Psalm 106:13
They soon forgot his works; they waited not for his counsel:
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(13-33) These twenty verses cover the desert wanderings, beginning with the discontented spirit mentioned in Exodus 15:23.

(13) They waited not . . .—They could not wait for the natural and orderly outcome of the counsel of God.

Psalm 106:13-15. They soon forgat his works — Even within three days, Exodus 15:22, and lost the impressions those works had made upon them. They that do not improve God’s mercies to them, nor endeavour, in some measure, to render to him according to the benefits done unto them, do indeed forget them. Hebrew, מהרו שׁכחו, meharu shachechu, they made haste, they forgat. So the margin. They turned aside quickly, as it is said Exodus 32:8. Or the words may be meant to signify two instances of their sin. 1st, They made haste — So as to anticipate God’s promises in their expectations; they expected to be in Canaan presently, and, because they were not, they questioned whether they should ever be there; grew impatient, looked upon themselves as neglected, and given over to destruction, forgetting those works which were undeniable evidences of God’s wisdom, power, and goodness: and hence they quarrelled with all the difficulties which they met with in their way: they waited not for his counsel — They did not wait patiently and believingly upon God for such supplies from his hand, and in such manner and time as he, in his counsel, had appointed. But lusted exceedingly — Namely, for flesh. And he gave them their request — But gave it them in anger, and with a curse, for he sent leanness into their souls — Or, into their bodies; as many commentators understand the expression. Their inordinate desire of pampering their bodies was the occasion of their being destroyed. This may refer to that great plague with which the Lord smote them while the flesh was yet within their teeth. Some translate the clause, He thinned their numbers, namely, by death. The word נפשׁ, nephesh, however, may be understood of the soul, properly so called; for their inordinate desire of flesh, and their eating to excess, were of course followed with uneasiness of mind, terror of conscience, and self-reproach, destructive of all confidence toward God, love to him, thankfulness for his mercies, and appetite for the bread of life; the consequence of which must, figuratively speaking, be leanness of soul.106:13-33 Those that will not wait for God's counsel, shall justly be given up to their own hearts' lusts, to walk in their own counsels. An undue desire, even for lawful things, becomes sinful. God showed his displeasure for this. He filled them with uneasiness of mind, terror of conscience, and self-reproach. Many that fare deliciously every day, and whose bodies are healthful, have leanness in their souls: no love to God, no thankfulness, no appetite for the Bread of life, and then the soul must be lean. Those wretchedly forget themselves, that feast their bodies and starve their souls. Even the true believer will see abundant cause to say, It is of the Lord's mercies that I am not consumed. Often have we set up idols in our hearts, cleaved to some forbidden object; so that if a greater than Moses had not stood to turn away the anger of the Lord, we should have been destroyed. If God dealt severely with Moses for unadvised words, what do those deserve who speak many proud and wicked words? It is just in God to remove those relations that are blessings to us, when we are peevish and provoking to them, and grieve their spirits.They soon forgat his works - On Psalm 106:13-15, see the notes at Psalm 78:17-22. Literally, here, as in the margin, "They made haste, they forgat." They did it soon; did it without any delay. It was as if they were impatient to have it done.

They waited not for his counsel - For the fulfillment of his promise; or for his command in regard to their future conduct. They did not look to him, but they depended on themselves, and followed their own desires and wishes.

13-15. The faith induced by God's display of power in their behalf was short lived, and their new rebellion and temptation was visited by God with fresh punishment, inflicted by leaving them to the result of their own gratified appetites, and sending on them spiritual poverty (Nu 11:18).

They soon forgat—literally, "They hasted, they forgat" (compare Ex 32:8). "They have turned aside quickly (or, hastily) out of the way." The haste of our desires is such that we can scarcely allow God one day. Unless He immediately answers our call, instantly then arise impatience, and at length despair.

his works—(De 11:3, 4; Da 9:14).

his counsel—They waited not for the development of God's counsel, or plan for their deliverance, at His own time, and in His own way.

13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel;

14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.

15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

Psalm 106:13

"They soon forgat his works." They seemed in a hurry to get the Lord's mercies out of their memories; they hasted to be ungrateful. "They waited not for his counsel," neither waiting for the word of command or promise; eager to have their own way, and prone to trust in themselves. This is a common fault in the Lord's family to this day; we are long in learning to wait for the Lord, and upon the Lord. With him is counsel and strength, but we are vain enough to look for these to ourselves, and therefore we grievously err.

Psalm 106:14

"But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness." Though they would not wait God's will, they are hot to have their own. When the most suitable and pleasant food was found them in abundance, it did not please them long, but they grew dainty and sniffed at angel's food, and must needs have flesh to eat, which was unhealthy diet for that warm climate, and for their easy life. This desire of theirs they dwelt upon till it became a mania with them, and, like a wild horse, carried away its rider. For a meal of meat they were ready to curse their God and renounce the land which floweth with milk and honey. What a wonder that the Lord did not take them at their word! It is plain that they vexed him greatly, "And tempted God in the desert." In the place where they were absolutely dependent upon him and were every day fed by his direct provision, they had the presumption to provoke their God. They would have him change the plans of his wisdom, supply their sensual appetites, and work miracles to meet their wicked unbelief these things the Lord would not do, but they went as far as they could in trying to induce him to do so. They failed not in their wicked attempt because of any goodness in themselves, but because God "cannot be tempted," - temptation has no power over him, he yields not to man's threats or promises.

