|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
78:9-39. Sin dispirits men, and takes away the heart. Forgetfulness of God's works is the cause of disobedience to his laws. This narrative relates a struggle between God's goodness and man's badness. The Lord hears all our murmurings and distrusts, and is much displeased. Those that will not believe the power of God's mercy, shall feel the fire of his indignation. Those cannot be said to trust in God's salvation as their happiness at last, who can not trust his providence in the way to it. To all that by faith and prayer, ask, seek, and knock, these doors of heaven shall at any time be opened; and our distrust of God is a great aggravation of our sins. He expressed his resentment of their provocation; not in denying what they sinfully lusted after, but in granting it to them. Lust is contented with nothing. Those that indulge their lust, will never be estranged from it. Those hearts are hard indeed, that will neither be melted by the mercies of the Lord, nor broken by his judgments. Those that sin still, must expect to be in trouble still. And the reason why we live with so little comfort, and to so little purpose, is, because we do not live by faith. Under these rebukes they professed repentance, but they were not sincere, for they were not constant. In Israel's history we have a picture of our own hearts and lives. God's patience, and warnings, and mercies, imbolden them to harden their hearts against his word. And the history of kingdoms is much the same. Judgments and mercies have been little attended to, until the measure of their sins has been full. And higher advantages have not kept churches from declining from the commandments of God. Even true believers recollect, that for many a year they abused the kindness of Providence. When they come to heaven, how will they admire the Lord's patience and mercy in bringing them to his kingdom!
Verse 13. - He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through (see Exodus 14:21, 22). And he made the waters to stand as an heap. The expression is taken from the Song of Moses (Exodus 15:8). It must be understood poetically.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He divided the sea,.... The Targum adds,
"by the rod of Moses their master;''
which he was ordered to lift up, and to stretch out his hand over the sea; which he did, and at the same time a strong east wind was raised, which caused the sea to go back, and divided the waters of it; see Exodus 14:16.
and caused them to pass through; that is, he caused the Israelites to pass through the sea; this they did in faith, Hebrews 11:29, in the faith of the power and promise of God, and of future grace and blessings, which this was an emblem of; for it was a representation of baptism, and is so called, 1 Corinthians 10:1 and of the sea of Christ's blood, or of his sufferings and death; whereby all enemies are overcome and destroyed, as sin and Satan, signified by the Egyptians, and salvation is wrought, and every blessing of grace procured; and of the passage of God's people through the sea of this world, and afflictions in it, safe to glory:
and he made the waters to stand as an heap; and were as a wall on the right hand and on the left hand so they continued until the Israelites had passed through; and then they returned, and covered the Egyptians, and drowned them, Exodus 14:22.
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