John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

14 (Psalms 10:14)

Verse 14

14.Thou hast seen it; for thou, etc Here David, suddenly kindled with a holy zeal, enters into conflict, and, armed with the shield of faith, courageously repels these execrable opinions; but as he could derive no advantage by making his appeal to men, he has recourse to God, and addresses him. As the ungodly, in the hope of enjoying unrestrained license in the commission of all kinds of wickedness, withdraw to the greatest possible distance from God, (231) and through the dictates of a perverse mind, imagine themselves to be far beyond his reach; so, on the contrary, the faithful ought carefully to keep themselves aloof from those wild opinions, which are afloat in the world, and with minds lifted upward, to speak to God as if present with them. Accordingly, David, in order to prevent himself from being overcome by the blasphemies of men, very properly turns away his attention from them. There is added a reason in confirmation of the first sentence of the verse, namely, because God considers mischief and vexation Since it is the peculiar province of God to take cognisance of all wrongs, David concludes that it is impossible for God to shut his eyes when the ungodly are recklessly and without restraint committing their outrages. Moreover, he descends from the general to the particular, which ought to be attentively marked: for nothing is easier than to acknowledge in general terms that God exercises a care about the world, and the affairs of men; but it is very difficult to apply this doctrine to its various uses in every-day life. And yet, all that the Scripture says concerning the power and righteousness of God will be of no advantage to us, and, as it were, only matter of meagre speculation, (232) unless every one apply these statements to himself, as his necessity may require. Let us therefore learn, from the example of David, to reason thus: that, since it belongs to God to take notice of all the mischief and injuries which are inflicted on the good and simple, He considers our trouble and sorrows even when he seems for a time to take no notice of them. The Psalmist also adds, that God does not look down from heaven upon the conduct of men here below as an idle and unconcerned spectator, but that it is his work to pass judgment upon it; for to take the matter into his own hand, is nothing else than duly and effectually to examine and determine it as a judge.

It is, however, our duty to wait patiently so long as vengeance is reserved in the hand of God, until he stretch forth his arm to help us. We see, therefore, the reason why it is immediately added, Upon thee shall the poor leave. By these words David means, that we ought to give the providence of God time to manifest itself. The godly, when they are afflicted, may with confidence cast their cares into his bosom, and commit themselves to his protection. They ought not, however, to be in haste for the accomplishment of their wishes; but, being now disburdened, they should take their breath till God manifestly declare that the fit time of interfering in their behalf is come. The man, therefore, leaves upon God who betakes himself to his protection, and who, fully persuaded of his faithfulness in keeping what is entrusted to him, quietly waits till the fit time of his deliverance come. Some read the verb passively, The poor shall be left upon thee. The first reading, however, is more correct, and it agrees with the rules of grammar; only it is a defective form of expression, inasmuch as the thing which the poor leaves is not expressed. But this defect is common in Hebrew; and there is no obscurity in the thing itself, namely, that, when the godly commit themselves and their concerns to God by prayer, their prayers will not be in vain; for these two clauses are closely connected, Upon thee shall the poor leave, and, Thou shalt be a helper to the fatherless By a metaphor he terms the person fatherless whom he had in the preceding clause called poor. And the verb being in the future tense denotes a continued act.

- John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible