|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
66:13-20 We should declare unto those that fear God, what he has done for our souls, and how he has heard and answered our prayers, inviting them to join us in prayer and praise; this will turn to our mutual comfort, and to the glory of God. We cannot share these spiritual privileges, if we retain the love of sin in our hearts, though we refrain from the gross practice, Sin, regarded in the heart, will spoil the comfort and success of prayer; for the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination of the Lord. But if the feeling of sin in the heart causes desires to be rid of it; if it be the presence of one urging a demand we know we must not, cannot comply with, this is an argument of sincerity. And when we pray in simplicity and godly sincerity, our prayers will be answered. This will excite gratitude to Him who hath not turned away our prayer nor his mercy from us. It was not prayer that fetched the deliverance, but his mercy that sent it. That is the foundation of our hopes, the fountain of our comforts; and ought to be the matter of our praises.
Verse 13. - I will go into thy house with burnt offerings; I will pay thee my vows. In the old world the strict performance of vows was always held to be one of the main obligations of religion. A vow was of the nature of a compact with God, and to break it was an act of flagrant dishonesty, from which men shrank. The Mosaic Law sanctioned vows of various kinds, as the vowing of children to the service of God (Leviticus 27:1-8; 1 Samuel 1:11); the vow of the Nazarite (Numbers 6:2-21); and vows of clean or unclean animals (Leviticus 27:9-13, 27-29), etc. Clean animals, when vowed, must be either redeemed or sacrificed. The importance of performing vows is borne frequent witness to by the psalmists (see Psalm 22:25; Psalm 50:14; Psalm 56:12; Psalm 61:8; Psalm 65:1; Psalm 116:14, 18; Psalm 132:2).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I will go into thy house with burnt offerings,.... The psalmist here represents the saints and faithful in those times, who being delivered out of all their troubles, and brought into a large, free, plentiful, and comfortable condition, will come together into the place of public worship, and there unite in their sacrifices of praise to God; will come and present themselves as a whole burnt offering to the Lord; will come with hearts inflamed with love to God and one another, which is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices, Mark 12:33;
I will pay thee my vows; thanksgivings promised in time of distress, as follows; see Psalm 50:14.
The Treasury of David
13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings. I will pay thee my vows,
14 Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
15 will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.
"I will." The child of God is so sensible of his own personal indebtedness to grace, that he feels he must utter a song of his own. He joins in the common thanksgiving, but since the best public form must fail to meet each individual case, he makes sure that the special mercies received by him shall not be forgotten, for he records them with his own pen, and sings of them with his own lips. "I will go into thy house with burnt offerings;" the usual sacrifices of godly men. Even the thankful heart dares not come to God without a victim of grateful praise; of this as well as of every other form of worship, we may Say, "the blood is the life thereof." Reader, never attempt to come before God without Jesus, the divinely promised, given, and accepted burnt offering. "I will pay thee my vows." He would not appear before the Lord empty, but at the same time he would not boast of what he offered, seeing it was all due on account of former vows. After all, our largest gifts are but payments; when we have given all, we must confess, "O Lord, of thine own have we given unto thee." We should be slow in making vows, but prompt in discharging them. When we are released from trouble, and can once more go up to the house of the Lord, we should take immediate occasion to fulfil our promises. How can we hope for help another time, if we prove faithless to covenants voluntarily entered upon in hours of need.
"Which my lips have uttered," or vehemently declared; blurted out, as we say in common speech. His vows had been wrung from him; extreme distress burst open the door of his lips, and out rushed the vow like a long pent-up torrent, which had at last found a vent. What we were so eager to vow, we should be equally earnest to perform; but, alas! many a vow runs so fast in words that it lames itself for deeds. "And my mouth hath spoken." He had made the promise public, and had no desire to go back; an honest man is always ready to acknowledge a debt. "When I was in trouble." Distress suggested the vow; God in answer to the vow removed the distress, and now the votary desires to make good his promise. It is well for each man to remember that he was in trouble, proud spirits are apt to speak as if the road had always been smooth for them, as if no dog dare bark at their nobility, and scarce a drop of rain would venture to besprinkle their splendour; yet these very upstarts were probably once so low in spirits and condition that they would have been glad enough of the help of those they now despise. Even great Caesar, whose look did awe the world, must have his trouble and become weak as other men; so that his enemy could say in bitterness, "When the fit was on him, I did mark how he did shake." Of the strong and vigorous man the nurse could tell a tale of weakness, and his wife could say of the boaster, "I did hear him groan; his coward lips did from their colour fly." All men have trouble, but they act not in the same manner while under it; the profane take to swearing and the godly to praying. Both bad and good have been known to resort to vowing, but the one is a liar unto God, and the other a conscientious respecter of his word.
"I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of failings." The good man will give his best things to God. No starveling goat upon the hills will be present at the altar, but the well-fed bullocks of the luxuriant pastures shall ascend in smoke item the sacred fire. He who is miserly with God is a wretch indeed. Few devise liberal things, but those few find a rich reward in so doing. "With the incense of rams." The smoke of burning rams should also rise from the altar; he would offer, the strength and prime of his flocks as well as his herds. Of all we have we should give the Lord his portion, and that should be the choicest we can select. It was no waste to burn the fat upon Jehovah's altar, nor to pour the precious ointment upon Jesus's head; neither are large gifts and bountiful offerings to the church of God any diminution to a man's estate: such money is put to good interest and placed where it cannot be stolen by thieves nor corroded by rust. "I will offer bullets with goats." A perfect sacrifice, completing the circle of offerings, should show forth the intense love of his heart. We should magnify the Lord with the great and the littler. None of his ordinances Should be disregarded; we must not omit either the bullocks or the goats. In these three verses we have gratitude in action, not content with words, but proving its own sincerity by deeds of obedient sacrifice.
"Selah." It is most fit that we should suspend the song while the smoke of the victims ascends the heavens: let the burnt-offerings stand for praises while we meditate upon the infinitely greater sacrifice of Calvary.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13-15. These full and varied offerings constitute the payment of vows (Le 22:18-23).
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