|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
90:12-17 Those who would learn true wisdom, must pray for Divine instruction, must beg to be taught by the Holy Spirit; and for comfort and joy in the returns of God's favour. They pray for the mercy of God, for they pretend not to plead any merit of their own. His favour would be a full fountain of future joys. It would be a sufficient balance to former griefs. Let the grace of God in us produce the light of good works. And let Divine consolations put gladness into our hearts, and a lustre upon our countenances. The work of our hands, establish thou it; and, in order to that, establish us in it. Instead of wasting our precious, fleeting days in pursuing fancies, which leave the possessors for ever poor, let us seek the forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance in heaven. Let us pray that the work of the Holy Spirit may appear in converting our hearts, and that the beauty of holiness may be seen in our conduct.
Verse 15. - Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us. Proportion our time of joy to our time of sorrow: as the one has lasted many long years, so let the other. And the years wherein we have seen evil; or, "suffered adversity."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us,.... The days of affliction are times of sorrow; and days of prosperity make glad and joyful; and the psalmist here seems to desire an equal number of the one as of the other; not that an exact precise number of the one with the other is intended; but that there might be a proper proportion of the one to the other; and commonly God does "set the one over against the other": there is a mixture of both in the believer's life, which is like unto a chequer of black and white, in which there is a proper proportion of both colours; and so prosperity and adversity are had in turns, "and work together for good" to them that love the Lord: and when it is said "make us glad", that is, with thy favour and presence, it suggests, that these are a sufficient recompence for all affliction and trouble; and if so here, what must the enjoyment of these be in heaven! Between this and present afflictions there is no proportion, neither with respect to the things themselves, nor the duration of them; see Romans 8:18 and "the years" wherein "we have seen evil"; afflictions are evils; they flow from the evil of sin, and to some are the evil of punishment; and even chastisements are not joyous, but grievous: this may have respect to the forty years' travel in the wilderness, in which the Israelites saw or had an experience of much affliction and trouble; and even to the four hundred years in which the seed of Abraham were afflicted in a land not their's; see Numbers 14:33. Hence the Jews (i) make the times of the Messiah to last four hundred years, answerable to those years of evil, and which they take to be the sense of the text; and so Jarchi's note on it is,
"make us glad in the days of the Messiah, according to the number of the days in which thou hast afflicted us in the captivities, and according to the number of the years in which we have seen evil.''
(i) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 99. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. As have been our sorrows, so let our joys be great and long.
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