Wilt thou not revive us - We have long had the sentence of death in ourselves; and have feared an utter extinction. Shall not our nation yet live before thee? Shall we not become once more numerous, pious, and powerful, that
Thy people may rejoice in thee? - As the Source of all our mercies; and give thee the glory due to thy name?
Wilt thou not revive us again - literally, “Wilt thou not turn, or return, cause us to live;” that is, and cause us to live. The expression is equivalent to “again” as in our translation. The Septuagint and Vulgate render it, “Returning, wilt thou not give us life?” The word rendered revive means to live; to cause to live; and the idea is that of recovering them from their condition as a state of death; that is, restoring them as if they were dead. The image is that of returning spring after the death of winter, or the young grass when the rain descends after a long drought, and when everything seemed to be dead. So of the people referred to in the psalm; everything among them was like such a winter, when there is neither leaf, nor flower, nor grass, nor fruit; or like such a drought, when desolation is seen everywhere; or like the grave, where the dead repose. The image of spring, after a long and dreary winter, is one also which will properly describe the condition of the church when the influences of the Spirit have been long withheld, and when, under the visitations of grace, religion seems to live again among the people of God.
That thy people may rejoice in thee - In thy favor; in thy presence; in thee as their God.
(a) There is always joy in a revival of religion. Nothing is so much suited to make a people happy; nothing diffuses so much joy. Compare Acts 8:8.
(b) This is particularly joy in God. It is because he comes near; because he manifests his mercy; because he shows his power and his grace.