Psalm 106:15

"And he gave them their request." Prayer may be answered in anger and denied in love. That God gives a man his desire is no proof that he is the object of divine favour, everything depends upon what that desire is: "But sent leanness into their soul." Ah, that "but"! It embittered all. The meat was poison to them when it came without a blessing; whatever it might do in fattening the body, it was poor stuff when it made the soul lean. If we must know scantiness, may God grant it may not be scantiness of soul - yet this is a common attendant upon worldly prosperity. When wealth grows with many a man his worldly estate is fatter, but his soul's state is leaner. To gain silver and lose gold is a poor increase; but to win for the body and lose for the soul is far worse. How earnestly might Israel have unprayed her prayers had she known what would come with their answer! The prayers of lust will have to be wept over. We fret and fume till we have our desire, and then we have to fret still more because the attainment of it ends in bitter disappointment.

Soon; even within three days, Exodus 15:22,23.

They waited not for his counsel; they did not wait patiently and believingly upon God for supplies from his hand, in such manner and time as he in his own counsel had appointed and thought fit. They soon forgat his works,.... The miracles he wrought in Egypt, the deliverance of them from thence with a mighty hand and outstretched arm, and the leading them through the Red sea as on dry land, and destroying all their enemies; all these they soon forgot, for they had gone but three days' journey into the wilderness after this, ere they began to murmur and show distrust of the power and providence of God, Exodus 15:22, it is in the Hebrew text, "they made haste, they forgat his works" (o); as soon as they were out of Egypt, they were for entering into the land of Canaan at once, and were much displeased that they were not immediately led into it.

They waited not for his counsel; they did not ask counsel of God, though it belongs to him, and he is wonderful in it, and does all things after the counsel of his own will; nor would they take it when given by Moses and Joshua; they did not choose to wait his time and way of working; they were for limiting the Holy One of Israel to their time and way; they were for being in the land of Canaan before his time; and were for eating flesh, when it was his counsel to feed on manna he provided for them every day.

(o) "festinaverunt, obliti sunt", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, &c.

They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his {g} counsel:

(g) The would prevent his wisdom and providence.

13. They soon forgat] Lit., They made haste (and) forgat. They had gone but three days journey from the Red Sea, when they murmured for water (Exodus 15:22 ff.); only six weeks later they were murmuring for food (Exodus 16:2 ff.); and in Rephidim again they murmured for water (Exodus 17:2 ff.). In their faithless impatience they refused to wait for God’s plan of providing for their wants.

13–15. A second instance of Israel’s sin, in murmuring for flesh.Verse 13. - They soon forgat his works; literally, they hasted and forgat his works. Their gratitude and devotion were short-lived. They almost immediately forgot the omnipotence and extreme goodness of God towards them. They "murmured" at Marah (Exodus 15:24), complained in the wilderness of Sin (Exodus 16:3), "lusted" (Numbers 11:4), "tempted God," etc. They waited not for his counsel; i.e. "they did not wait for the development of God's plans respecting them, preferring (ver. 43) their own counsel" (Kay). The key-note of the vidduj, which is a settled expression since 1 Kings 8:47 (Daniel 9:5, cf. Bar. 2:12), makes itself heard here in Psalm 106:6; Israel is bearing at this time the punishment of its sins, by which it has made itself like its forefathers. In this needy and helpless condition the poet, who all along speaks as a member of the assembly, takes the way of the confession of sin, which leads to the forgiveness of sin and to the removal of the punishment of sin. רשׁע, 1 Kings 8:47, signifies to be, and the Hiph. to prove one's self to be, a רשׁע. עם in Psalm 106:6 is equivalent to aeque ac, as in Ecclesiastes 2:16; Job 9:26. With Psalm 106:7 the retrospect begins. The fathers contended with Moses and Aaron in Egypt (Exodus 5:21), and gave no heed to the prospect of redemption (Exodus 6:9). The miraculous judgments which Moses executed (Exodus 3:20) had no more effect in bringing them to a right state of mind, and the abundant tokens of loving-kindness (Isaiah 63:7) amidst which God redeemed them made so little impression on their memories that they began to despair and to murmur even at the Red Sea (Exodus 14:11.). With על, Psalm 106:7, alternates בּ (as in Ezekiel 10:15, בּנהר); cf. the alternation of prepositions in Joel 3:8. When they behaved thus, Jahve might have left their redemption unaccomplished, but out of unmerited mercy He nevertheless redeemed them. Psalm 106:8-11 are closely dependent upon Exodus 14. Psalm 106:11 is a transposition (cf. Psalm 34:21; Isaiah 34:16) from Exodus 14:28. On the other hand, Psalm 106:9 is taken out of Isaiah 63:13 (cf. Wisd. 19:9); Isaiah 63:7-64:12 is a prayer for redemption which has a similar ground-colouring. The sea through which they passed is called, as in the Tפra, ים־סוּף, which seems, according to Exodus 2:3; Isaiah 19:3, to signify the sea of reed or sedge, although the sedge does not grow in the Red Sea itself, but only on the marshy places of the coast; but it can also signify the sea of sea-weed, mare algosum, after the Egyptian sippe, wool and sea-weed (just as Arab. ṣûf also signifies both these). The word is certainly Egyptian, whether it is to be referred back to the Egyptian word sippe (sea-weed) or seebe (sedge), and is therefore used after the manner of a proper name; so that the inference drawn by Knobel on Exodus 8:18 from the absence of the article, that סוּף is the name of a town on the northern point of the gulf, is groundless. The miracle at the sea of sedge or sea-weed - as Psalm 106:12 says - also was not without effect. Exodus 14:31 tells us that they believed on Jahve and Moses His servant, and the song which they sang follows in Exodus 15. But they then only too quickly added sins of ingratitude.
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