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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 66:10

 

 

For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined.

Adam Clarke Commentary

For thou, O God, hast proved us - This is a metaphor taken from melting and refining metals; afflictions and trials of various kinds are represented as a furnace where ore is melted, and a crucible where it is refined. And this metaphor is used especially to represent cases where there is doubt concerning the purity of the metal, the quantity of alloy, or even the nature or kind of metal subjected to the trial. So God is said to try the Israelites that he might know what was in them; and whether they would keep his testimonies: and then, according to the issue, his conduct towards them would appear to be founded on reason and justice.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 66:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-66.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For thou, O God, hast proved us - That is, Thou hast tried us; thou hast tested the reality of our attachment to thee, as silver is tried by the application of fire. God had proved or tried them by bringing calamity upon them to test the reality of their allegiance to him. The nature of the proof or trial is referred to in the following verses.

Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried - That is, by being subjected to appropriate tests to ascertain its real nature, and to remove from it imperfections. Compare the notes at 1 Peter 1:7; notes at Isaiah 1:25; notes at Isaiah 48:10; see also Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 66:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-66.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 66:10

For Thou, O God, hast proved us; Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

The soul’s purification by suffering

A most natural question--one asked by tried hearts in every age since the world began--is, Why, if there be a God, a merciful God, does He permit all these repeated and accumulated sufferings to afflict us? What are the Divine uses and purposes of sorrow? For we are compelled to admit that, if there be no ultimate design in and issue from sorrow, there is a fearful waste of tears and agony in the world. Some men have asked the question and received no satisfactory reply, and consequently have hastily and foolishly concluded, “There is no God; there can be no God, or this could not have been.” Even those who do believe in the existence of a merciful God, who do believe that He has the ordering and governance of all our lives, are yet confronted by the great mystery of suffering. They want an explanation; they want to know how it can all be reconciled with the existence and oversight of a merciful God. Thoughts like these are very old to most of us. How are they to be met? Well, I candidly confess that as yet the reason why God permits so much suffering in the world is wrapt in the same darkness as still surrounds that other mysterious question--Why has God permitted sin to enter into the world? There is no light; no effort of thought or imagination, no wide-reaching speculations have been able to solve the problem. But our text suggests several important thoughts.

I. The place of God in our trials--they may be sent by God. I say, may be sent, and thereby I mean to imply that all trials are not the effect of the immediate interposition of God. There are evils and sorrows which befall men which none would dare to say are of God’s sending, because it is evident that they are the fruit of wrong-doing. For instance, if a man has been extravagant and reckless, and has thus reduced himself to poverty, it would be a libel upon God if he were to declare that God had made him poor, since he only reaps the harvest of his own folly. There can, however, be no doubt, if we are to accept the testimony of Scripture, and to believe in the Fatherly providence of God, we must believe that He permits and sends affliction. We cannot, we dare not, forget that God has to do with us every day, and we cannot take any comfort in the cold conception that we have stern, unbending laws to deal with, and not the tender, compassionate heart of a loving Father. The human heart craves a personal and present God Then, further, if we can see God’s hand in our troubles, does it not make our troubles easier to bear?

II. The testing character of life’s trials. Men in their ordinary connections are constantly applying tests to prove the character and the ability of those with whom they have to do; seeking to discover whether there is weakness or strength, falsehood or truth. Creditors test their debtors, masters test their servants, parents test their children, and friends often prove by ingenious stratagems the faithfulness of friends. So the world, by persecutions, and flatteries, and snares, is always testing the Christian Church; demonstrating to its own superficial satisfaction the honesty or hollowness of the profession its members make. Every man having the courage to avow himself on the side of Christ is immediately put on trial by Iris relations and his neigh-bouts, who will entangle him in positions of temptation, simply to ascertain what his Christianity is worth. Little is taken on trust in this world, and we are never entirely content with any object or any pretension until it has undergone some fierce heat of trouble. Adversity is the great test. A cobweb is as good as the mightiest chain cable when there is no strain upon it. It is trial that proves one thing weak and another strong. This is true of our spiritual life, our professed faith.

III. The purifying power of life’s trials. The words, “Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried,” would express the thought here intended more clearly if read, “Thou hast purified us, as silver is purified.” (W. Braden.)

