Psalm 66:9

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 9. Which holdeth our soul in life. At any time the preservation of life, and especially the soul's life, is a great reason for gratitude but much more when we are called to undergo extreme trials, which of themselves would crush our being. Blessed be God, who, having put our souls into possession of life, has been pleased to preserve that heaven given life from the destroying power of the enemy.

And suffereth not our feet to be moved. This is another and precious boon. If God has enabled us not only to keep our life, but our position, we are bound to give him double praise. Living and standing is the saint's condition through divine grace. Immortal and immoveable are those whom God preserves. Satan is put to shame, for instead of being able to slay the saints, as he hoped, he is not even able to trip them up. God is able to make the weakest to stand fast, and he will do so.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 9. Which holdeth our soul in life. As the works of creation at first, and upholding all by his power and providence, are yoked together as works of a like wonder, vouchsafed the creation in common, Hebrews 1:2-3 ; so just in the like manner we find regeneration and perseverance joined, as the sum of all other works in this life. Thus "begotten again," and "kept by the power of God to salvation," are joined by the Apostle, 1 Peter 1:3 1 Peter 1:5 , "Called and preserved in Christ Jesus;" so in Jude 1:1 ... "Blessed be God," says Peter, "who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again." And, O bless our God, ye people, which holdeth our souls in life, says the psalmist. Yea, if we do narrowly eye the words in either, both Peter and the psalmist do bless God for both at once. Blessed be God for "begetting us," who are also "kept by the power of God;" so it follows in Peter. In the psalmist both are comprehended in this one word:

  1. Which putteth our souls in life (so the margin, out of the Hebrew), that is, who puts life into your soul at the first, as he did into Adam when he made him a living soul;
  2. And then which holdeth, that is, continueth our souls in that life. So the translators render it also, according to the psalmist's scope, and O bless the Lord, saith the psalmist, for these and both these. Thomas Goodwin.

Verse 9. Which holdest our soul in life. It is truth, that all we have is in the hand of God; but God keeps our life in his hand last of all, and he hath that in his hand in a special manner. Though the soul continue, life may not continue; there is the soul when there is not life: life is that which is the union of soul and body. Thou holdest our soul in life; that is, thou holdest soul and body together. So Daniel describes God to Belshazzar, Daniel 5:23 , "The God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified." The breath of princes is in the hand of God, and the same hand holds the breath of the meanest subject. This may be matter of comfort to us in times of danger, and times of death: when the hand of man is lifted up to take thy life, remember thy life is held in the hand of God; and as God said to Satan ( Job 2:6 ): Afflict the body of Job, but save his life; so God saith still to bloody wretches, who are as the limbs of Satan: The bodies of such and such are in your hands, the estates of such and such are in your hands, but save their lives. Joseph Caryl.

Verse 9. Putteth our soul in life. An elegant and emphatic expression, only to be understood by observing the exact force of the words. The soul is the life, as is well known, the word ~yf is to place, to place upon, to press in, the word ~yyx signifies properly joinings, fastenings together, and hence those faculties and powers by which nature is held together and made firm. Hermann Venema.

Verse 9. Which holdeth our soul in life. He holdeth our soul in life, that it may not drop away of itself; for being continually in our hands, it is apt to slip through our fingers. Matthew Henry.

Verse 9. And suffereth not our feet to be moved. It is a great mercy to be kept from desperate courses in the time of sad calamities, to be supported under burdens, that we sink not; and to be prevented from denying God, or his truth, in time of persecution. David Dickson.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 8-9.

  1. Praise to.
    1. As God.
    2. As our God.
    3. Praise for. Preservation.
    4. Of natural life.
    5. Of spiritual life.
    6. Praise by, ye people.
    7. On your own account.
    8. On account of others. Or,
    9. Individually.
    10. Unitedly. G. R.

Verse 9. Perseverance the subject of gratitude.

  1. The maintenance of the inner life.
  2. The integrity of the outward character.