Psalms 34:16 MEANING

Psalm 34:16
(16) To cut off.--Notice the fear, so intense and recurring to the Semitic mind, of the extinction of race. (Comp. Psalm 21:10; Job 18:17, &c)

This verse, according to the sense, should certainly change places with Psalm 34:15. This would disarrange the acrostic, bringing pe before ayin; but, as in Lamentations 2, 3, 4 the same sequence of letters occurs, we are led to the conclusion that the order of the alphabet was not definitely or invariably fixed in respect of these two letters, a license intelligible enough when we remember that tsadde, which follows pe, was often interchanged with ayin, which precedes it.

Verse 16. - The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. Conversely, God turns away his face from the wicked, and punishes them by causing their very memory to perish from among men (comp. Job 18:17; Psalm 109:13; Proverbs 10:7). The natural wish for continuance, which causes men to build themselves monuments, and erect other great works, and delight in offspring, and seek to establish their families, and create entails, and have their portraits taken, and "call the lands after their own names" (Psalm 49:11), was especially strong in the Hebrew race, and made the threat that their remembrance should be cut off peculiarly terrible to them.

34:11-22 Let young persons set out in life with learning the fear of the Lord, if they desire true comfort here, and eternal happiness hereafter. Those will be most happy who begin the soonest to serve so good a Master. All aim to be happy. Surely this must look further than the present world; for man's life on earth consists but of few days, and those full of trouble. What man is he that would see the good of that where all bliss is perfect? Alas! few have this good in their thoughts. That religion promises best which creates watchfulness over the heart and over the tongue. It is not enough not to do hurt, we must study to be useful, and to live to some purpose; we must seek peace and pursue it; be willing to deny ourselves a great deal for peace' sake. It is the constant practice of real believers, when in distress, to cry unto God, and it is their constant comfort that he hears them. The righteous are humbled for sin, and are low in their own eyes. Nothing is more needful to true godliness than a contrite heart, broken off from every self-confidence. In this soil every grace will flourish, and nothing can encourage such a one but the free, rich grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The righteous are taken under the special protection of the Lord, yet they have their share of crosses in this world, and there are those that hate them. Both from the mercy of Heaven, and the malice of hell, the afflictions of the righteous must be many. But whatever troubles befal them, shall not hurt their souls, for God keeps them from sinning in troubles. No man is desolate, but he whom God has forsaken.The face of the Lord is against them that do evil,.... Not against everyone that sins; for the righteous are not without sin; they have sin in them, and they do no good without it; but against them that live in sin, whose course of life is a series of wickedness, and they are workers of iniquity; and have no sense of sin, nor sorrow for it, go on in it without shame or fear; against these the face of the Lord is, he shows his resentment, and stirs up his wrath. For the Lord to be against a man is dreadful; a fearful thing it is to fill into his hands as a God of vengeance; there is no standing before him when once he is angry: and to have the face of God against a man is intolerable, when it is to destroy, and

to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth; so that they shall be no more thought of, nor spoken of, but with contempt and reproach; an everlasting mark of infamy being upon their names; see Proverbs 10:7.

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