Tested for hardships

When Scoresby was selecting his men to accompany him in Arctic explorations, he needed sailors that could stand the severest exposure, and had nerve to bear the worst trials. So every man who applied to accompany the expedition was made to stand barefooted on a great block of ice while the surgeon examined his body and Scoresby inquired into his past history. Scores were rejected at once, as they had not nerve to endure the test. The men who stood the trial made up a band of brave heroes. So sometimes God tries us when He has in store for us some great undertaking. Many faint and excuse themselves from the start; some endure, and make the heroes and leaders of the Church,


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 66:10". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-66.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For thou, O God, hast proved us,.... And by the experiment found them to be true and faithful; to have the truth of grace, and the root of the matter in them; not reprobate silver, or their grace counterfeit grace; but of the right kind, solid and substantial;

thou hast tried us as silver is tried; in a furnace, where it is put and melted by the refiner, and purified from the dross that attends it. So the Targum,

"thou hast purified us as the silversmith purifieth the silver;'

or tries it by melting and purifying it. Thus the Lord puts his people into the furnace of afflictions, and sits as a refiner and purifier of them; hereby he tries their graces, faith, patience, hope, and love, their principles and their professions; refines their graces, and makes them more bright and illustrious; removes their dross and tin, and reforms their manners; and proves them to be good silver, and approves of them, and esteems them as such, even as his peculiar treasure. From whence it appears, as well as from the following verses, that afflictions are of God; that they are for the good of his people, and not their hurt; like silver they are put into the fire of affliction, not to be destroyed and lost, but to be purged and refined; and that they are not in wrath, but in love: and this, with what follows, may respect the sufferings of the saints under Rome, Pagan and Papal; when Christ's feet, the members of his mystical body, were like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; when their graces were tried, their works were known, and their persons proved and approved, Revelation 1:15; see Zechariah 13:9.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-66.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

Proved us — As it were in a burning furnace; and with a design to purge out our dross.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-66.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

10For thou, O God! hast proved us We may read, Though thou, O God! etc., and then the passage comes in as a qualification of what went before, and is brought forward by the Psalmist to enhance the goodness of God, who had delivered them from such severe calamities. But there is another object which I consider him to have in view, and this is the alleviation of the grief of God’s people, by setting before them the comfort suggested by the words which follow. When visited with affliction, it is of great importance that we should consider it as coming from God, and as expressly intended for our good. It is in reference to this that the Psalmist speaks of their having been proved and tried. At the same time, while he adverts to God’s trying his children with the view of purging away their sin, as dross is expelled from the silver by fire, he would intimate, also, that trial had been made of their patience. The figure implies that their probation had been severe; for silver is cast repeatedly into the furnace. They express themselves thankful to God, that, while proved with affliction, they had not been destroyed by it; but that their affliction was both varied and very severe, appears not only from the metaphor, but from the whole context, where they speak of having been cast into the net, being reduced to straits, men riding over their heads, and of being brought through shipwreck and conflagration. (477) The expression, laying a restraint [or chain ]upon their loins, is introduced as being stronger than the one which goes before. It was not a net of thread which had been thrown over them, but rather they had been bound down with hard and insolvable fetters. The expression which follows refers to men who had shamefully tyrannised over them, and ridden them down as cattle. By fire and water are evidently meant complicated afflictions; and it is intimated that God had exercised his people with every form of calamity. They are the two elements which contribute more than any other to sustain human life, but are equally powerful for the destruction of it. It is noticeable, that the Psalmist speaks of all the cruelties which they had most unjustly suffered from the hands of their enemies, as an infliction of Divine punishment; and would guard the Lord’s people against imagining that God was ignorant of what they had endured, or distracted by other things from giving attention to it. In their condition, as here described, we have that of the Church generally represented to us; and this, that when subjected to vicissitudes, and cast out of the fire into the water, by a succession of trials, there may at last be felt to be nothing new or strange in the event to strike us with alarm. The Hebrew word רויה,revayah, which I have rendered fruitful place, means literally a well-watered land. Here it is taken metaphorically for a condition of prosperity, the people of God being represented as brought into a pleasant and fertile place, where there is abundance of pasturage. The truth conveyed is, that God, although he visit his children with temporary chastisements of a severe description, will ultimately crown them with joy and prosperity. It is a mistake to suppose that the allusion is entirely to their being settled in the land of Canaan, (478) for the psalm has not merely reference to the troubles which they underwent in the wilderness, but to the whole series of distresses to which they were subjected at the different periods of their history.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66:10". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-66.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 66:10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

Ver. 10. For thou, O God, hast proved us] Non ut ipse sciat sed ut scire nos faciat, saith Austin. God proveth his people, not thereby to better his own knowledge of them, John 2:25; John 6:6; John 21:17;, Acts 1:24, but to bring them to a better knowledge of their own both vices and graces. It is not known what corn will yield till it come to the flail; nor what grapes, till they come to the press. Grace is hid in nature, as sweet water in rose leaves; the fire of affliction fetcheth it out.

