Verse 14. Which my lips have uttered, or vehemently declared; blurted out, as we say in common speech. His vows had been wrung from him; extreme distress burst open the doors of his lips, and out rushed the vow like a long pent up torrent, which had at last found a vent. What we were so eager to vow, we should be equally earnest to perform; but alas! many a vow runs so fast in words that it lames itself for deeds.
And my mouth hath spoken. He had made the promise public, and had no desire to go back; an honest man is always ready to acknowledge a debt.
When I was in trouble. Distress suggested the vow; God in answer to the vow removed the distress, and now the votary desires to make good his promise. It is well for each man to remember that he was in trouble: proud spirits are apt to speak as if the road had always been smooth for them, as if no dog dare bark at their nobility, and scarce a drop of rain would venture to besprinkle their splendour; yet these very upstarts were probably once so low in spirits and condition that they would have been glad enough of the help of those they now despise. Even great Caesar, whose look did awe the world, must have his trouble and become weak as other men; so that his enemy could say in bitterness, "when the fit was on him, I did mark how he did shake." Of the strong and vigorous man the nurse could tell a tale of weakness, and his wife could say of the boaster, "I did hear him groan; his coward lips did from their colour fly." All men have trouble, but they act not in the same manner while under it; the profane take to swearing and the godly to praying. Both bad and good have been known to resort to vowing, but the one is a liar unto God, and the other a conscientious respecter of his word.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 13-15. See Psalms on "Psalms 66:13" for further information.
Verse 14. Which my lips have uttered. Hebrew, have opened; that is which I have uttered, diductis labiis, with lips wide open. Videmus qualiter vota nuncupari soleant, saith Vatablus. Here we see after what sort vows used to be made, when we are under any pressing affliction; but when once delivered, how heavily many come off in point of payment. John Trapp.
Verse 14. Express mention is made of opened lips to indicate that the vows were made with great vehemence of mind, and in a state of need and pressure; so that his lips were broken through and widely opened. For the root, hck contains the idea of opening anything with violence; to break open, as the Latin expression is, rumpere labia. Hermann Venema.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- Resolutions made ( Psalms 66:13 ).
- What? To offer praise.
- Why? For deliverance.
- Where? In thy house.
- Resolutions uttered ( Psalms 66:14 ).
- To God.
- Before men.
- Resolutions fulfilled.
- In public acknowledgment.
- In heartfelt gratitude.
- In more frequent attendance at the house of God.
- The renewed self dedication.
- In increased liberality. G. R.