Psalm 107:11
Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
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(11) Contemned.—This word is an old Mosaic designation for the provocation offered by the chosen people (Numbers 14:11; Numbers 14:23), as well as for the abhorrence shown by Jehovah for their sin (Deuteronomy 32:19). Certainly this verse is more closely applicable to violation of the Theocratic relations of Israel to Jehovah than of heathen opposition to God.

107:10-16 This description of prisoners and captives intimates that they are desolate and sorrowful. In the eastern prisons the captives were and are treated with much severity. Afflicting providences must be improved as humbling providences; and we lose the benefit, if our hearts are unhumbled and unbroken under them. This is a shadow of the sinner's deliverance from a far worse confinement. The awakened sinner discovers his guilt and misery. Having struggled in vain for deliverance, he finds there is no help for him but in the mercy and grace of God. His sin is forgiven by a merciful God, and his pardon is accompanied by deliverance from the power of sin and Satan, and by the sanctifying and comforting influences of God the Holy Spirit.Because they rebelled against the words of God - The commands of God. They did not keep his commandments. Their captivity was produced by national disobedience. See the notes at Daniel 9:5-8.

And contemned the counsel - They despised the instructions of God. The law of God, at the same time that it "is" law, is of the nature of "counsel," since it is indicative of what God regards as wise and good, and since it is the best "advice" that God can give to people. A just and righteous law, while it involves "obligation" to obey it, is also the best counsel that can be given, and implies that the highest "wisdom" would be shown in being obedient to it. God will "command" nothing which he would not "advise," and which it would not be "wisdom" to obey.

Of the Most High - Of God, who, being supreme, has a right to rule over all, and to require that his laws shall be obeyed.

10-16. Their sufferings were for their rebellion against (Ps 105:28) the words, or purposes, or promises, of God for their benefit. When humbled they cry to God, who delivers them from bondage, described as a dark dungeon with doors and bars of metal, in which they are bound in iron—that is, chains and fetters.

shadow of death—darkness with danger (Ps 23:4).

Against the words of God; against God’s commands, made known either,

1. By his written word delivered to the Jews, of which the Gentiles were not ignorant, which therefore they should have diligently inquired after and searched into, as the queen of Sheba came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and as divers of the heathens travelled into very remote parts to gain a more perfect knowledge of the arts and sciences; which will justly be laid to their charge, and condemn them for their neglect of that Divine wisdom which was treasured up in the Holy Scriptures. Or,

2. By the prophets, who sometimes were sent to the Gentiles. Or,

3. By the law and light of nature, and by its interpreters, their wise and learned philosophers, who delivered many excellent rules and precepts of piety and virtue, which were sufficient, though not for their salvation without Christ, yet for the conduct of their lives in a great measure, and to leave them without excuse for their gross disobedience thereunto.

Because they rebelled against the words of God,.... All afflictions, as captivity and imprisonment, are generally for sin; which is a rebellion against God, and a transgression of his laws. Adam rebelled against the words of God, not giving credit to them, but believing the words of the devil; and so brought himself and all his posterity into that state of darkness, captivity, and death, before described. Some understand this only of the light of nature, and the dictates of it, against which men rebel; but rather it designs any and every revelation of the will of God, either in the law or in the Gospel; disobedience to which is rebellion against the words of God, and is highly resented by him.

And contemned the counsel of the most High; the advice he gives in his law, and by his prophets, what to do, and what to avoid: and which he gives by the ministers of the word, in his Gospel and in his ordinances; which are both called his counsel, Luke 7:30, the contempt of which is very displeasing to him, Proverbs 1:25.

Because they {d} rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:

(d) Then the true way to obey God is to follow his express commandment: also by this all are exhorted to descend into themselves as none are punished but for their sins.

11. Their suffering was the punishment of sin. Cp. Psalm 107:17; Psalm 107:34. They resisted the commands of God (Psalm 106:7; Psalm 106:33; Psalm 106:43); and blasphemously doubted or despised the wisdom and the goodness of His purposes for them. Cp. Proverbs 1:30; Isaiah 5:24; and for general illustration, 2 Chronicles 36:16.

Verse 11. - Because they rebelled against the words of God. Such deep affliction as is here spoken of scarcely ever comes upon any but those who have offended God by resisting his will. And contemned the counsel of the most High (comp. Proverbs 1:25). The "counsel of God" is the course of conduct which he has prescribed to man, whether through the reason and conscience that he has implanted in him, or through his revealed Word. Psalm 107:11Others suffered imprisonment and bonds; but through Him who had decreed this as punishment for them, they also again reached the light of freedom. Just as in the first strophe, here, too, as far as יודוּ in Psalm 107:15, is all a compound subject; and in view of this the poet begins with participles. "Darkness and the shadow of death" (vid., Psalm 23:4) is an Isaianic expression, Isaiah 9:1 (where ישׁבי is construed with ב), Psalm 42:7 (where ישׁבי is construed as here, cf. Genesis 4:20; Zechariah 2:11), just as "bound in torture and iron" takes its rise from Job 36:8. The old expositors call it a hendiadys for "torturing iron" (after Psalm 105:18); but it is more correct to take the one as the general term and the other as the particular: bound in all sorts of affliction from which they could not break away, and more particularly in iron bonds (בּרזל, like the Arabic firzil, an iron fetter, vid., on Psalm 105:18). In Psalm 107:11, which calls to mind Isaiah 5:19, and with respect to Psalm 107:12, Isaiah 3:8, the double play upon the sound of the words is unmistakeable. By עצה is meant the plan in accordance with which God governs, more particularly His final purpose, which lies at the basis of His leadings of Israel. Not only had they nullified this purpose of mercy by defiant resistance (המרה) against God's commandments (אמרי, Arabic awâmir, âmireh) on their part, but they had even blasphemed it; נאץ, Deuteronomy 32:19, and frequently, or נאץ (prop. to pierce, then to treat roughly), is an old Mosaic designation of blasphemy, Deuteronomy 31:20; Numbers 14:11, Numbers 14:23; Numbers 16:30. Therefore God thoroughly humbled them by afflictive labour, and caused them to stumble (כּשׁל). But when they were driven to it, and prayed importunately to Him, He helped them out of their straits. The refrain varies according to recognised custom. Twice the expression is ויצעקו, twice ויזעקו; once יצילם, then twice יושׁיעם, and last of all יוציאם, which follows here in Psalm 107:14 as an alliteration. The summary condensation of the deliverance experienced (Psalm 107:16) is moulded after Isaiah 45:2. The Exile, too, may be regarded as such like a large jail (vid., e.g., Isaiah 42:7, Isaiah 42:22); but the descriptions of the poet are not pictures, but examples.
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