Psalm 115:2
Why should the heathen say, Where is now their God?
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115:1-8 Let no opinion of our own merits have any place in our prayers or in our praises. All the good we do, is done by the power of his grace; and all the good we have, is the gift of his mere mercy, and he must have all the praise. Are we in pursuit of any mercy, and wrestling with God for it, we must take encouragement in prayer from God only. Lord, do so for us; not that we may have the credit and comfort of it, but that they mercy and truth may have the glory of it. The heathen gods are senseless things. They are the works of men's hands: the painter, the carver, the statuary, can put no life into them, therefore no sense. The psalmist hence shows the folly of the worshippers of idols.Wherefore should the heathen say - The nations; they who worshipped idols, and who claimed that those idols were true gods. Why should we, thy people, be so left, so forsaken, so afflicted, as to lead these idolaters to suppose that we worship a false God, or that the God whom we adore is destitute of power or faithfulness; either that he does not exist, or that he cannot be relied on. It is evident that they were now in circumstances which would give some plausibility to the question here asked.

Where is now their God? - They seem to be forsaken. God, the God whom they worship, does not come forth for their defense. If he exists at all, he is destitute of power, or he is not true to the people who worship him, and he cannot be trusted. Compare Psalm 42:3, note; Psalm 42:10, note; Psalm 79:10, note.

2. Where is now, &c.—"now" is "not a particle of time, but of entreaty," as in our forms of speech, "Come now," "See now," &c. Wherefore should the heathen say? why dost thou suffer them, or give them any colour or occasion, to say or think so, by conniving at their wickedness, and by giving thy people into their hands?

Where is now their God? he is no where; he is lost, or at a loss, either unable, or unwilling, or not at leisure to save them.

Their God; who hath undertaken to be their God and Saviour, and whom they only worship, and of whom they use to boast and insult over us and over our gods. Wherefore should the Heathen say,.... The nations about Israel, the nations of the world; the Gentiles in any age; the Papists in ours, sometimes called the Heathen, Psalm 10:16. The church expostulates with the Lord why those should be suffered to say, in a reproachful, insulting, manner, and by way of triumph,

where is now their God? that they have boasted of would help them; in whom they have put their trust and confidence; why does not he help them, as he has promised, and they expect? Thus the church suggests, that if the Lord did not appear for them, his own glory lay at stake. Such language is generally used by their enemies, when the people of God were in any distress; see Psalm 42:10.

Wherefore should the heathen say, {b} Where is now their God?

(b) When the wicked see that God does not always accomplish his promise as they imagined, they think there is no God.

2. So Psalm 79:10. Cp. Psalm 42:3; Psalm 42:10; Exodus 32:12; Numbers 14:13 ff.; Joel 2:17; Micah 7:10. Now does not mean at the present time as contrasted with the past, but is a particle emphasising the question, where, prithee?Verse 2. - Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? (comp. Psalm 42:3, 10; Psalm 79:10). If Israel is un-helped, the heathen will triumph, and ask scornfully what has become of Israel's God? Is he unable, or is he unwilling, to deliver them? Egypt is called עם לעז (from לעז, cogn. לעג, לעה), because the people spoke a language unintelligible to Israel (Psalm 81:6), and as it were a stammering language. The lxx, and just so the Targum, renders ἐκ λαοῦ βαρβάρου (from the Sanscrit barbaras, just as onomatopoetic as balbus, cf. Fleischer in Levy's Chaldisches Wrterbuch, i. 420). The redeemed nation is called Judah, inasmuch as God made it His sanctuary (קדשׁ) by setting up His sanctuary (מקדּשׁ, Exodus 15:17) in the midst of it, for Jerusalem (el ḳuds) as Benjamitish Judaean, and from the time of David was accounted directly as Judaean. In so far, however, as He made this people His kingdom (ממשׁלותיו, an amplificative plural with Mem pathachatum), by placing Himself in the relation of King (Deuteronomy 33:5) to the people of possession which by a revealed law He established characteristically as His own, it is called Israel. 1 The predicate takes the form ותּהי, for peoples together with country and city are represented as feminine (cf. Jeremiah 8:5). The foundation of that new beginning in connection with the history of redemption was laid amidst majestic wonders, inasmuch as nature was brought into service, co-operating and sympathizing in the work (cf. Psalm 77:15.). The dividing of the sea opens, and the dividing of the Jordan closes, the journey through the desert to Canaan. The sea stood aside, Jordan halted and was dammed up on the north in order that the redeemed people might pass through. And in the middle, between these great wonders of the exodus from Egypt and the entrance into Canaan, arises the not less mighty wonder of the giving of the Law: the skipping of the mountains like rams, of the ills like בּני־צאן, i.e., lambs (Wisd. 19:9), depicts the quaking of Sinai and its environs (Exodus 19:18, cf. supra Psalm 68:9, and on the figure Psalm 29:6).
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