Tested But Brought to a Place of Blessing

The Fifth Commandment extends to other areas of authority in society. Zacharius Ursinus, the principle author of the Heidelburg Catechism wrote in his seventeenth-century commentary, “The design or end of this commandment is the preservation of civil order, which God has app … More

Preservation

The nation acknowledges that God has tested them with all kinds of burdens and oppressions, but He has finally brought them to a place of abundant blessing. Israel is a nation that has been hated and hunted but impossible to exterminate. For thousands of years the history of the Jewish people has demonstrated that nationally the people have stood in some very slippery places, but their national identity has been preserved.

In this passage the psalmist called on nations everywhere to praise the Lord for His great deliverance of Israel (vv. 8-15), God allowed Judah to be invaded by the Assyrians and brought to the verge of despair. After a miraculous recovery from sickness Hezekiah received a delegation from far-off Babylon which had come to congratulate him on his recovery. However they had an ulterior motive which was a Judeo-Babylon alliance against Assyria. Hezekiah had forgotten that as a Hebrew king he had no right to act independently of God. Therefore he went too far and Israel had to rebuke him.

We find the psalmist’s words in this psalm ringing out from a full heart. The words are common to the work of refining (v. 10). The great tribulation will burn the dross out of Israel. He calls on nations to be humbled by the marvelous ways of God in protecting and in proving Israel.

Application

People sometimes make bargains with God, saying, “If you heal me (or get me out of this mess) I’ll obey you for the rest of my life.” However, after they recover, the vow is forgotten. God always keeps His promise and wants us to follow His example. This means that I need to be careful to follow through on whatever I promise God I will do.

Psalms 66:8-15 (English Standard Version)


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