|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
136:10-22 The great things God did for Israel, when he brought them out of Egypt, were mercies which endured long to them; and our redemption by Christ, which was typified thereby, endures for ever. It is good to enter into the history of God's favours, and in each to observe, and own, that his mercy endureth for ever. He put them in possession of a good land; it was a figure of the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 16. - To him which led his people through the wilderness (Exodus 13:20-22; Exodus 40:36-38; Deuteronomy 8:15). For his mercy, etc.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
To him which led his people through the wilderness,.... Where there was no path. This the Lord did by going before them in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night, to show them the way in which they should go, Exodus 13:21; see Psalm 78:14;
for his mercy endureth for ever; among the manifold mercies of God, shown to Israel in the wilderness, this is one taken notice of by Nehemiah, Nehemiah 9:19; that the pillar of cloud and fire, to direct them, never departed from them while in it: and this act of "leading" them not only includes the guidance of them in the way, but the provision made for them; of water out of the rock, and of manna that fell about their tents every day; and of flesh and feathered fowl, like dust, so that they wanted nothing; and also the protection of them from their enemies: all which were proofs of his constant care over them, and continual mercy to them; see Psalm 78:15.
The Treasury of David
16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
18 And slew famous kings; for his mercy endureth for ever:
19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
20 And Og the king of Bashan, for his mercy endureth for ever:
21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
"To him which led his people through the wilderness." He led them into it, and therefore he was pledged to lead them through it. They were "his people," and yet they must go into the wilderness, and the wilderness must remain as barren as ever it was; but in the end they must come out of it into the promised land. God's dealings are mysterious, but they must be right, simply because they are his. The people knew nothing of the way, but they were led; they were a vast host, yet they were all led; there were neither roads nor tracks, but being led by unerring wisdom they never lost their way. He who brought them out of Egypt, also led them through the wilderness. By Moses, and Aaron, and Jethro, and the pillar of cloud he led them. What a multitude of mercies are comprehended in the conduct of such an enormous host through a region wherein there was no provision even for single travellers; yet the Lord by his infinite power and wisdom conducted a whole nation for forty years through a desert land, and their feet did not swell, neither did their garments wax old in all the journey. "For his mercy endureth for ever." Their conduct in the wilderness tested his mercy most severely, but it bore the strain; many a time he forgave them; and though he smote them for their transgressions, yet he waited to be gracious and speedily turned to them in compassion. Their faithfulness soon failed, but his did not: the fiery, cloudy pillar which never ceased to lead the van was the visible proof of his immutable love -
For his mercy, changing never,
Still endureth, sure for ever.
"To him which smote great kings." Within sight of their inheritance Israel had to face powerful enemies. Kings judged to be great because of the armies at their back blocked up their road. This difficulty soon disappeared, for the Lord smote their adversaries, and a single stroke sufficed for their destruction. He who had subdued the really mighty ruler of Egypt made short work of these petty sovereigns, great though they were in the esteem of neighbouring princes. "For his mercy endureth for ever." Mercy, which had brought the chosen tribes so far, would not be baulked by the opposition of boastful foes. The Lord who smote Pharaoh at the beginning of the wilderness march, smote Sihon and Og at the close of it. How could these kings hope to succeed when even mercy itself was in arms against them.
Evermore his mercy stands
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