|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 19. - Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? (see Numbers 11:4). But the psalmist either feels himself at liberty to expand the account given in the Pentateuch, or has a further knowledge of the real feelings of the people, which has come to him by tradition (compare the comment on ver. 12).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Yea, they spoke against God,.... Not only thought ill of him, and tempted him in their hearts, but they expressed with their mouths what was in their hearts, and spoke against him, his power, and his providence, in plain words, though he had been so good and gracious to them, and had done such wonderful things for them: they said,
can God furnish a table in the wilderness? these are the words which they spoke against him, and by which they tempted him, questioning his power and his goodness, and expressing their dissatisfaction with their present and daily allowance; they were not content with the manna they had every day, but they wanted to have a table ordered and spread with all kind of dainties. The sense of the question is, can the Lord do this for us? give us a plentiful table in the wilderness, as well as drop the manna about our tents? if he can, why does not he? if he does not, it must be either for want in himself, or want of good will to us; and thus tried and tempted the Lord.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19, 20. in the face of His admitted power.
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