|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
74:12-17 The church silences her own complaints. What God had done for his people, as their King of old, encouraged them to depend on him. It was the Lord's doing, none besides could do it. This providence was food to faith and hope, to support and encourage in difficulties. The God of Israel is the God of nature. He that is faithful to his covenant about the day and the night, will never cast off those whom he has chosen. We have as much reason to expect affliction, as to expect night and winter. But we have no more reason to despair of the return of comfort, than to despair of day and summer. And in the world above we shall have no more changes.
Verses 12-17. - Comfort springs from the thought of God's previous deliverances of his people, and of his other great mercies. The deliverance from Egypt has the foremost place (vers. 13,14), as the most striking. Then the deliverance from the wilderness, and the passage of Jordan (ver. 15). From these the poet passes to God's mercies in nature - day and night, light and sun, set bounds of earth and sea, alternations of the seasons - all formed and arranged by the Almighty (vers. 16, 17). Verse 12. - For God is my King of old (comp. Psalm 44:4). As "King," he has power to perform all that he wills, to set up and to cast down, to give into the enemy's hand and to deliver. Working salvation in the midst of the earth. Not in any imaginary earth centre, but, as Professor Cheyne says, "quite broadly, in various parts of the earth" (comp. Exodus 8:22).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For God is my King of old,.... Or "but God", or "verily God", &c. (d); for these words contain the church's consolation under all the above melancholy circumstances, taken from what God was, and had been to her, even Christ, who is God over all; he was her King by the constitution and designation of his Father, and so he had been of old, even from everlasting; for so early was he set up as King; and he had in all ages been exercising his kingly office for the good of his church, and continued to do so; and this was her comfort, and is the comfort of saints in the worst of times, that Zion's King reigneth, see Psalm 46:1.
working salvation in the midst of the earth; it is "salvations" (e) in the plural number, and means both spiritual and eternal salvation, which the Lord has wrought out; and is continually applying to his people; and temporal salvation, which the Lord has been and is daily working out; he continually protecting his people, and saving them from their enemies, and delivering them out of their afflictions and temptations; and which the church considers and improves into an argument to encourage her faith, and expect the time when her walls would be salvation, and her gates praise; and she should have reason to say, now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ; and give him all the glory of it; see Isaiah 60:18, which salvation, as it has been, so will be wrought
in the midst of the earth; meaning not in the midst of the land of Judea, or in Judea, the middle of the world, but openly and publicly in all the earth; though Cyril of Jerusalem says (f) Golgotha is the midst of the earth, where Christ suffered and wrought out salvation; and that it is here referred to.
(d) "atqui Deus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "at Deus" Vatablus, Cocceius; "equidem", Tigurine version; "certe", Schmidt. (e) "salutes", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Cocceius, Gejerus. (f) Cateches. 13. sect. 13. p. 180. Vid. Amamae Antibarb. Bibl. l. 3. p. 798, &c.
The Treasury of David
12 For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.
14 Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
15 Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers.
16 The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
17 Thou hast Set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.
18 Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O Lord, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.
19 O deliver not the soul of thy turtle-dove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever.
20 Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.
21 O let not the oppressed return ashamed let the poor and needy praise thy name.
22 Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.
23 Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually.
Having spread the sad case before the Lord, the pleader now urges another series of arguments for divine help. He reasons from the Lord's former wonders of grace, and his deeds of power, imploring a repetition of the same divine works.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. For—literally, "And," in an adversative sense.
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