v1 “How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”?
David’s friend advises with a well meaning direction, but it’s ungodly. Like when Peter advised Jesus to not go the way of the cross, Matthew 16:22-23. Peter meant well, but he was really being used by the devil. We must always be careful with the advice we give to others. First, we must always mind our own business and not be busybodies, 1st Thess, 4:11 & 1st Tim. 5:13. Second, we can be too confident in our own perception of a situation. Job’s friend confidently said, “I will tell you, hear me; what I have seen I will declare” (Job 15:17), but he was wrong. Our motive is good but the advice is wrong.
v6, This shall be the portion of their cup: What people deserve is generally what they get, sooner or later, and the image of the cup as a container of judgment reminds us of Jesus’ prayer in the garden: O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will (Matthew 26:39) The cup Jesus dreaded was the cup that contained the wrath of God against sin, wrath that we deserved, but Jesus drank for us.
v7, He loves righteousness: David knew that as he walked righteously, he would keep [himself] in the love of God (Jude 21). It isn’t that we must earn God’s love by our personal righteousness; instead, our pursuit and practice of righteousness keeps us flowing in the benefits of God’s love which was poured out into our hearts by grace on the day we were baptised into Christ by faith, Romans 5:5-6:7. God’s love extends everywhere. Nothing can separate us from God’s love, and He loved us while we were still sinners, (Romans 5:8) But we can deny ourselves the benefits of God’s love, until we, by faith are buried with him in baptism, then His love is poured out into our hearts to drink and drink, forever! The water of Life. Christians who don’t keep themselves in the love of God end up living as if they are on the dark side of the moon. The sun is always out there, always shining, but they are never in a position to receive the light or warmth of the sun. We can choose to be like the Prodigal Son of Luke 15, who was always loved by the father, but for a time he did not benefit from that love. “His countenance beholds the upright”. Translators debate if this means “God’s upright people see Him” or “the LORD sees His upright people.” Most modern translations think it speaks of God’s people seeing Him: Upright men will see his face (NIV), The upright will behold His face (NASB),The godly shall see his face (LB). However, it really doesn’t matter, because both are true. God shines His face on His people. God’s people will see Him. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8). In fact, the desire to behold God is one of the greatest motivations to an upright life and heart.