Verses 6–10

In these verses we have,

I. The satisfaction of saints, and their stability. It is the happiness of a good man that he shall not be moved for ever, Ps. 112:6. Satan and his instruments endeavour to move him, but his foundation is firm and he shall never be moved, at least not moved for ever; if he be shaken for a time, yet he settles again quickly.

1. A good man will have a settled reputation, and that is a great satisfaction. A good man shall have a good name, a name for good things, with God and good people: The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance (Ps. 112:6); in this sense his righteousness (the memorial of it) endures for ever, Ps. 112:9. There are those that do all they can to sully his reputation and to load him with reproach; but his integrity shall be cleared up, and the honour of it shall survive him. Some that have been eminently righteous are had in a lasting remembrance on earth; wherever the scripture is read their good deeds are told for a memorial of them. And the memory of many a good man that is dead and gone is still blessed; but in heaven their remembrance shall be truly everlasting, and the honour of their righteousness shall there endure for ever, with the reward of it, in the crown of glory that fades not away. Those that are forgotten on earth, and despised, are remembered there, and honoured, and their righteousness found unto praise, and honour, and glory (1 Pet. 1:7); then, at furthest, shall the horn of a good man be exalted with honour, as that of the unicorn when he is a conqueror. Wicked men, now in their pride, lift up their horns on high, but they shall all be cut off, Ps. 75:5, 10. The godly, in their humility and humiliation, have defiled their horn in the dust (Job 16:15); but the day is coming when it shall be exalted with honour. That which shall especially turn to the honour of good men is their liberality and bounty to the poor: He has dispersed, he has given to the poor; he has not suffered his charity to run all in one channel, or directed it to some few objects that he had a particular kindness for, but he has dispersed it, given a portion to seven and also to eight, has sown beside all waters, and by thus scattering he has increased: and this is his righteousness, which endures for ever. Alms are called righteousness, not because they will justify us by making atonement for our evil deeds, but because they are good deeds, which we are bound to perform; so that if we are not charitable we are not just; we withhold good from those to whom it is due. The honour of this endures for ever, for it shall be taken notice of in the great day. I was hungry, and you gave me meat. This is quoted as an inducement and encouragement to charity, 2 Cor. 9:9.

2. A good man shall have a settled spirit, and that is a much greater satisfaction than the former; for so shall a man have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. Surely he shall not be moved, whatever happens, not moved either from his duty or from his comfort; for he shall not be afraid; his heart is established, Ps. 112:7, 8. This is a part both of the character and of the comfort of good people. It is their endeavour to keep their minds stayed upon God, and so to keep them calm, and easy, and undisturbed; and God has promised them both cause to do so and grace to do so. Observe, (1.) It is the duty and interest of the people of God not to be afraid of evil tidings, not to be afraid of hearing bad news; and, when they do, not to be put into confusion by it and into an amazing expectation of worse and worse, but whatever happens, whatever threatens, to be able to say, with blessed Paul, None of these things move me, neither will I fear, though the earth be removed, Ps. 46:2. (2.) The fixedness of the heart is a sovereign remedy against the disquieting fear of evil tidings. If we keep our thoughts composed, and ourselves masters of them, our wills resigned to the holy will of God, our temper sedate, and our spirits even, under all the unevenness of Providence, we are well fortified against the agitations of the timorous. (3.) Trusting in the Lord is the best an surest way of fixing and establishing the heart. By faith we must cast anchor in the promise, in the word of God, and so return to him and repose in him as our rest. The heart of man cannot fix any where, to its satisfaction, but in the truth of God, and there it finds firm footing. (4.) Those whose hearts are established by faith will patiently wait till they have gained their point: He shall not be afraid, till he see his desire upon his enemies, that is, till he come to heaven, where he shall see Satan, and all his spiritual enemies, trodden under his feet, and, as Israel saw the Egyptians, dead on the sea-shore. Till he look upon his oppressors (so Dr. Hammond), till he behold them securely, and look boldly in their faces, as being now no longer under their power. It will complete the satisfaction of the saints, when they shall look back upon their troubles and pressures, and be able to say with St. Paul, when he had recounted the persecutions he endured (2 Tim. 3:11), But out of them all the Lord delivered me.

II. The vexation of sinners, Ps. 112:10. Two things shall fret them:—1. The felicity of the righteous: The wicked shall see the righteous in prosperity and honour and shall be grieved. It will vex them to see their innocency cleared and their low estate regarded, and those whom they hated and despised, and whose ruin they sought and hoped to see, the favourites of Heaven, and advanced to have dominion over them (Ps. 49:14); this will make them gnash with their teeth and pine away. This is often fulfilled in this world. The happiness of the saints is the envy of the wicked, and that envy is the rottenness of their bones. But it will most fully be accomplished in the other world, when it shall make damned sinners gnash with their teeth, to see Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in him bosom, to see all the prophets in the kingdom of God and themselves thrust out. 2. Their own disappointment: The desire of the wicked shall perish. Their desire was wholly to the world and the flesh, and they ruled over them; and therefore, when these perish, their joy is gone, and their expectations from them are cut off, to their everlasting confusion; their hope is as a spider’s web.