Psalm 66:16
Come and hear, all you that fear God, and I will declare what he has done for my soul.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Come.—Refers back to Psalm 66:9.

Psalm 66:16-17. Come and hear, all ye that fear God — Whether Israelites, or Gentiles proselyted to them; come and hearken unto me (for it will afford you both instruction and encouragement, and will engage you to trust in God more than ever) while I relate what things God hath done for me, and what indubitable proofs he hath given me that he regards those that fear him; and I will declare what he hath done for my soul — Not in pride and vain glory, that I may be thought more a favourite of heaven than other people; but for the honour of God, to which I owe this as a just debt, and for the edification of others. Thus we should be ready, on all proper occasions, to tell one another of the great and good things which God has done for us, and especially what he has done for our souls, the spiritual blessings with which he hath blessed us in heavenly things; as we ought to be most affected with these ourselves, so with these we ought to be most desirous to affect others. I cried unto him with my mouth — With a loud voice and great fervency; and he was extolled with my tongue — I soon had occasion to extol him for hearing and answering my petitions. 66:13-20 We should declare unto those that fear God, what he has done for our souls, and how he has heard and answered our prayers, inviting them to join us in prayer and praise; this will turn to our mutual comfort, and to the glory of God. We cannot share these spiritual privileges, if we retain the love of sin in our hearts, though we refrain from the gross practice, Sin, regarded in the heart, will spoil the comfort and success of prayer; for the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination of the Lord. But if the feeling of sin in the heart causes desires to be rid of it; if it be the presence of one urging a demand we know we must not, cannot comply with, this is an argument of sincerity. And when we pray in simplicity and godly sincerity, our prayers will be answered. This will excite gratitude to Him who hath not turned away our prayer nor his mercy from us. It was not prayer that fetched the deliverance, but his mercy that sent it. That is the foundation of our hopes, the fountain of our comforts; and ought to be the matter of our praises.Come and hear, all ye that fear God - All who are true worshippers of God - the idea of fear or reverence being put for worship in general. The call is on all who truly loved God to hear what he had done, in order that he might be suitably honored, and that due praise might be given him.

And I will declare what he hath done for my soul - This is probably the personification of an individual to represent the people, considered as delivered from oppression and bondage. The words "for my soul" are equivalent to "for me." Literally, "for my life." The phrase would embrace all that God had done by his gracious intervention in delivering the people from bondage. The language here is such as may be used by any one who is converted to God, in reference

(a) to all that God has done to redeem the soul;

(b) to all that he has done to pardon its guilt;

(c) to all that he has done to give it peace and joy;

(d) to all that he has done to enable it to overcome sin;

(e) to all that he has done to give it comfort in the prospect of death;

(f) to all that he has done to impart thee hope of heaven.

The principle here is one which it is right to apply to all such cases. It is right and proper for a converted sinner to call on others to hear what God has done for him;

(a) because it is due to God thus to honor him;

(b) because the converted heart naturally gives utterance to expressions of gratitude and praise, or wishes to make known the joy derived from pardoned sin;

(c) because there is in such a soul a strong desire that others may partake of the same blessedness, and find the same satisfaction and peace in the service of God.

It is the duty of those who are pardoned and converted thus to call on others to hear what God has done for them;

(a) because others have the same need of religion which they have;

continued...

16-20. With these he unites his public thanks, inviting those who fear God (Ps 60:4; 61:5, His true worshippers) to hear. He vindicates his sincerity, inasmuch as God would not hear hypocrites, but had heard him.16 Come and hear, all ye that fear God and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

17 I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.

18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

Psalm 66:16

"Come and hear." Before, they were bidden to come and see. Heating is faith's seeing. Mercy comes to us by way of ear-gate. "Hear, and your soul shall live." They saw how terrible God was, but they heard how gracious he was. "All ye that fear God." These are a fit audience when a good man is about to relate his experience; and it is well to select our hearers when inward soul matters are our theme. It is forbidden us to throw pearls before swine. We do not want to furnish wanton minds with subjects for their comedies, and therefore it Is wise to speak of personal spiritual matters where they can be understood, and not where they will be burlesqued. All God-fearing men may hear us, but far hence ye profane. "And I will declare what he hath done for my soul." I will count and recount the mercies of God to me, to my soul, my best part, my most real self. Testimonies ought to be borne by all experienced Christians, in order that the younger and feebler sort may be encouraged by the recital to put their trust in the Lord. To declare man's doings is needless; they are too trivial, and, besides, there are trumpeters enough of man's trumpery deeds; but to declare the gracious acts of God is instructive, consoling, inspiriting, and beneficial in many respects. Let each man speak for himself, for a personal witness is the surest and most forcible; second-hand experience is like "cauld kale her again;" it lacks the flavour of first-hand interest. Let no mock modesty restrain the grateful believer from speaking of himself, or rather of God's dealings to himself, for it is justly due to God; neither let him shun the individual use of the first person, which is most correct in detailing the Lord's ways of love; We must not be egotists, but we must be egotists when we bear witness for the Lord.

