He knoweth vain men - שוא מתי methey shau, "men of falsehood."
He seeth wickedness - He sees as well what is in man, as what man does; and of his actions and propensities he cannot be an indifferent spectator.
For he knoweth vain men - He is intimately acquainted with the heart; he knows human beings altogether. The word “vain” here (שׁוא shâv' ), means properly vanity, emptiness, falsehood, a lie, iniquity. “Men of vanity,” here may mean people whose opinions are valueless, or it may mean people of deceit, falsehood, hypocrisy. Most probably it means the latter, and the indirect reference may be to such men as Job. The sense is, that God is intimately acquainted with such men. They cannot deceive him, and their wickedness will be found out.
Will he not then consider it? - Various ways have been proposed of explaining this. By some it is supposed to mean, “He seeth iniquity, where they do not observe it;” that is, he perceives it, where people do not themselves. This would express a thought which would accord well with the connection, but it is doubtful whether the Hebrew will bear this construction. By another explanation it is supposed to mean, as in our common version, “Will not God observe it, and bring it to trial? Will he suffer it to pass unnoticed?” This makes good sense, and the Hebrew will admit of this interpretation. But there is another view still, which is preferable to either. According to this it means, that God perceives the iniquity in man, though he does not seem to notice it; see the notes at Job 11:6. He appears to pass over a part of it, but he sees it notwithstanding, and is intimately acquainted with all the depravity of the heart. The main reference here is to Job, and the object is to show him that he was guilty, though he had asserted his innocence in so decided a manner. Though he seemed to himself to be innocent, yet Zophar labors to show him that he must be guilty, and that he had seen but a small part of his sins.
Indulgence Robs Brain of Its Power—The same Witness that recorded the profanity of Belshazzar is present with us wherever we go. Young man, young woman, you may not realize that God is looking upon you; you may feel that you are at liberty to act out the impulses of the natural heart, that you may indulge in lightness and trifling, but for all these things you must give an account. As you sow, you will reap, and if you are taking the foundation from your house, robbing your brain of its nutriment and your nerves of their power by dissipation and indulgence of appetite and passion, you will have an account to render to Him who says, “I know thy works.”—The Review and Herald, March 29, 1892. 1MCP 316.1Read in context »