Destructions are come to a perpetual end - Rather, "The enemy is desolated for ever; for thou hast destroyed their cities, and their memory is perished with them." Multitudes of the cities of the Canaanites have perished so utterly that neither name nor vestige remains of them.
O thou enemy! - This verse has been very variously rendered and explained. For an examination of the particular views entertained of it, see particularly Rosenmuller, in loc. The reference is doubtless to the enemies mentioned in the previous verses; and the idea is substantially the same - that they were completely overcome and subdued. The phrase, “O thou enemy,” is probably to be regarded as the nominative absolute. “The enemy - his destructions or desolations are finished forever. He will now no more engage in that work.” The attention of the writer is fixed on them, and on the fact that they will no more engage in the work of desolation. It is not, therefore, properly to be regarded, as it is rendered in the common translation, as an apostrophe to the enemy, but rather as indicating a state of mind in which the writer is meditating on his foes, and on the fact that they would no more engage in the work in which they had been occupied - of laying cities and towns in ruins.
Destructions are come to a perpetual end - That is, thy destructions are finished, completed, accomplished. There are to be no more of them. This may either refer to their acts causing destruction, or laying waste cities and towns, meaning that they would no more accomplish this work; or to the destruction or ruins which they had caused in laying waste cities - the ruins which marked their career - meaning that the number of such ruins was now complete, and that no more would be added, for they them. selves were overthrown. The word rendered “destructions” means properly desolations, waste places, ruins, and seem here to refer to the wastes or ruins which the enemy had made; and the true idea is, that such desolations were now complete, or that they would not be suffered to devastate anymore cities and fields. Prof. Alexander renders this, “finished, completed are (his) ruins, desolations, forever; that is, he is ruined or made desolate forever.”
And thou hast destroyed cities - That is, in thy desolating career. This, considered as an address to the enemy, would seem to refer to the career of some victor who had Carried fire and sword through the land, and whose course had been marked by smoking ruins. This was, however, now at an end, for God had interposed, and had given the author of the psalm a victory ever his foe. Prof. Alexander regards this, less properly, as an address to God, meaning that he had destroyed the cities of the enemy. The idea is, rather, that this enemy had been distinguised for spreading desolation and ruin, and that this career was now closed forever.
Their memorial is perished with them - The names of the cities, referring to their utter destruction, and to the character of the warfare which had been waged. It had been utterly barbarous and vicious; the enemy had left nothing to testify even what the city had been, and its name had ceased to be mentioned. See the notes at Psalm 9:5. This seems to be mentioned as a justification of the warfare which the author of the psalm had waged against this enemy, and as showing why God had interposed and had given him the victory.
Thus will be made an end of sin, with all the woe and ruin which have resulted from it. Says the psalmist: “Thou hast destroyed the wicked, Thou hast put out their name forever and ever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end.” Psalm 9:5, 6. John, in the Revelation, looking forward to the eternal state, hears a universal anthem of praise undisturbed by one note of discord. Every creature in heaven and earth was heard ascribing glory to God. Revelation 5:13. There will then be no lost souls to blaspheme God as they writhe in never-ending torment; no wretched beings in hell will mingle their shrieks with the songs of the saved. GC 545.1
Upon the fundamental error of natural immortality rests the doctrine of consciousness in death—a doctrine, like eternal torment, opposed to the teachings of the Scriptures, to the dictates of reason, and to our feelings of humanity. According to the popular belief, the redeemed in heaven are acquainted with all that takes place on the earth and especially with the lives of the friends whom they have left behind. But how could it be a source of happiness to the dead to know the troubles of the living, to witness the sins committed by their own loved ones, and to see them enduring all the sorrows, disappointments, and anguish of life? How much of heaven's bliss would be enjoyed by those who were hovering over their friends on earth? And how utterly revolting is the belief that as soon as the breath leaves the body the soul of the impenitent is consigned to the flames of hell! To what depths of anguish must those be plunged who see their friends passing to the grave unprepared, to enter upon an eternity of woe and sin! Many have been driven to insanity by this harrowing thought. GC 545.2
What say the Scriptures concerning these things? David declares that man is not conscious in death. “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Psalm 146:4. Solomon bears the same testimony: “The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything.” “Their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.” “There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10. GC 545.3Read in context »
Then it will be seen that Satan's rebellion against God has resulted in ruin to himself and to all that chose to become his subjects. He has represented that great good would result from transgression; but it will be seen that “the wages of sin is death.” “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Malachi 4:1. Satan, the root of every sin, and all evil workers, who are his branches, shall be utterly cut off. An end will be made of sin, with all the woe and ruin that have resulted from it. Says the psalmist, “Thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name forever and ever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end.” Psalm 9:5, 6. PP 341.1
But amid the tempest of divine judgment the children of God will have no cause for fear. “The Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:16. The day that brings terror and destruction to the transgressors of God's law will bring to the obedient “joy unspeakable and full of glory” “Gather My saints together unto Me,” saith the Lord, “those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is Judge Himself.” PP 341.2
“Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.” Malachi 3:18. “Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law.” “Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, ... thou shalt no more drink it again.” “I, even I, am He that comforteth you.” Isaiah 51:7, 22, 12. “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” Isaiah 54:10. PP 341.3Read in context »