Psalm 66:17

"I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue." It Is well when prayer and praise go together, like the horses in Pharaoh's chariot. Some cry who do not sing, and some sing who do not cry: both together are best. Since the Lord's answers so frequently follow close at the heels of our petitions, and even overtake them, it becomes us to let our grateful praises keep pace with our humble prayers. Observe that the Psalmist did both cry and speak; the Lord hast cast the dumb devil out of his children, and those of them who are least fluent with their tongues are often the most eloquent with their hearts.

Psalm 66:18

"If I regard iniquity in my heart." If, having seen it to be there, I continue to gaze upon it without aversion; if I cherish it, have a side glance of love towards it, excuse it, and palliate it; "The Lord will not hear me." How can he? Can I desire him to connive at my sin, and accept me while I wilfully, cling to any evil way? Nothing hinders prayer like iniquity harboured in the breast; as with Cain, so with us, sin lieth at the door, and blocks the passage. If thou listen to the devil, God will not listen to thee. If thou refusest to hear God's commands, he will surely refuse to hear thy prayers. An imperfect petition God will hear for Christ's sake, but not one which is wilfully mis-written by a traitor's hand. For God to accept our devotions, while we are delighting in sin, would be to make himself the God of hypocrites, which is a fitter name for Satan than for the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 66:19

"But verily God hath heard me." Sure sign this that the petitioner was no secret lover of sin, The answer to his prayer was a fresh assurance that his heart was sincere before the Lord. See how sure the Psalmist is that he has been heard; it is with him no hope, surmise, or fancy, but he seals it with a "verily." Facts are blessed things when they reveal both God's heart as loving and our own heart as sincere. "He hath attended to the voice of my prayer." He gave his mind to consider my cries, interpreted them, accepted them, and replied to them; and therein proved his grace and also my uprightness of heart. Love of sin is a plague spot, a condemning mark, a killing sign, but those Prayers, which evidently live and prevail with God, most clearly arise from a heart which is free from dalliance with evil. Let the reader see to it, that his inmost soul be rid of all alliance with inquiry, all toleration of secret lust, or hidden wrong.

Psalm 66:20

continued...

All ye that fear God; whether Israelites, or Gentiles proselyted to them. Let every Israelite take notice of what God hath done for the nation in general, and let the Gentiles observe God’s goodness to the children of Israel.

What he hath done for my soul; which he hath held in life, as he said, Psalm 66:16, in the greatest dangers of death. Come and hear, all ye that fear God,.... Who have a reverential affection for him, and by whom he is worshipped and served with reverence and godly fear; these have good things done for themselves, and will glorify God for what he does for others: these know the nature, worth, and value of the good things the Lord does for the souls of men, and hear them with pleasure and profit; when to tell them to others is casting pearl before swine, and giving that which is holy to dogs; and therefore only such as fear the Lord are called upon to come and hear what follows. Jarchi interprets this character of proselytes; see Acts 13:26;

and I will declare what he hath done for my soul: not what he had done for God, or offered unto him, or suffered for his sake; nor what God had done for his body in the make and preservation of it; but what he had done for his soul, and the salvation of that: what God the Father had done in setting him apart for himself; in making a sure, well ordered, and everlasting covenant with him in Christ; in blessing him with all spiritual blessings in him; in providing for the redemption of his soul by him; in pardoning his sins, justifying his person, adopting him into his family, and regenerating, quickening, and sanctifying him: also what God the Son had done for him; in engaging to assume a true body and a reasonable soul on his account; and to make that soul an offering for his sin, and thereby obtain for him eternal redemption, even the salvation of his immortal soul: likewise what God the Spirit had done for him; in quickening and enlightening his soul; in implanting principles of grace and holiness in it; in showing Christ unto him, and bringing near his righteousness, and leading him to him for salvation and eternal life; in applying exceeding great and precious promises to him, and remembering to him such on which he had caused him to hope; in delivering him out of temptation and troubles, and in carrying on the work of his grace in him hitherto: these are things that are not to be concealed in a man's breast, but to be told to the church and people of God, to their joy and comfort, and to the glory of divine grace; see Mark 5:19.

