Exposition - Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher - Works Upon This Psalm
TITLE. To the Chief Musician. Many songs were dedicated to
this leader of the chorus, but he was not overloaded thereby. God's service is
such delight that it cannot weary us; and that choicest part of it, the singing
of his praises, is so pleasurable that we cannot have too much of it. Doubtless,
the chief musician, as he was commissioned with so many sacred songs, felt that
the more the merrier. A Psalm for the Sons of Korah. We cannot agree with those
who think that the sons of Korah were the authors of these Psalms; they have all
the indications of David's authorship that one could expect to see. Our ear has
grown accustomed to the ring of David's compositions, and we are morally certain
that we hear it in this Psalm. Every expert would detect here the autography of
the Son of Jesse, or we are greatly mistaken. The Sons of Korah sang these
Psalms, but we believe they did not write them. Fit singers were they whose
origin reminded them of sin, whose existence was a proof of sovereign grace, and
whose name has a close connection with the name of Calvary.
SUBJECT. Whether the immediate subject of this Psalm be the
carrying up of the ark from the house of Obededom to Mount Zion, or the
celebration of some memorable victory, it would be hard to decide. As even the
doctors differ, who should dogmatise? But it is very clear that both the present
sovereignty of Jehovah, and the final victories of our Lord, are here fitly
hymned, while his ascension, as the prophecy of them, is sweetly gloried in.
DIVISION. In so short a Psalm, there is no need of any
other division than that indicated by the musical pause at the end of Ps 47:4.
Verse 1. O clap your hands. The most natural and most
enthusiastic tokens of exultation are to be used in view of the victories of the
Lord, and his universal reign. Our joy in God may be demonstrative, and yet he
will not censure it. All ye people. The joy is to extend to all nations;
Israel may lead the van, but all the Gentiles are to follow in the march of
triumph, for they have an equal share in that kingdom where there is neither
Greek nor Jew, but Christ is all and in all. Even now if they did but know it,
it is the best hope of all nations that Jehovah ruleth over them. If they cannot
all speak the same tongue, the symbolic language of the hands they can all use.
All people will be ruled by the Lord in the latter days, and all will exult in
that rule; were they wise they would submit to it now, and rejoice to do so;
yea, they would clap their hands in rapture at the thought. Shout, let
your voices keep tune with your hands. Unto God, let him have all the
honours of the day, and let them be loud, joyous, universal, and undivided.
With the voice of triumph, with happy sounds, consonant with such
splendid victories, so great a King, so excellent a rule, and such happy
subjects. Many are human languages, and yet the nations may triumph as with one
voice. Faith's view of God's government is full of transport. The prospect of
the universal reign of the Prince of Peace is enough to make the tongue of the
dumb sing; what will the reality be? Well might the poet of the seasons bid
mountains and valleys raise their joyous hymn--
"For the GREAT SHEPHERD reigns,
And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come."
Verse 2. For the Lord, or JEHOVAH, the self existent and
only God; Most high, most great in power, lofty in dominion, eminent in
wisdom, elevated in glory. Is terrible, none can resist his power or
stand before his vengeance; yet as these terrors are wielded on the behalf of
his subjects, they are fit reasons for rejoicing. Omnipotence, which is terrible
to crush, is almighty to protect. At a grand review of the troops of a great
prince, all his loyal subjects are filled with triumph, because their liege lord
is so able to defend his own, and so much dreaded by his foes. He is a great
King over all the earth. Not over Judea only, but even to the utmost
isles his reign extends. Our God is no local deity, no petty ruler of a tribe;
in infinite majesty he rules the mightiest realm as absolute arbiter of destiny,
sole monarch of all lands, King of kings, and Lord of lords. Not a hamlet or an
islet is excluded from his dominion. How glorious will that era be when this is
seen and known of all; when in the person of Jesus all flesh shall behold the
glory of the Lord!
Verse 3. He, with whom is infinite power, shall subdue
the people under us. The battle is not ours but the Lord's. He will
take his own time, but he will certainly achieve victory for his church. Truth
and righteousness shall through grace climb to the ascendant. We wage no
doubtful warfare. Hearts the most rebellious, and wills the most stubborn, shall
submit to all conquering grace. All the Lord's people, whether Jews or Gentiles,
may clap their hands at this, for God's victory will be theirs; but surely
apostles, prophets, ministers, and those who suffer and labour the most, may
take the largest share in the joy. Idolatry, infidelity, superstition, we shall
yet tread upon, as men tread down the stones of the street. And the nations
under our feet. The church of God shall be the greatest of monarchies, her
victory shall be signal and decisive. Christ shall take to himself his great
power and reign, and all the tribes of men shall own at once his glory and the
glory of his people in him. How changed will be the position of affairs in
coming ages! The people of God have been under the feet of men in long and cruel
persecutions, and in daily contempt; but God will reverse the position, and the
best in character shall be first in honour.
