|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
54:6-10 As God is slow to anger, so he is swift to show mercy. And how sweet the returns of mercy would be, when God should come and comfort them! He will have mercy on them. God's gathering his people takes rise from his mercy, not any merit of theirs; and it is with great mercies, with everlasting kindness. The wrath is little, the mercies great; the wrath for a moment, the kindness everlasting. We are neither to despond under afflictions, nor to despair of relief. Mountains have been shaken and removed, but the promises of God never were broken by any event. Mountains and hills also signify great men. Creature-confidences shall fail; but when our friends fail us, our God does not. All this is alike applicable to the church at large, and to each believer. God will rebuke and correct his people for sins; but he will not cast them off. Let this encourage us to give the more diligence to make our calling and election sure.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment,.... This signifies much the same as before, when God hides his face from his people, withdraws his gracious presence, and does not grant the discoveries of his love; or they are under the frowns of his providence, and have not the smiles of his face and the light of his countenance as formerly, then they think they are forsaken by him; though all this is but for a moment, a small period of time; and though it seems to be in "wrath", it is but "little wrath"; and this wrath is no other than the displeasure of a loving and tender hearted father. The Syriac version renders it, "great wrath"; and so Schultens (o) thinks the word signifies "overflowing wrath" (p), and the vehemency of it; to which agrees R. Menachem (q), who interprets it, "the heat of wrath"; so the Lord's suffering such a scene of bloody persecutions to attend his church in the first ages of Christianity might seem to be:
but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer; all the dealings of God with his people, however dark and dismal they be, whatever appearances there are in them of wrath and displeasure, they are all agreeable to, and do not contradict, his everlasting love; and sooner or later he will make it manifest, he has mercy in store for his people, which he does and will exercise towards them; this mercy flows from his love and kindness to them, which kindness is everlasting, and continues in and through all states and conditions into which they come; the consideration of which is very comfortable and encouraging, and of which they may be assured from the relation the Lord stands in to them as their Redeemer; for, having redeemed them at the expense of his blood, he will effectually gather them by grace in calling, and will never lose them, or suffer them to perish here or hereafter.
(o) Animadv. in Job, p. 145, 146. (p) "pauxillo irae exundantis, vel exiguo irae ebullientis", Vitringa. (q) Apud Jarchi, Kimchi, & Ben Melech, in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. In a little wrath—rather, "In the overflowing of wrath"; as Pr 27:4, Margin, [Gesenius]. The wrath, though but "for a moment," was overflowing while it lasted.
hid … face—(Isa 8:17; Ps 30:7).
everlasting—in contrast to "for a moment."
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