{i} Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

(i) It is not enough to have received God's benefits and to be mindful of it, but also we are bound to make others profit by it and praise God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. all ye that fear God] The whole drift of the Ps., especially Psalm 66:1; Psalm 66:5; Psalm 66:8, is in favour of extending the phrase to include all who fear God wherever they are to be found, whether Israelites, or non-Israelites who have been won to worship Him by the sight of His works, rather than of limiting it to Israel, or an inner circle of the faithful in Israel.

what he hath done for my soul] What he did for me when my very life was in danger. If Hezekiah is the speaker, he may be thinking at once of his own life (Isaiah 38:17) and of the life of the nation whose representative he was. He had prayed for both (Isaiah 37:15 ff; Isaiah 38:2); and the preservation of the one was a pledge of the preservation of the other (Isaiah 38:6).

16–20. All who fear God are bidden to hear what He has done for the speaker. He had prayed in expectation of a favourable hearing, knowing that sincerity is the necessary condition of prayer; and the answer to his prayer had attested his sincerity. In conclusion he blesses God for this continuance of His lovingkindness.Verses 16-20. - In conclusion, the psalmist calls on all pious Israelites to "hearken," while he explains to them how it is that his prayers and vows have been so effectual. It has been because his prayers and vows proceeded from a sincere and honest heart, one which was free from "iniquity" (ver. 18). As Hengstenberg points out, this portion of the psalm is didactic, and inculcates the lesson "that there is no way of salvation except that of well doing." God, by answering the psalmist's prayer, and giving the deliverance for which he had entreated, had set his testimony to the fact of the psalmist's integrity (vers. 19, 20). Verse 16. - Come and hear, all ye that fear God. The address is scarcely to all that have any sense of religion anywhere, as Professor Cheyne suggests, but rather to the religious section of his own nation - the "righteous" or "godly" of other psalms. They are invited to draw near, and be received into the psalmist's confidence. And I will declare what he hath done for my soul. What God had done for the psalmist was to give him confidence and assurance. He knew that his prayers would be ineffectual unless his heart was pure. God heard him, and then he became sure that he was free from the "great transgression" (Cheyne). The character of the event by which the truth has been verified that the God who redeemed Israel out of Egypt still ever possesses and exercises to the full His ancient sovereign power, is seen from this reiterated call to the peoples to share in Israel's Gloria. God has averted the peril of death and overthrow from His people: He has put their soul in life (בּחיּים, like בּישׁע in Psalm 12:6), i.e., in the realm of life; He has not abandoned their foot to tottering unto overthrow (mowT the substantive, as in Psalm 121:3; cf. the reversed construction in Psalm 55:23). For God has cast His people as it were into a smelting-furnace or fining-pot in order to purify and to prove them by suffering; - this is a favourite figure with Isaiah and Jeremiah, but is also found in Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3. Ezekiel 19:9 is decisive concerning the meaning of מצוּדה, where הביא במצודות signifies "to bring into the holds or prisons;" besides, the figure of the fowling-net (although this is also called מצוּדה as well as מצודה) has no footing here in the context. מצוּדה (vid., Psalm 18:3) signifies specula, and that both a natural and an artificial watch-post on a mountain; here it is the mountain-hold or prison of the enemy, as a figure of the total loss of freedom. The laying on of a heavy burden mentioned by the side of it in Psalm 66:11 also accords well with this. מוּעקה, a being oppressed, the pressure of a burden, is a Hophal formation, like מטּה, a being spread out, Isaiah 8:8; cf. the similar masculine forms in Psalm 69:3; Isaiah 8:13; Isaiah 14:6; Isaiah 29:3. The loins are mentioned because when carrying heavy loads, which one has to stoop down in order to take up, the lower spinal region is called into exercise. אנושׁ is frequently (Psalm 9:20., Psalm 10:18; Psalm 56:2, Isaiah 51:12; 2 Chronicles 14:10) the word used for tyrants as being wretched mortals, perishable creatures, in contrast with their all the more revolting, imperious, and self-deified demeanour. God so ordered it, that "wretched men" rode upon Israel's head. Or is it to be interpreted: He caused them to pass over Israel (cf. Psalm 129:3; Isaiah 51:23)? It can scarcely mean this, since it would then be in dorso nostro, which the Latin versions capriciously substitute. The preposition ל instead of על is used with reference to the phrase ישׁב ל: sitting upon Israel's head, God caused them to ride along, so that Israel was not able to raise its head freely, but was most ignominiously wounded in its self-esteem. Fire and water are, as in Isaiah 43:2, a figure of vicissitudes and perils of the most extreme character. Israel was nigh to being burnt up and drowned, but God led it forth לרויה, to an abundant fulness, to abundance and superabundance of prosperity. The lxx, which renders εἰς ἀναψυχήν (Jerome absolutely: in refrigerium), has read לרוחה; Symmachus, εἰς εὐρυχωρίαν, probably reading לרחבה (Psalm 119:45; Psalm 18:20). Both give a stronger antithesis. But the state of straitness or oppression was indeed also a state of privation.
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