I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.
I. DESCRIBE THEIR CHARACTER. The phrase, "turn aside," denotes three things —
1. That there exists a way, path, or road in which we have to go.
2. That we have been in that way.
3. That there has been an awful departure from it.
(1) Some turn aside cowardly (Numbers 21:4).
(2) Some turn aside incautiously (1 Samuel 12:23). Bunyan's Pilgrim, with his companion Hopeful, wandered into the grounds of Giant Despair, and ultimately found themselves in the dungeons of Doubting Castle. He discovered a stile which led into a meadow, where was a footpath that seemed to run parallel with the high-road; into this path he went, thinking that it would prove easier for his feet. Let this illustrate what is meant to be conveyed by the term turning aside incautiously.
(3) Others turn aside courteously and complaisantly.
(4) Some turn aside through unwatchfulness (Matthew 26:41).
II. ILLUSTRATE THEIR WORK.
1. An evil work (Jeremiah 2:19).
2. A disgraceful and dishonourable work (Proverbs 14:34). What a disgraceful reflection it is upon the wisdom and economy of a man who begins to build, and is not able to finish! (Luke 14:28-30). How scandalous to forsake God, and associate with the devil; to exchange Christ for Belial, light for darkness, truth for error, liberty for bondage, heaven for hell!
3. It is a diabolical work; because it displays more of the devil than any other engagement pertaining to earth. It is following the example which apostate fiends have set. What was their original transgression but turning aside?
4. It is a ruinous work (Hebrews 10:28, 29).
III. EXHIBIT THE ABHORRENCE OF THE PSALMIST.
1. Our hatred of this work should be sincere.
2. It should be publicly professed. Though the Christian ought to avoid the very appearance of ostentation, there are times when silence or neutrality would be highly criminal.
3. It should be constantly and cordially cherished. Pray that you may increase in the love of God; for in proportion as you love God, you will hate evil. Meditate also on the tremendous consequences which will not fail to follow.
4. It should be practically exemplified. Do not forget how possible it is for those who now profess to detest the evil, by slow, and almost, imperceptible, degrees to become familiarized with it, and ultimately being led to practise that which now they hate. David fell into this snare. Also Peter. How frail is human nature! Exemplify your detestation of the evil in question, by attending to the injunction of the apostle (Philippians 3:16). Persevere in the good way.
Parallel VersesKJV: I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.
WEB: Morning by morning, I will destroy all the wicked of the land; to cut off all the workers of iniquity from Yahweh's city. A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before Yahweh.