Verse 65. The Lord awaked as one out of sleep. Justly inactive, he had suffered the enemy to triumph, his ark to be captured, and his people to be slain; but now he arouses himself, his heart is full of pity for his chosen, and anger against the insulting foe. Woe to thee, O Philistia, now thou shalt feel the weight of his right hand! Waking and putting forth strength like a man who has taken a refreshing draught, the Lord is said to be, like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. Strong and full of energy the Lord dashed upon his foes, and made them stagger beneath his blows. His ark from city to city went as an avenger rather than as a trophy, and in every place the false gods fell helplessly before it.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 65. Then the Lord awaked. Know how to understand this and similar passages in Scripture, as to the Lord's sleeping and forgetting his people, Psalms 13:1 44:33 77:9. These are not to be understood as to an universal and absolute forgetting and sleep of providence; for God hath not his vacation time: he still holds the reins of government in his hand, all the world over. Neither do they infer an absolute cessation of providence in reference to that object matter which the Lord to our apprehension seems to forget, and lies dormant; for there is a promoting work of providence, which we see not, and are not so sensible of for the present, as hath been shewed. Besides, such forgetting and sleep of providence, as it is such, bespeaks the beauty of providence in the way of bringing things to pass. It is so far from inferring an interrgnum, or letting fall the sceptre of government, as that it is a glorious demonstration that God orders matters, and that wisely, whilst he seems to forget, and be as one asleep. As the night, as night, falls under the providence of God, as well as the day, for there are the ordinances of heaven for the night season, Jeremiah 31:35 : so the dark night, when as to matters the Lord seems to sleep, is part and parcel of his all wise model of government. The seventy years captivity was a long night for the church's distress; and yet thus it must be according to the ordinance of providence. Jeremiah 29:10 . Thomas Crane.
Verse 65. Like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine: whose spirit and courage is revived and inflamed by a liberal draught of generous wine; which comparison is no more injurious to the Divine Majesty than that of a thief's coming in the night, to which Christ's second coming is compared. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 . Matthew Poole.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS