Verses 17–18

Here is, 1. A necessary caution against entertaining any favourable thoughts of prospering profaneness: “Let not thy heart envy sinners; do not grudge them either the liberty they take to sin or the success they are to be pitied rather than envied. Their prosperity is their portion (Pr. 12:14), nay, it is their poison,” Prov. 1:32. We must not harbour in our hearts any secret discontent at the providence of God, though it seem to smile upon them, nor wish ourselves in their condition. “Let not thy heart imitate sinners” (so some read it); do not as they do; walk not in the way with them; use not the methods they take to enrich themselves, though they thrive by them. 2. An excellent direction to maintain high thoughts of God in our minds at all times: Be thou in the fear of the Lord every day and all the day long. We must be in the fear of the Lord as in our employment, exercising ourselves in holy adorings of God, in subjection to his precepts, submission to his providences, and a constant care to please him; we must be in it as in our element, taking a pleasure in contemplating God’s glory and complying with his will. We must be devoted to his fear (Ps. 119:38); and governed by it as our commanding principle in all we say and do. All the days of our life we must constantly keep up an awe of God upon our spirits, must pay a deference to his authority, and have a dread of his wrath. We must be always so in his fear as never to be out of it. 3. A good reason for both of these (Prov. 23:18): Surely there is an end, an end and expectation, as Jer. 29:11. There will be an end of the prosperity of the wicked, therefore do not envy them (Ps. 73:17); there will be an end of thy afflictions, therefore be not weary of them, an end of thy services, thy work and warfare will be accomplished, perfect love will shortly cast out fear, and thy expectation of the reward not only will be not cut off, or disappointed, but it will be infinitely outdone. The consideration of the end will help to reconcile us to all the difficulties and discouragements of the way.