|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
46:6-11 Come and see the effects of desolating judgments, and stand in awe of God. This shows the perfect security of the church, and is an assurance of lasting peace. Let us pray for the speedy approach of these glorious days, and in silent submission let us worship and trust in our almighty Sovereign. Let all believers triumph in this, that the Lord of hosts, the God of Jacob, has been, is, and will be with us; and will be our Refuge. Mark this, take the comfort, and say, If God be for us, who can be against us? With this, through life and in death, let us answer every fear.
Verse 8. - Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. The deliverance of Israel from its peril is effected by "desolations" or "devastations," which God accomplishes among the nations. The announcement is very vague and general, so that it would apply to almost any occasion when the people of God were delivered from a pressing peril.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Come, behold the works of the Lord,.... Of nature and grace, especially those of Providence; both in a way of judgment, as in this verse; and of mercy, as in Psalm 46:9. These words are an address of the psalmist to his friends, as Apollinarius supplies it; or of the church to the fearful among them, who were dismayed at the commotions and disturbances that were in the world, Psalm 46:2; and who are encouraged to trust in the Lord, from the consideration of his works, particularly his providential dispensations;
what desolations he hath made in the earth; in the land of Judea, at the time of the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem, foretold by Moses, Deuteronomy 32:22; by Daniel, Daniel 9:26; and by our Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew 23:38; and which desolations being the fulfilling of prophecy, may serve to strengthen the faith of God's people, that whatsoever he has said shall come to pass; and that seeing he made such desolations among the Jews, for their rejection of the Messiah, what may not be expected will be made in the antichristian states, for their opposition to him? and, besides, are a confirmation of the truth of his being come; since after his coming these desolations, according to Daniel, were to be made; nor was the sceptre to depart from Judah till he came, nor the second temple to be destroyed before he was in it. Moreover, these desolations may refer to those that have been made in the Roman empire, upon the blowing of the trumpets; the first "four" of which brought in the Goths, Huns, and Vandals, into the western part of it, which made sad ravages and devastations in it; see Revelation 8:7; and the "fifth" and "sixth" brought in the Saracens and Turks into the eastern part of it, which seized and demolished it, and made dreadful havoc among men; see Revelation 9:1. Likewise the desolations that will be made in the antichristian states may be here intended; when the seven vials of God's wrath will be poured out upon them, Revelation 16:1 when the kings of the earth will hate the whore, and make her desolate, Revelation 17:16; and all her plagues shall come upon her in one day, Revelation 18:8. And a view of these desolations, even in prophecy, may serve to cheer the hearts of God's people under the present reign of antichrist, and under all the rage, fury, and oppression of antichristian powers, since they will all in a little time become desolate. This will be the Lord's doing, and it will be wondrous in our eyes.
The Treasury of David
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
"Come, behold the works of the Lord." The joyful citizens of Jerusalem are invited to go forth and view the remains of their enemies, that they may mark the prowess of Jehovah and the spoil which his right hand hath won for his people. It were well if we also carefully noted the providential dealings of our covenant God, and were quick to perceive his hand in the battles of his church. Whenever we read history it should be with this verse sounding in our ears. We should read the newspaper in the same spirit, to see how the Head of the Church rules the nations for his people's good, as Joseph governed Egypt for the sake of Israel. "What desolations he hath made in the earth." The destroyers he destroys, the desolators he desolates. How forcible is the verse at this date! The ruined cities of Assyria, Babylon, Petra, Bashan, Canaan, are our instructors, and in tables of stone record the doings of the Lord. In every place where his cause and crown have been disregarded ruin has surely followed; sin has been a blight on nations, and left their palaces to lie in heaps. In the days of the writer of this Psalm, there had probably occurred some memorable interposition of God against his Israel's foes; and as he saw their overthrow, he called on his fellow citizens to come forth and attentively consider the terrible things in righteousness which had been wrought on their behalf. Dismantled castles and ruined abbeys in our own land stand as memorials of the Lord's victories over oppression and superstition. May there soon be more of such desolations.
"Ye gloomy piles, ye tombs of living men,
Ye sepulchres of womanhood, or worse;
Ye refuges of lies, soon may ye fall,
And 'mid your ruins may the owl, and bat,
And dragon find congenial resting place."
"He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth." His voice quiets the tumult of war, and calls for the silence of peace. However remote and barbarous the tribe, he awes the people into rest. He crushes the great powers till they cannot provoke strife again; he give his people profound repose. "He breaketh the bow," the sender of swift-winged death he renders useless. "And cutteth the spear in sunder" - the lance of the might man he shivers. "He burneth the chariot in the fire" - the proud war-chariot with its death-dealing scythes he commits to the flames. All sorts of weapons he piles heaps on heaps, and utterly destroys them. So was it in Judea in the days of yore, so shall it be in all lands in eras yet to come. Blessed deed of the Prince of Peace! when shall it be literally performed? Already the spiritual foes of his people are despoiled of their power to destroy; but when shall the universal victory of peace be celebrated, and instruments of wholesale murder be consigned to ignominious destruction? How glorious will the ultimate victory of Jesus be in the day of his appearing, when every enemy shall lick the dust!
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. what desolations—literally, "who hath put desolations," destroying our enemies.
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