|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 18. - And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust; rather, by asking food (Kay, Cheyne, Alexander). The term used (אכל) is wide enough to include both bread (לחם) and flesh (שׁאר). "For their lust" (literally, "for their soul") means for the gratification of their carnal appetites (comp. Exodus 16:3; Numbers 11:5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they tempted God in their heart,.... Which is desperately wicked, and from whence all impiety flows; they entertained hard thoughts of God; they inwardly fretted at their present circumstances, and secretly repined and murmured against God, and wished for things they should not; not being contented with what they had, and thankful for them, as they ought to have been:
by asking meat for their lust; or, "for their soul"; such as their souls lusted after, and their sensitive appetites craved; for they were not satisfied with the bread they had, which was sufficient for their sustenance and support; they wanted food for pleasure and wantonness; to ask for daily bread is right, but to ask for more to consume on our lusts is wrong, James 4:3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. in their heart—(Mt 15:19).
for their lust—literally, "soul," or, "desire."
provoking—and—tempted—illustrated by their absurd doubts,
Psalm 78:18 Parallel Commentaries
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