|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 22. - Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation. They trusted neither in God's power nor in his love; they neither believed that he would nor that he could save them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Because they believed not in God,.... That he was able to give them bread, and provide flesh for them, or bring them through the wilderness to Canaan's land, as he had promised. God, and he only, is the object of faith, and he is to be believed in at all times, and for all things temporal and spiritual; and nothing is more displeasing to him than unbelief; for as faith gives glory to him, unbelief reflects dishonour upon him; faith sets its seal to him as true, but unbelief makes him a liar; and what is more provoking to man than to have his veracity called in question, and to be counted a liar? in short, as faith has salvation annexed to it, unbelief has damnation, and to whom did the Lord swear that they should not enter into his rest but to them that believed not? so great an evil is unbelief, and is the sin which "easily beset" (c) the Israelites, as appears from the context; see Hebrews 3:12.
and trusted not in his salvation; which he promised them, and bid them stand still and see, Exodus 14:13, and of which they had had some proofs and instances in leading them through the Red sea, and thus far guiding them through the wilderness, and providing for them; and therefore had reason and encouragement to trust in the Lord, that he would yet be with them, and save them, and complete the mercy promised unto them.
(c) which Suidas, in voce interprets a foolish thing; and it is thought by his learned editor Kusterus, in ibid. to allude to foolish persons, who stand round about a mountebank or juggler, gazing at his tricks with pleasure and admiration, being insnared by them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. (Compare Heb 8:8, 9).
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