Psalm 78:42

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 42. They remembered not his hand. Yet it must have been difficult to forget it. Such displays of divine power as those which smote Egypt with astonishment, it must have needed some more than usual effort to blot it from the tablets of memory. It is probably meant that they practically, rather than actually, forgot. He who forgets the natural returns of gratitude, may justly be charged with not remembering the obligation.

Nor the days when he delivered them from the enemy. The day itself was erased from their calendar, so far as any due result from it or return for it. Strange is the faculty of memory in its oblivion as well as its records. Sin perverts man's powers, makes them forceful only in wrong directions, and practically dead for righteous ends.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 42. They remembered not his hand, etc. God hates forgetfulness of his blessings. First, because he has commanded that we should not forget them, Deuteronomy 4:9 8:14. Secondly, because forgetfulness is a sign of contempt. Thirdly, it is the peculiarity of singular carelessness. Fourthly, it springs from unbelief. Fifthly, it is the greatest mark of ingratitude. Thomas Le Blanc.

Verse 42. They remembered not his hand, etc. The rallying point of faith in time of trial is the primary manifestation of grace. To an Israelite a remembrance of the deliverance from Egypt is the test of active faith. In like manner, to the tried believer now it is the CROSS that furnishes the outlet of deliverance from the misty darkness with which Satan sometimes is permitted to envelope our conscience, when the Lord had not been kept watchfully before our face. Because Israel forgot that first deliverance, they went on frowardly in the way of evil. Because a Christian sometimes stops short of the Cross in his spiritual conflicts, he fails to defeat the enemy and remains unfruitful and unhappy, until by some special intervention of the great Restorer, he is again brought, in spirit, to that place where God first met him, and welcomed him in Jesus in the fulness of forgiveness and of peace. No intermediate experience, how truthful soever in its character, will meet his case. It is at the cross alone that we regain a thorough right mindedness about ourselves as well as about God. If we would glorify him, we must "hold fast the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end," Hebrews 3:14 . Arthur Pridham.

Verse 42. They remembered not his hand, etc. Eaten bread is soon forgotten. Nihil citius senescit quam gratia. Nothing so soon grows stale as a favour. John Trapp.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 42. The day of days.

  1. The enemy encountered on that day.
  2. The conflict endured.
  3. The deliverance accomplished.
  4. The joy experienced. B. D.