The Lord will not leave him in his hand - Compare II Peter 2:9. That is, He will rescue him out of the hand of the wicked; he will not leave him, so that the wicked shall accomplish his purpose. The psalmist here undoubtedly means to refer mainly to what will occur in the present life - to the fact that God will interpose to deliver the righteous from the evil designs of the wicked, as he interposes to save his people from famine and want. The meaning is not that this will universally occur, for that would not be true; but that this is the general course of things; this is the tendency and bearing of the divine interpositions and the divine arrangements. Those interpositions and arrangements are, on the whole, favorable to virtue, and favorable to those who love and serve God; so much so that it is an advantage even in the present life to serve God. But this will be absolutely and universally true in the future world. The righteous will be wholly and forever placed beyond the reach of the wicked.
Nor condemn him when he is judged - literally, He will not regard or hold him to be guilty when he is judged. He will regard and treat him as a righteous man. This may refer either
(a) to a case where a judgment is pronounced on a good man "by his fellow-men," by which he is condemned or adjudged to be guilty - meaning that God will not so regard and treat him; or
(b) to the final judgment, when the cause comes "before God" - meaning that then he will regard and treat him as righteous.
Both of these are true; but it seems probable that the former is particularly referred to here. DeWette understands it in the latter sense; Rosenmuller in the former. Rosenmuller remarks that the idea is, that the wicked, when he is not permitted to assail the righteous by violence, makes his appeal to the courts, and seeks to secure his condemnation there, but that God will not permit this. As he has saved him from violence, so he will interpose and save him from an unrighteous condemnation in the courts. This seems to me to be the true idea. Of course, this is to be understood only in a "general" sense, or as marking the "general" course of things under the divine administration. On this subject, compare Dr. Taylor' s Lectures on Moral Government; vol. i., pp. 252-262. See also Butler' s Analogy, passim.
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