not know, nor do they understand;
They walk about in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are unstable.

I said, “You are gods,
And all of you are children of the Most High.
But you shall die like men,
And fall like one of the princes.”

Arise, O God, judge the earth;
For You shall inherit all nations.

Matthew Henry points out that “to do unjustly is bad, but to judge unjustly is much worse, because it is doing wrong under the colour of right; against such acts of injustice there is least fence for the injured and by them encouragement is given to the injurious. It was as great an evil as any Solomon saw under the sun when he observed the place of judgment, that iniquity  was there.” (Eccl. 3:16; Isa. 5:7) Should not the leaders of the land tremble under such a scathing indictment?

And yet we draw encouragement from this, above all: Justice is coming. The One dispensing it cannot err and will not be stopped. Henry again: “This we are to believe and to comfort ourselves with, that the earth is not given so much into the hands of the wicked, the wicked rulers, as we are tempted to think it is. (Job 9:24) But God has reserved the power to himself and overrules them… There are two words with which we may comfort ourselves and one another in reference to the mismanagement of power among men: one is Rev. 9:16, Hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth; the other is Rev. 22:20, Surely, I come quickly.”

Courage, dearheart.

His Goodness Is His Glory

Reading through the Psalms with Matthew Henry’s commentary has afforded me a wealth of encouragement second to none. Reflecting on Psalm 68:3-6, Henry calls his readers to take note of a heartening but underemphasized truth: that the same all-powerful God who made us, the God “that rideth upon the heavens” – is also, and no less importantly, our Father. He is

a gracious God, a God of mercy and tender compassion. He is great, but he despises not any, no, not the meanest; nay, being a God of great power, he uses his power for the relief of those that are distressed, v. 5, 6. The fatherless, the widows, the solitary, find him a God all-sufficient to them. Observe how much God’s goodness is his glory. He that rides on the heavens by his name Jah, one would think should immediately have been adored as King of kings and Lord of lords, and the sovereign director of all the affairs of states and nations; he is so, but this he rather glories in, that he is a Father of the fatherless. Though God be high, yet he has respect unto the lowly. Happy are those that have an interest in such a God as this. He that rides upon the heavens is a Father worth having; thrice happy are the people whose God is the Lord.