|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77:1-10 Days of trouble must be days of prayer; when God seems to have withdrawn from us, we must seek him till we find him.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 9. - Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Can God, who forgets nothing and no one (Isaiah 49:15), have forgotten his own nature, which is to be "merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness" (Exodus 34:6)? Assuredly not. The higher nature in the psalmist, as Professor Cheyne observes, expostulates with the lower one. Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Has he shut them up, "as in a closed hand" (Kay, Canon Cook)? (comp. Deuteronomy 15:7).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Hath God forgotten to be gracious,.... He has not, is it possible that he should? as the Targum; it is not; he cannot forget the purposes of his grace and mercy, nor the covenant and promises of it, nor people the objects of it; and much less can he for his grace and mercy itself, so agreeable to his nature, what he delights in, and which he has proclaimed in Christ:
hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?; as an avaricious man shuts up his hand, and will not communicate liberally; or as the sea is shut up with doors, that its waters may not overflow; no, the mercies of God are not restrained, though unbelief says they are, at least queries if they are not, Isaiah 63:15, but Faith says they flow freely through Christ, and the people of God are crowned with lovingkindness and tender mercies; God gives liberally, and upbraideth not; and though he may hide his face in a little seeming wrath for a moment, yet with great mercies will he gather, and with everlasting kindness will he have mercy.
Selah. See Gill on Psalm 3:2.
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