Verse 8. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness. Men are not mentioned here in the original, but the word is fitly supplied by the translators; the psalmist would have all things in existence magnify Jehovah's name. Surely men will do this without being exhorted to it when the deliverance is fresh in their memories. They must be horrible ingrates who will not honour such a deliverer for so happy a rescue from the most cruel death. It is well that the redeemed should be stirred up to bless the Lord again and again, for preserved life deserves life long thankfulness. Even those who have not encountered the like peril, and obtained the like deliverance, should bless the Lord in sympathy with their fellows, sharing their joy.
And for his wonderful works to the children of men. These favours are bestowed upon our race, upon children of the family to which we belong, and therefore we ought to join in the praise. The children of men are so insignificant, so feeble, and so undeserving, that it is a great wonder that the Lord should do anything for them; but he is not content with doing little works, he puts forth his wisdom, power, and love to perform marvels on the behalf of those who seek him. In the life of each one of the redeemed there is a world of wonders, and therefore from each there should resound a world of praises. As to the marvels of grace which the Lord has wrought for his church as a whole there is no estimating them, they are as high above our thoughts as the heavens are high above the earth. When shall the day dawn when the favoured race of man shall be as devoted to the praise of God as they are distinguished by the favour of God?
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 8. He does wonders for the children of men; and therefore, men should praise the Lord. And he is the more to be praised because these wonders, twalpn, niphlaoth, miracles of mercy and grace, are done for the undeserving. There are done ~da ynbl, libney Adam, for the children of Adam, the corrupt descendants of a rebel father. --Adam Clarke.
Verse 8. Oh that men would praise the LORD, etc. Hebrew, That they would confess it to the Lord, both in secret, and in society. This is all the rent that God requireth; he is content that we have the comfort of his blessings, so he may have the honour of them. This was all the fee Christ looked for for his cures: go and tell what God hath done for thee. Words seem to be a poor and slight recompense; but Christ, saith Nazienzen, called himself the Word. --John Trapp.
Verse 8. To the children of men! We must acknowledge God's goodness to the children of men, as well as to the children of God; to others as well as to ourselves. -- Matthew Henry.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 8. He who has enjoyed God's help should mark,
- In what distress he has been;
- How he has called to God;
- How God has helped him;
- What thanks he has returned; and,
- What thanks he is yet bound to render.