|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
77:1-10 Days of trouble must be days of prayer; when God seems to have withdrawn from us, we must seek him till we find him. In the day of his trouble the psalmist did not seek for the diversion of business or amusement, but he sought God, and his favor and grace. Those that are under trouble of mind, must pray it away. He pored upon the trouble; the methods that should have relieved him did but increase his grief. When he remembered God, it was only the Divine justice and wrath. His spirit was overwhelmed, and sank under the load. But let not the remembrance of the comforts we have lost, make us unthankful for those that are left. Particularly he called to remembrance the comforts with which he supported himself in former sorrows. Here is the language of a sorrowful, deserted soul, walking in darkness; a common case even among those that fear the Lord, Isa 50:10. Nothing wounds and pierces like the thought of God's being angry. God's own people, in a cloudy and dark day, may be tempted to make wrong conclusions about their spiritual state, and that of God's kingdom in the world. But we must not give way to such fears. Let faith answer them from the Scripture. The troubled fountain will work itself clear again; and the recollection of former times of joyful experience often raises a hope, tending to relief. Doubts and fears proceed from the want and weakness of faith. Despondency and distrust under affliction, are too often the infirmities of believers, and, as such, are to be thought upon by us with sorrow and shame. When, unbelief is working in us, we must thus suppress its risings.
Verse 8. - Is his mercy clean gone forever? The mercy which he has so long shown towards Israel (comp. Psalm 78.). Doth his promise fail forevermore? The promise which he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that he would be with their seed forever (Genesis 17:7-13; Genesis 26:24; Genesis 35:11, 12).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Is his mercy clean gone for ever?.... Or "his grace" (q); and mercy is no other than grace to objects in misery; Unbelief says it is gone, that no more will be shown, and that the treasures of it are exhausted; but Faith says it is not gone, and observes that God is the God of all grace, is rich in mercy, and abundant in goodness; that his Son is full of grace and truth, and so is the covenant; and that though there is an abundance of it given in conversion, and there are continual supplies of it afterwards; yet this grace is still sufficient, and this mercy abundant; salvation is by it, as for millions past, so for millions present and to come; the mercy of God is new every morning, it endures for ever, it is from everlasting to everlasting:
doth his promise fail for evermore? or word (r); his words of consolation, as Kimchi interprets it; the sense may be, will he speak never a word of comfort more? Unbelief says he will not, but Faith says he will; and that though he brings into the wilderness, yet he will speak comfortably there; and as he answered the Angel of the covenant with good and comfortable words, so he orders his ministers to speak, and by them he does speak comfortably to his people: or, in general, the word of the Gospel is meant; which though it may be sometimes scarce and rare, and there may be few preachers of it; yet it lives and abides for ever, it is the everlasting Gospel; or, in particular, the promise or promises of the Gospel: Faith says not one of these shall fail, grounding it upon the ability of God, and his power to perform: and upon his faithfulness, which he will never suffer to fail; and the promises of God are so far from failing for evermore, that they never fail at all; there never was any instance of any; not one of the good things which God has spoken of, from the creation of the world to this present time, have ever failed; the promises are yea and amen in Christ; see Joshua 23:14. The Targum interprets it differently of his evil word being fulfilled on every generation.
(q) "gratia ipsius", Cocceius, Gejerus. (r) "eloquim", Pagninus, Montanus; "sermo", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "verbum", Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis; "oraculum", Tigurine version, Musculus.
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