Thou hast tried us as silver] The wicked also are tried, Revelation 3:10, but they prove reprobate silver, Jeremiah 6:28; Jeremiah 6:30, or, at best, as alchemy gold, that will not bear the seventh fire, as Job did, Job 23:10.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-66.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For, or yet, or nevertheless. Though thou hast hitherto helped us, and now delivered us, yet for a season thou hast sorely afflicted us.

Tried us, as silver is tried, i.e. severely, as if it were in a burning furnace; and with a design to try our sincerity, and to purge out the dross, or the wicked, from among us.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 66:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-66.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10. As silver is tried—Such figures indicate that the art of refining the precious metals was known to the Hebrews. The history of the tabernacle in the wilderness shows them to have been advanced in the art of metallurgy, which they had learned of the Egyptians. See Psalms 12:6; Exodus 25.In the peninsula of Mount Sinai are still found numerous excavations of ancient Egyptian mines of iron and copper, also turquois and manganese, with shafts, vast slag heaps, ruins of smelting furnaces, dwellings, temples and hieroglyphics, dating anterior to, and at the time of, the exodus. In their oppressed condition it is not improbable that many of the Israelites worked in these mines. Moses led the people within a few miles of a principal colony of miners, (in Serabit el Khadim,) then evidently in full operation, “having most probably a considerable military establishment to preserve discipline, as the miners were chiefly selected from criminals and prisoners of war.”PALMER’S Desert of the Exodus.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 66:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-66.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 66:10. For thou, O God, &c. — Or, nevertheless. Though thou hast hitherto helped us: and now delivered us, yet for a season thou hast sorely afflicted us; hast tried us as silver is tried — That is, severely, as if it were in a burning furnace; and with a design to try our sincerity, and to purge the dross out of our hearts, and the wicked from among us. Observe, reader, we are proved by afflictions, as silver in the fire, 1st, That our graces, by being tried, may be made more evident, and so we may be approved as silver is when it is marked sterling, which will be to our praise at the appearing of Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 1:7. And, 2d, That our graces, by being exercised, may be made more strong and active, and so may be improved, as silver is when it is refined by the fire, and made more clear from its dross; and this will be to our unspeakable advantage, for thus shall we be made partakers of God’s holiness, Hebrews 12:10. Then are we likely to get good by our afflictions when we look upon them in this light; for then we see that they proceed from God’s mercy and love, and are intended for our honour and benefit. Public troubles, we must observe, are for the purifying of the church.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 66:10". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-66.html. 1857.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
hast proved us
17:3; Deuteronomy 8:2,16; 13:3
tried
Proverbs 17:3; Isaiah 48:10; Zechariah 13:9; 1 Peter 1:6,7

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 66:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-66.html.

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

Psalm 66:10

"For you, O God, have proved us; you have tried us, as silver is tried." Psalm 66:10

The Lord"s dealings with his people in the wilderness are very much to this purpose and to this end—to prove them, and to know what is in their hearts. Has the Lord implanted life in your soul? Has he touched your conscience with his finger? Has he begun a work of grace upon your heart? If Song of Solomon , in your travels through this wilderness there will be things from time to time to prove the reality of this work upon your soul.

You will have temptations; now, when temptation comes, it will prove whether you have the fear of God in your soul to stand against the temptation, or whether you fall under the temptation; or, if you fall under the temptation, whether you are ever recovered out of it. And if you are a living soul, the Lord will keep bringing circumstance upon circumstance, event upon event, one thing after another; and all these things, as they come upon you, shall be made to prove whether the fear of God be in your soul or not. Now, if the fear of God be not in a man"s heart, he must decline, he must fall away. SATAN will be more than a match for every one except God"s own family; SIN will overcome and destroy every one but those whose sins are pardoned through atoning blood and dying love; and the WORLD, sooner or later, will overcome everyone who has not the faith of God"s elect whereby alone the world is overcome. Thus the Lord, in his mysterious dealings (and how mysterious his dealings are!) proves the reality of the work of grace in every heart where that work is begun, and proves the hypocrisy of all who have but a name to live while their soul is dead before God.


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Bibliography
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on Psalms 66:10". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jcp/psalms-66.html.

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