64:1 O that thou wouldest a rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
(a) The prophet continues his prayer, desiring God to declare his love toward his Church by miracles and mighty power, as he did in mount Sinai. 64:2 As [when] the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth b the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thy adversaries, [that] the nations may tremble at thy presence!
(b) Meaning, the rain, hail, fire, thunder and lightning. 64:4 For since the beginning of the world [men] have not c heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, besides thee, [what] he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
64:5 Thou meetest him d that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, [those that] remember thee in thy e ways: behold, thou art angry; for we have sinned: in f those is continuance, and we g shall be saved.
(c) Paul uses the same kind of admiration, ( 1 Corinthians 2:9 ) marvelling at Gods great benefit showed to his Church, by the preaching of the gospel.
(d) You showed favour toward our fathers, when they trusted in you and walked after your commandments. 64:6 But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our h righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
(e) They considered your great mercies.
(f) That is, in your mercies, which he calls the ways of the Lord.
(g) You will have pity on us.
(h) We are justly punished and brought into captivity, because we have provoked you to anger, and though we would excuse ourselves, yet our righteousness, and best virtues are before you as vile cloths, or (as some read) like the menstruous cloths of a woman. 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou [art] our father; we [are] the i clay, and thou our potter; and we all [are] the work of thy hand.
(i) Even though O Lord by your just judgment you may utterly destroy us as the potter may his pot, yet we appeal to your mercies, by which it has pleased you to adopt us to be your children. 64:9 Be not very angry, O LORD, k neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we [are] all thy people.
(k) For so the flesh judges when God does not immediately send comfort. 64:10 l Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
(l) Who were dedicated to your service, and to call on your Name. 64:11 Our holy and our beautiful house, m where our fathers praised thee, is burned with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste.
(m) In which we rejoiced and worshipped you. 64:12 Wilt thou restrain thyself n for these [things], O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and grievously afflict us?
(n) That is, at the contempt of your own glory? Though our sins have deserved this, yet you will not permit your glory thus to be diminished.