That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation. 15The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. 16The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. 17The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. 18For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. 19Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. 20Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.
CONTEXT: Form C.H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David: The strain so continually changes, that it is difficult to give an outline of it methodically arranged: we give the best we can make. From verses 1 to 6 is a song of jubilant thanksgiving; from 7 to 12, there is a continued declaration of faith as to the future. Prayer closes the first great division of the Psalm in verses 13 and 14. The second portion of this triumphal ode, although much shorter, is parallel in all its parts to the first portion, and is a sort of rehearsal of it. Observe the song for past judgments, verses 15, 16; the declaration of trust in future justice, 17, 18; and the closing prayer, 19, 20. Let us celebrate the conquests of the Redeemer as we read this Psalm, and it cannot but be a delightful task if the Holy Ghost be with us.
The main text v.16 is appropriate for Calvin’s quote and for many nations today. Spurgeon noted on this: Verse 16. Jehovah is known by the judgment which he executeth; his holiness and abhorrence of sin is thus displayed. A ruler who winked at evil would soon be known by all his subjects to be evil himself, and he, on the other hand, who is severely just in judgment reveals his own nature thereby. So long as our God is God, he will not, he cannot spare the guilty; except through that one glorious way in which he is just, and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. We must notice, secondly, that the manner of his judgment is singularly wise, and indisputably just. He makes the wicked become their own executioners. “The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made,” etc. Like cunning hunters they prepared a pitfall for the godly and fell into it themselves: the foot of the victim escaped their crafty snares, but the toils surrounded themselves: the cruel snare was laboriously manufactured, and it proved its efficacy by snaring its own maker. Persecutors and oppressors are often ruined by their own malicious projects. “Drunkards kill themselves; prodigals beggar themselves;” the contentious are involved in ruinous costs; the vicious are devoured with fierce diseases; the envious eat their own hearts; and blasphemers curse their own souls. Thus, men may read their sin in their punishment. They sowed the seed of sin, and the ripe fruit of damnation is the natural result
We are believers need to pray that all men, all nations will come to the understanding that David pronounced in v.20: Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men, and repent of their evil ways.