The Lord knoweth the days of the upright - He is acquainted with all his circumstances, severings, and ability to bear them; and he will either shorten his trials or increase his power. The Lord also approves of the man and his concerns; and his inheritance shall be for ever. He shall have God for his portion, here and hereafter. This is probably another indirect promise to the captives that they shall be restored to their own land. See Psalm 37:11.
The Lord knoweth the days of the upright - See the notes at Psalm 1:6. He knows how long they will live, and all that will happen to them. He sees their whole course of life; he sees the end. It is implied here that his eyes are on all the allotted days of their life; on all that has been ordained for them in the whole course of their life; and that nothing can shorten the days appointed to them. The wicked expect to live, hope to live, make their arrangements to live; but their eyes cannot rest on the future, and they cannot see the end - cannot tell precisely when they will be cut off. Some unexpected calamity - something which they cannot foresee - may come upon them, and cut short their days long before the expected thee; but this cannot happen in respect to Him whose eyes are on the righteous. Nothing can prevent their reaching the thee which he has fixed as the termination of their lives.
And their inheritance shall be forever - Shall be permanent, enduring. Perhaps all that was implied in tiffs language, as it was used by the psalmist, was that they would “continue,” or would not be cut off as the wicked are; that is, that righteousness would contribute to length of days upon the earth (compare Psalm 37:9); yet the “language” suggests a higher idea, and is applicable to the righteous in respect to the promise that they will be put in “everlasting” possession of that which they “inherit” from God; that is, that they will be literally blessed forever. They will have a sure inheritance on earth, and it will endure to all eternity in another world.
The posterity of Canaan descended to the most degrading forms of heathenism. Though the prophetic curse had doomed them to slavery, the doom was withheld for centuries. God bore with their impiety and corruption until they passed the limits of divine forbearance. Then they were dispossessed, and became bondmen to the descendants of Shem and Japheth. PP 118.1
The prophecy of Noah was no arbitrary denunciation of wrath or declaration of favor. It did not fix the character and destiny of his sons. But it showed what would be the result of the course of life they had severally chosen and the character they had developed. It was an expression of God's purpose toward them and their posterity in view of their own character and conduct. As a rule, children inherit the dispositions and tendencies of their parents, and imitate their example; so that the sins of the parents are practiced by the children from generation to generation. Thus the vileness and irreverence of Ham were reproduced in his posterity, bringing a curse upon them for many generations. “One sinner destroyeth much good.” Ecclesiastes 9:18. PP 118.2
On the other hand, how richly rewarded was Shem's respect for his father; and what an illustrious line of holy men appears in his posterity! “The Lord knoweth the days of the upright,” “and his seed is blessed.” Psalm 37:18, 26. “Know therefore that the Lord thy God He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9. PP 118.3
For a time the descendants of Noah continued to dwell among the mountains where the ark had rested. As their numbers increased, apostasy soon led to division. Those who desired to forget their Creator and to cast off the restraint of His law felt a constant annoyance from the teaching and example of their God-fearing associates, and after a time they decided to separate from the worshipers of God. Accordingly they journeyed to the plain of Shinar, on the banks of the river Euphrates. They were attracted by the beauty of the situation and the fertility of the soil, and upon this plain they determined to make their home. PP 118.4
Here they decided to build a city, and in it a tower of such stupendous height as should render it the wonder of the world. These enterprises were designed to prevent the people from scattering abroad in colonies. God had directed men to disperse throughout the earth, to replenish and subdue it; but these Babel builders determined to keep their community united in one body, and to found a monarchy that should eventually embrace the whole earth. Thus their city would become the metropolis of a universal empire; its glory would command the admiration and homage of the world and render the founders illustrious. The magnificent tower, reaching to the heavens, was intended to stand as a monument of the power and wisdom of its builders, perpetuating their fame to the latest generations. PP 118.5Read in context »
“Seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and Thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.” “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will He pay him again.” Isaiah 1:17; Psalm 41:1, 2; Proverbs 19:17. Ed 141.1
He who makes this investment lays up double treasure. Besides that which, however wisely improved, he must leave at last, he is amassing wealth for eternity,—that treasure of character which is the most valuable possession of earth or heaven. Ed 141.2Read in context »