|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 37. - For their heart was not right with him. It is the worship of the heart alone which God values (see Deuteronomy 10:12; Proverbs 3:1; Proverbs 23:26, etc.). If the heart be not "right with God," our worship is an offence to him. Neither were they steadfast in his covenant (comp. ver. 8).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For their heart was not right with him,.... Neither prepared and ready to any good work, but reprobate thereunto; nor steady, fixed, and established, as a good man's heart is, trusting in the Lord; but wavering, fickle, and inconstant; nor true, faithful, and upright; but turning aside like a deceitful bow, as is afterwards said, Psalm 78:57,
neither were they steadfast in his covenant; which was made with them at Sinai, though they promised to be obedient, and to do all the Lord said unto them; but this covenant they broke, though he were an husband to them; see Exodus 24:7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
37. heart … not right—or, "firm" (compare Ps 78:8; Ps 51:10).
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