Psalm 78:30

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 30-31. They were not estranged from their lust. Lust grows upon that which it feeds on. If sick of too much flesh, yet men grow not weary of lust, they change the object, and go on lusting still. When one sin is proved to be a bitterness, men do not desist, but pursue another iniquity. If, like Jehu, they turn from Baal, they fall to worshipping the calves of Bethel.

But while their meat was yet in their mouths, before they could digest their coveted meat, it turned to their destruction.

The wrath of God came upon them before they could swallow their first meal of flesh. Short was the pleasure, sudden was the doom. The festival ended in a funeral.

And slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. Perhaps these were the ringleaders in the lusting; they are first in the punishment. God's justice has no respect of persons, the strong and the valiant fall as well as the weak and the mean. What they ate on earth they digested in hell, as many have done since. How soon they died, though they felt not the edge of the sword! How terrible was the havoc, though not amid the din of battle! My soul, see here the danger of gratified passions; they are the janitors of hell. When the Lord's people hunger God loves them; Lazarus is his beloved, though he pines upon crumbs; but when he fattens the wicked he abhors them; Dives is hated of heaven when he fares sumptuously every day. We must never dare to judge men's happiness by their tables, the heart is the place to look at. The poorest starveling believer is more to be envied than the most full fleshed of the favourites of the world. Better be God's dog than the devil's darling.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 29-31. Dangerous prayers. When lust dictates, wrath may answer. Let grace dictate, and mercy will answer. C. D.

Verse 30. They were not estranged from their lust. This implies, that they were still burning with their lust. If it is objected that this does not agree with the preceding sentence, where it is said, that "they did eat, and were thoroughly filled," I would answer, that if, as is well known, the minds of men are not kept within the bounds of reason and temperance, they become insatiable; and, therefore, a great abundance will not extinguish the fire of a depraved appetite. John Calvin.

Verse 30. They were not estranged from their lust. Satiated they were, but not satisfied. It is as easy to quench the fire of Etna, as the thoughts set on fire by lust. John Trapp.

Verse 30. They were not estranged from their lust. Consider that there is more real satisfaction in mortifying lusts than in making provision for them or in fulfilling them: there's more true pleasure in crossing and pinching our flesh than in gratifying it; were there any true pleasure in sin, hell would not be hell, for the more sin, the more joy. You cannot satisfy one lust if you would do your utmost, and make yourself never so absolute a slave to it; you think if you had your heart's desire you would be at rest: you much mistake; they had it. Alexander Carmichael.

 

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.