4. For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou sittest upon the throne a righteous judge.1 5. Thou hast rebuked the nations; thou hast destroyed the wicked; thou hast blotted out their name for ever and ever.
The Psalmist proceeds a step farther in the 4th verse, declaring that God stretched forth his hand to give him succor, because he was unrighteously afflicted by his enemies. And surely if we desire to be favored with the assistance of God, we ought to see to it that we fight under his standard. David, therefore, calls him a judge of righteousness, or, which is the same thing, a righteous judge; as if he had said, God has acted towards me according to his ordinary manner and constant principle of acting, for it is his usual way to undertake the defense of good causes. I am more inclined to render the words, Thou sittest a just judge, than to render them, O just judge, thou sittest,2 because the form of expression, according to the first reading, is more emphatic. The import of it is this:God at length has assumed the character of judge, and is gone up into his judgment-seat to execute the office of judge. On this account he glories in having law and right on his side, and declares that God was the maintainer of his right and cause. What follows in the next verse, Thou hast destroyed [or discomfited,] the wicked, belongs also to the same subject. When he beholds his enemies overthrown, he does not rejoice in their destruction, considered simply in itself; but in condemning them on account of their unrighteousness, he says that they have received the punishment which they deserved. Under the name of nations he means, that it was not a small number of ungodly persons who were destroyed, but great armies, yea, even all who had risen up against him from different quarters. And the goodness of God shines forth the brighter in this, that, on account of the favor which he bare to one of his servants, he spared not even whole nations. When he says, Thou hast blotted out their name for ever, it may be understood as meaning, that they were destroyed without any hope of ever being able to rise again, and devoted to everlasting shame. We could not otherwise discern how God buries the name of the ungodly with themselves, did we not hear him declare that the memory of the righteous shall be for ever blessed, (Proverbs 10:7.)