|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
66:8-12 The Lord not only preserves our temporal life, but maintains the spiritual life which he has given to believers. By afflictions we are proved, as silver in the fire. The troubles of the church will certainly end well. Through various conflicts and troubles, the slave of Satan escapes from his yoke, and obtains joy and peace in believing: through much tribulation the believer must enter into the kingdom of God.
Verses 8-15. - Here we reach the heart of the psalm. The people are called upon to praise God for a recent deliverance from a long period of severe affliction and oppression at the hand of enemies (vers. 8-12), and to join in the sacrifices which are about to be offered to God in payment of the vows made during the time of trouble (vers. 13-15). As the writer ascribes to himself both the making of the vows and the offering of the sacrifices, he must have been the leader of the nation at the time of the oppression and of the deliverance. Verse 8. - O bless our God, ye people; literally, ye peoples - but the plural form here can scarcely point to the "nations," who have just been called, not 'ammim, but goim (see ver. 7). And make the voice of his praise to be heard (comp. Psalm 33:3; cf. 5). The heartiness of the soul's devotion was made apparent by the loudness of the voice.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
O bless our God, ye people,.... In all countries, that know the Lord and fear him; ascribe blessing, and honour and glory, to Christ our God, on account of his works, actions, perfections, kingdom and power; and because of the destruction of those who are rebels to his government;
and make the voice of his praise to be heard; far and near, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs; by shoutings, and loud acclamations of joy; see Revelation 19:5; where Christ is called our God, and a like exhortation is made as here.
The Treasury of David
8 O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
9 Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
"O bless our God, lie people." Ye chosen seed, peculiarly beloved, it is yours to bless your covenant God as other nations cannot. Ye should lead the strain, for he is peculiarly your God. First visited by his love, ye should be foremost in his praise. "And make the voice of his praise to be heard." Whoever else may sing with bated breath, do you be sure to give full tongue and volume to the song. Compel unwilling ears to hear the praises of your covenant God. Make rocks, and hills, and earth, and sea, and heaven itself to echo with your joyful shouts.
"Which holdeth our soul in life." At any time the preservation of life, and especially the soul's life, is a great reason for gratitude, but much more when we are called to undergo extreme trials, which of themselves would crush our being. Blessed be God, who, having put our souls into possession of life, has been pleased to preserve that heaven-given life from the destroying power of the enemy. "And suffereth not our feet to be moved." This is another and precious boon. If God has enabled us not only to keep our life, but our position, we are bound to give him double praise. Living and standing is the saint's condition through divine grace. Immortal and immovable are those whom God preserves. Satan is put to shame, for instead of being able to slay the saints, as he hoped, he is not even able to trip them up. God is able to make the weakest to stand fast, and he will do so.
"For thou, O God, hast proved us." He proved his Israel with sore trials. David had his temptations. All the saints must go to the proving house; God had one Son without sin, but he never had a son without trial. Why ought we to complain if we are subjected to the rule which is common to all the family, and from which so much benefit has flowed to them? The Lord himself proves us, who then shall raise a question as to the wisdom and the love which are displayed in the operation? The day may come when, as in this case, we shall make hymns out of our griefs, and sing all the more sweetly because our mouths have been purified with bitter draughts. "Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried." Searching and repeated, severe and thorough, has been the test; the same result has followed as in the case of precious metal, for the dross and tin have been consumed, and the pure ore has been discovered. Since trial is sanctified to so desirable an end, ought we not to submit to it with abounding resignation.
"Thou broughtest us into the net." The people of God in the olden time were often enclosed by the power of their enemies, like fishes or birds entangled in a net; there seemed no way of escape for them. The only comfort was that God himself had brought them there, but even this was not readily available, since they knew that he had led them there in anger as a punishment for their transgressions; Israel in Egypt was much like a bird in the fowler's net. "Thou laidst affliction upon our loins." They were pressed even to anguish by their burdens and pains. Not on their backs alone was the load, but their loins were pressed and squeezed with the straits and weights of adversity. God's people and affliction are intimate companions. As in Egypt every Israelite was a burden-bearer, so is every believer while he is in this foreign land. As Israel cried to God by reason of their sore bondage, so also do the saints. We too often forget that God lays our afflictions upon us; if we remembered this fact, we should more patiently submit to the pressure which now pains us. The time will come when, for every ounce of present burden, we shall receive a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8, 9. Here is, perhaps, cited a case of recent deliverance.
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