Whoever is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the LORD.
I. THE WISDOM OF A DEVOUT ATTENTION TO THE WAYS OF PROVIDENCE.
1. They who are wise will observe those things — take notice of the hand of God in the various turns and methods of His providence.
2. A religious observation of providence is the way to improve in true wisdom. "Who is wise? Even he will observe those things," and by observing those things he will become still wiser.
3. It requires much wisdom and prudence to make right observations on the ways of Providence, and to put a proper construction upon them.
(1) Let us fix in our minds a full and lively persuasion of the doctrine of providence: or be firmly assured of the reality and certainty of an overruling and governing power that reaches to all events.
(2) We must attend to Divine providences with diligence; observe them with a steady and accurate eye, and deposit them faithfully in our memories to be reviewed and applied hereafter.
(3) We must be cautious in our application of providences, and in our determinations concerning their immediate design.
(4) Let us patiently wait the events of providence before we judge.
(5) We should carefully compare one providence with another.
(6) We should carefully compare the book of providence with the Book of Scripture.
(7) If we would understand the providences of God let us obey the calls of them.
(8) Frequently pray for direction in this matter, and for that wisdom which is profitable to direct.
II. THE GREAT BENEFIT AND ADVANTAGE OF SUCH A PRUDENT AND DEVOUT ATTENTION TO THE PROVIDENCES OF GOD; particularly as it will open to us new discoveries of the Divine goodness. "Even they shall understand," etc.
1. This may refer either to public and general, or to particular and private providences.
(1) It may refer to public and general providences. And then the meaning is, that by such a wise, discreet and careful attention to the ways of Providence in general, we shall soon come to be convinced that the whole earth is full of the goodness of the Lord; that His tender mercies are over all His works, etc.
(2) The words have a more immediate reference to private and particular providences.
2. It may be objected that there are a thousand things in the present state, both of the natural and moral world, which we can by no means reconcile with our ideas of infinite mercy and goodness. Now, to this I answer —
(1) The psalmist does not say, nor can any man presume to think, that there are inexplicable mysteries in the ways of Providence; or that there are not many things in the course of the Divine dispensations which we are not able at present to reconcile either with the goodness or wisdom of God.
(2) All that the text affirms is, that they who make the wisest and justest observations on providence, will make the plainest and largest discoveries of the lovingkindness of the Lord; and may discern traces of love in those events which to others appear tokens of anger.
(J. Mason, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.