Psalm 66:20
Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Who hath not turned . . .i.e., he found himself able to pray, was not silenced. Notice the zeugma. God had not rejected his prayer nor withdrawn His grace.

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.Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer - That is, It is fit that I should praise and adore God for the fact that he has graciously condescended to listen to the voice of my supplications.

Nor his mercy from me - There is no more proper ground of praise than the fact that God hears prayer - the prayer of poor, ignorant, sinful, dying men. When we consider how great is his condescension in doing this; when we think of his greatness and immensity; when we reflect that the whole universe is dependent on him, and that the farthest worlds need his care and attention; when we bear in mind that we are creatures of a day and "know nothing;" and especially when we remember how we have violated his laws, how sensual, corrupt, and vile our lives have been, how low and grovelling have been our aims and purposes, how we have provoked him by our unbelief, our ingratitude, and our hardness of heart - we can never express, in appropriate words, the extent of his goodness in hearing our prayers, nor can we find language which will properly give utterance to the praises due to his name for having condescended to listen to our cries for mercy.

18. If I regard iniquity in my heart—literally, "see iniquity with pleasure." Turned away, or rejected, or removed, to wit, from his sight and audience, but hath received and granted it.

His mercy: though he had now asserted his own innocency and sincere piety, yet he imputeth not God’s hearing of his prayers to that, but solely unto God’s grace and mercy.

Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer,.... Has not been angry against it, shut it out, or covered himself with a cloud that it might not pass through, which sometimes saints have complained of, Psalm 80:4; but graciously heard and received it;

nor his mercy from me; for that endures for ever, and is from everlasting to everlasting on them that fear the Lord, Psalm 103:17; all which require thankfulness and praise, which is here given.

Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. Blessed be God] Cp. Psalm 28:6; Psalm 31:21; Psalm 68:19; Psalm 68:35.

nor his mercy from me] From me must belong to this clause only. It is forced to explain ‘who has not removed my prayer and His loving-kindness from me’ to mean ‘who has not deprived me of the power to pray or of the blessing of an answer’; in spite of the beauty of St Augustine’s comment: “Cum videris non a te amotam deprecationem tuam, securus esto, quia non est a te amota misericordia eius.” Possibly a verb, such as Coverdale (P. B.V.) supplies for the sake of the rhythm, has been lost; so that the clause would read, nor withdrawn his lovingkindness from me.

Verse 20. - Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. The psalm of thanksgiving appropriately concludes with a special blessing of God by the psalmist, who felt that such especial mercy had been shown to himself (vers. 16-20).



Psalm 66:20The words in Psalm 66:16 are addressed in the widest extent, as in Psalm 66:5 and Psalm 66:2, to all who fear God, wheresoever such are to be found on the face of the earth. To all these, for the glory of God and for their own profit, he would gladly relate what God has made him to experience. The individual-looking expression לנפשׁי is not opposed to the fact of the occurrence of a marvellous answering of prayer, to which he refers, being one which has been experienced by him in common with the whole congregation. He cried unto God with his mouth (that is to say, not merely silently in spirit, but audibly and importunately), and a hymn (רומם,

(Note: Kimchi (Michlol 146a) and Parchon (under רמם) read רומם with Pathach; and Heidenheim and Baer have adopted it.)

something that rises, collateral form to רומם, as עולל and שׁובב to עולל and שׁובב) was under my tongue; i.e., I became also at once so sure of my being heard, that I even had the song of praise in readiness (vid., Psalm 10:7), with which I had determined to break forth when the help for which I had prayed, and which was assured to me, should arrive. For the purpose of his heart was not at any time, in contradiction to his words, און, God-abhorred vileness or worthlessness; ראה with the accusative, as in Genesis 20:10; Psalm 37:37 : to aim at, or design anything, to have it in one's eye. We render: If I had aimed at evil in my heart, the Lord would not hear; not: He would not have heard, but: He would not on any occasion hear. For a hypocritical prayer, coming from a heart which has not its aim sincerely directed towards Him, He does not hear. The idea that such a heart was not hidden behind his prayer is refuted in Psalm 66:19 from the result, which is of a totally opposite character. In the closing doxology the accentuation rightly takes תּפלּתי וחסדּו as belonging together. Prayer and mercy stand in the relation to one another of call and echo. When God turns away from a man his prayer and His mercy, He commands him to be silent and refuses him a favourable answer. The poet, however, praises God that He has deprived him neither of the joyfulness of prayer nor the proof of His favour. In this sense Augustine makes the following practical observation on this passage: Cum videris non a te amotam deprecationem tuam, securus esto, quia non est a te amota misericordia ejus.

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