Jehovah a Sure Defense against Apostasy.

A song of degrees, setting forth the manner in which God honors the trust of His people, both by protecting them and by leaving the hypocrites to the doom of the wicked. V. 1. They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, established as firmly as the mount of Godís holy Church, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever, the gates of hell being unable to prevail against it, Matt. 16, 18. V. 2. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, the entire chain of mountains upon several of whose summits the capital was located, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even forever, a wall of defense against all enemies. The figure of the psalmist emphasizes the impregnable nature of the Churchís protection both against attack and against temptation. V. 3. For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous, that is, the scepter of wickedness, as an emblem of superior power, would not abide upon the inheritance of Israel, upon the Holy Land, and therefore also not upon the Church, lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity, namely, under the pressure brought to bear upon them by the tyrants, causing the believers finally to join the oppressors, in order to find relief, a situation which has been found all too often in the history of the Church. V. 4. Do good, O Lord, unto those that be good and to them that are upright in their hearts, who are not given to hypocrisy and have not turned aside under the stress of temptation. V. 5. As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, leaving the right road and striking out in false paths and devious byways of their own choosing, the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity, with whom their hypocritical and wicked behavior causes them to be classed; but peace shall be upon Israel, the full prosperity of spiritual blessings will rest upon those who are truly members of the Church of God, the true Israel, Gal. 6, 16. Everlasting punishment is the end of the hypocrites and the oppressors; everlasting peace is the reward of those who place their trust in the Lord with unwavering confidence.