Bible Commentaries

Smith's WritingsSmith's Writings

Psalms 66

Verses 1-20


All the earth called to submit to God and give honour to His Name, in the presence of the display of His mighty power in dealing with the enemies of Israel, and of His governmental ways with the godly remnant and of the nation.

(vv. 1-4) All lands are called to give honour to God, whose terrible works have been displayed in dealing with the enemies of His people Israel. It will be publicly manifest that those who have exalted themselves in rebellion against God will be forced to submit when God puts forth the greatness of His power in judgment. The result will be that all the earth will bow before God and praise His Name.

(vv. 5-7) The nations are called to contemplate the governmental ways of God with the children of men as set forth in the history of Israel, from the time that He brought them through the Red Sea, until their final deliverance from all their enemies. Thus it becomes manifest that God is omnipotent - ruling “by his power for ever;” and omniscient, “his eyes behold the nations.” Therefore, “let not the rebellious exalt themselves.”

(vv. 8-12) The godly in Israel testify to God's ways with them. Through all their trials God preserved their souls in life; and in all their wanderings God had kept their feet. Nevertheless they had been led by a painful way. They had been tried in the furnace of affliction, as silver is tried to remove the dross. They had fallen into the hands of the enemy, like an animal caught in the toils of the hunter. They had been in servitude to their enemies, like a beast of burden on whose loins a heavy load is laid. They had been triumphed over, like one who is cast down and trampled under foot by a savage enemy. They had gone through fiery persecution and faced the waters of death.

They recognized that in all their long history of trial and suffering, God had been dealing with them according to His own holiness, and for their blessing. Thus, looking beyond the wickedness of men they take their trials from God. They say, “Thou” hast done these things. Further they recognize that if God passes His people through trial, it is for their ultimate blessing; therefore they can add, “Thou hast brought us out into abundance” (JND).

(vv. 13-15) The trials they have passed through fit the godly to draw near to God as worshippers. Thus the psalmist, speaking personally for himself, says, “I will go into thy house with burnt offerings.” Set free from his enemies he will bring the offerings that he had vowed in the days of trial.

(vv. 16-20) Not only is the godly man at last set free to worship before God, but he can bear witness before men of what God has done for his soul. In his trial he had cried to God and praised God, He had not regarded iniquity in his heart with pleasure, or allowed it to pass unjudged. God had heard and answered his prayer, and turned his prayer into praise.

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 66". "Smith's Writings". 1832.