O bless our God, you people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 66:8-9. O bless our God, ye people — Of other nations, who have served, or yet do serve other gods. Who holdeth our soul in life — Who by a succession of miracles of mercy hath preserved us alive in the midst of a thousand deaths, to which we were exposed; and hath restored us to life, when, as a nation, we were like dead men and dry bones, scattered at the mouth of the grave. And suffereth not our feet to be moved — Namely, so as to fall into mischief and utter ruin, as our enemies designed. But the psalmist’s words here are not to be interpreted exclusively of public and national blessings. We ought all, as individuals, to remember and acknowledge our daily and hourly obligations to him, who gave us our being at first, and by a constant renewed act upholds us in being. And, when we are ready to faint and perish, he restores our soul, and so puts it, as it were, into a new life, imparting new supports and comforts. We are apt to stumble and fall, and are exposed to many destructive accidents and disasters, as well as killing diseases; and as to these also we are guarded by the divine power; he suffereth not our feet to be moved, in that he prevents many unforeseen evils, from which we ourselves were not aware of our danger. To him we owe it that we have not, long ere this, fallen into endless ruin. Psalm 66:11-12.
9 Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
"O bless our God, lie people." Ye chosen seed, peculiarly beloved, it is yours to bless your covenant God as other nations cannot. Ye should lead the strain, for he is peculiarly your God. First visited by his love, ye should be foremost in his praise. "And make the voice of his praise to be heard." Whoever else may sing with bated breath, do you be sure to give full tongue and volume to the song. Compel unwilling ears to hear the praises of your covenant God. Make rocks, and hills, and earth, and sea, and heaven itself to echo with your joyful shouts.
"Which holdeth our soul in life." At any time the preservation of life, and especially the soul's life, is a great reason for gratitude, but much more when we are called to undergo extreme trials, which of themselves would crush our being. Blessed be God, who, having put our souls into possession of life, has been pleased to preserve that heaven-given life from the destroying power of the enemy. "And suffereth not our feet to be moved." This is another and precious boon. If God has enabled us not only to keep our life, but our position, we are bound to give him double praise. Living and standing is the saint's condition through divine grace. Immortal and immovable are those whom God preserves. Satan is put to shame, for instead of being able to slay the saints, as he hoped, he is not even able to trip them up. God is able to make the weakest to stand fast, and he will do so.
"For thou, O God, hast proved us." He proved his Israel with sore trials. David had his temptations. All the saints must go to the proving house; God had one Son without sin, but he never had a son without trial. Why ought we to complain if we are subjected to the rule which is common to all the family, and from which so much benefit has flowed to them? The Lord himself proves us, who then shall raise a question as to the wisdom and the love which are displayed in the operation? The day may come when, as in this case, we shall make hymns out of our griefs, and sing all the more sweetly because our mouths have been purified with bitter draughts. "Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried." Searching and repeated, severe and thorough, has been the test; the same result has followed as in the case of precious metal, for the dross and tin have been consumed, and the pure ore has been discovered. Since trial is sanctified to so desirable an end, ought we not to submit to it with abounding resignation.
"Thou broughtest us into the net." The people of God in the olden time were often enclosed by the power of their enemies, like fishes or birds entangled in a net; there seemed no way of escape for them. The only comfort was that God himself had brought them there, but even this was not readily available, since they knew that he had led them there in anger as a punishment for their transgressions; Israel in Egypt was much like a bird in the fowler's net. "Thou laidst affliction upon our loins." They were pressed even to anguish by their burdens and pains. Not on their backs alone was the load, but their loins were pressed and squeezed with the straits and weights of adversity. God's people and affliction are intimate companions. As in Egypt every Israelite was a burden-bearer, so is every believer while he is in this foreign land. As Israel cried to God by reason of their sore bondage, so also do the saints. We too often forget that God lays our afflictions upon us; if we remembered this fact, we should more patiently submit to the pressure which now pains us. The time will come when, for every ounce of present burden, we shall receive a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
continued...Ye people of other nations, that have served or yet do serve other gods.
and make the voice of his praise to be heard; far and near, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs; by shoutings, and loud acclamations of joy; see Revelation 19:5; where Christ is called our God, and a like exhortation is made as here.O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. ye people] Ye peoples (R.V.). The nations, not Israel, are still addressed. Conscious of Israel’s mission to the world, the Psalmist can call upon them to give thanks for Israel’s preservation to fulfil its work for them.
8–12. A renewed call to the nations to praise God for His deliverance of Israel from dangers which menaced the very existence of the nation.Verses 8-15. - Here we reach the heart of the psalm. The people are called upon to praise God for a recent deliverance from a long period of severe affliction and oppression at the hand of enemies (vers. 8-12), and to join in the sacrifices which are about to be offered to God in payment of the vows made during the time of trouble (vers. 13-15). As the writer ascribes to himself both the making of the vows and the offering of the sacrifices, he must have been the leader of the nation at the time of the oppression and of the deliverance. Verse 8. - O bless our God, ye people; literally, ye peoples - but the plural form here can scarcely point to the "nations," who have just been called, not 'ammim, but goim (see ver. 7). And make the voice of his praise to be heard (comp. Psalm 33:3; cf. 5). The heartiness of the soul's devotion was made apparent by the loudness of the voice. Joshua 7:19; Isaiah 42:12), here with a second accusative, either (1) if we take תּהלּתו as an accusative of the object: facite laudationem ejus gloriam equals gloriosam (Maurer and others), or (2) if we take כבוד as an accusative of the object and the former word as an accusative of the predicate: reddite honorem laudem ejus (Hengstenberg), or (3) also by taking תהלתו as an apposition: reddite honorem, scil. laudem ejus (Hupfeld). We prefer the middle rendering: give glory as His praise, i.e., to Him as or for praise. It is unnecessary, with Hengstenberg, to render: How terrible art Thou in Thy works! in that case אתּה ought not to be wanting. מעשׂיך might more readily be singular (Hupfeld, Hitzig); but these forms with the softened Jod of the root dwindle down to only a few instances upon closer consideration. The singular of the predicate (what a terrible affair) here, as frequently, e.g., Psalm 119:137, precedes the plural designating things. The song into which the Psalmist here bids the nations break forth, is essentially one with the song of the heavenly harpers in Revelation 15:3., which begins, Μεγάλα καὶ θαυμαστὰ τὰ ἔργα σου.
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