Verse 29. So they did eat, and were well filled. They greedily devoured the birds, even to repletion. The Lord shewed them that he could "provide flesh for his people," even enough and to spare. He also shewed them that when lust wins its desire it is disappointed, and by the way of satiety arrive at distaste. First the food satiates, then it nauseates.
For he gave them their own desire. They were filled with their own ways. The flesh meat was unhealthy for them, but as they cried for it they had it, and a curse with it. O my God, deny me my most urgent prayers sooner than answer them in displeasure. Better hunger and thirst after righteousness than to be well filled with sin's dainties.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 29. Note: The prophet in this Psalm institutes, as it were, a conflict between God and man. God contends with blessings, man with sins. God exerts his power for the benefit of undeserving man, Psalms 78:12 , Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers: man repays the divine power with infidelity, Psalms 78:17 , And they sinned yet more against him. And farther on, in Psalms 78:19 , Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Secondly, God showers down his bounty to overwhelm ungrateful sinners with his gifts, Psalms 78:23 , He commanded the clouds from above, &c., and rained down manna upon them. These less than men (homunciones) oppose their gluttony to the liberality of God, and abuse the gifts conferred, Psalms 78:29 , They did eat, and were well filled. Thirdly, divine justice renews the conflict to scourge at once stupidity out of them, Psalms 78:30-31 , While their meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them. Still obdurate they kick against the goad, Psalms 78:33 , For all this they sinned still. Fourthly, mercy flies down from heaven, to invite them to peace, Psalms 78:38 , But he being full of compassion. Men are but emboldened by his compassion, and the more easily relapse into sin, Psalms 78:40 , How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness? Fifthly, and lastly, when all seems lost, love draws nigh, and performs unheard of wonders, to touch their hardness, and to deliver them from the dangers by which they were pressed, Psalms 78:43 , How he set his signs in Egypt. To these shafts of his love sinners oppose a forgetfulness of all his benefits, Psalms 78:42 , They remembered not his hand nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. And all this took place before they entered the land of promise. The conflict that happened between the Hebrews and God in the land of promise is related in the next section of the Psalm. Thomas Le Blanc.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 29-31. Dangerous prayers. When lust dictates, wrath may answer. Let grace dictate, and mercy will answer. C. D.