Verse 4. While as yet we see not all things put under him,
we are glad to put ourselves and our fortunes at his disposal. He shall
choose our inheritance for us. We feel his reign to be so gracious that
we even now ask to be in the fullest degree the subjects of it. We submit our
will, our choice, our desire, wholly to him. Our heritage here and hereafter we
leave to him, let him do with us as seemeth him good. The excellency of Jacob
whom he loved. He gave his ancient people their portion, he will give us
ours, and we ask nothing better; this is the most spiritual and real manner of
clapping our hands because of his sovereignty, namely, to leave all our affairs
in his hands, for then our hands are empty of all care for self, and free to be
used in his honour. He was the boast and glory of Israel, he is and shall be
ours. He loved his people and became their greatest glory; he loves us, and he
shall be our exceeding joy. As for the latter days, we ask nothing better than
to stand in our appointed lot, for if we have but a portion in our Lord Jesus,
it is enough for our largest desires. Our beauty, our boast, our best treasure,
lies in having such a God to trust in, such a God to love us. Selah. Yes,
pause, ye faithful songsters. Here is abundant room for holy meditation--
"Muse awhile, obedient thought,
Lo, the theme's with rapture fraught;
See thy King, whose realm extends
Even to earth's remotest ends.
Gladly shall the nations own
Him their God and Lord alone;
Clap their hands with holy mirth,
Hail him MONARCH OF THE EARTH.
Come, my soul, before him bow,
Gladdest of his subjects thou;
Leave thy portion to his choice,
In his sovereign will rejoice,
This thy purest, deepest bliss,
He is thine and thou art his."
Verse 5. God is gone up with a shout. Faith hears the people
already shouting. The command of the first verse is here regarded as a fact. The
fight is over, the conqueror ascends to his triumphant chariot, and rides up to
the gates of the city which is made resplendent with the joy of his return. The
words are fully applicable to the ascension of the Redeemer. We doubt not that
angels and glorified spirits welcomed him with acclamations. He came not without
song, shall we imagine that he returned in silence? The Lord with the
sound of a trumpet. Jesus is Jehovah. The joyful strain of the trumpet
betokens the splendour of his triumph. It was meet to welcome one returning from
the wars with martial music. Fresh from Bozrah, with his garments all red from
the winepress, he ascended, leading captivity captive, and well might the
clarion ring out the tidings of Immanuel's victorious return.
Verse 6. Sing praises. What jubilation is here, when five
times over the whole earth is called upon to sing to God! He is worthy,
he is Creator, he is goodness itself. Sing praises, keep on with the glad
work. Never let the music pause. He never ceases to be good, let us never cease
to be grateful. Strange that we should need so much urging to attend to so
heavenly an exercise. Sing praises unto our King. Let him have all
our praise; no one ought to have even a particle of it. Jesus shall have it all.
Let his sovereignty be the fount of gladness. It is a sublime attribute, but
full of bliss to the faithful. Let our homage be paid not in groans but songs.
He asks not slaves to grace his throne; he is no despot; singing is fit homage
for a monarch so blessed and gracious. Let all hearts that own his sceptre sing
and sing on for ever, for there is everlasting reason for thanksgiving while we
dwell under the shadow of such a throne.
Verse 7. For God is the King of all the earth. The Jews of
our Saviour's time resented this truth, but had their hearts been right they
would have rejoiced in it. They would have kept their God to themselves, and not
even have allowed the Gentile dogs to eat the crumbs from under his table. Alas!
how selfishness turns honey into wormwood. Jehovah is not the God of the Jews
only, all the nations of the earth are, through the Messiah, yet to own him
Lord. Meanwhile his providential throne governs all events beneath the sky.
Sing praises with understanding. Sing a didactic Psalm. Sound
doctrine praises God. Even under the economy of types and ceremonies, it is
clear that the Lord had regard to the spirituality of worship, and would be
praised thoughtfully, intelligently, and with deep appreciation of the reason
for song. It is to be feared from the slovenly way in which some make a noise in
singing, that they fancy any sound will do. On the other hand, from the great
attention paid by some to the mere music, we feel sadly sure that the sense has
no effect upon them. Is it not a sin to be tickling men's ears with sounds when
we profess to be adoring the Lord? What has a sensuous delight in organs,
anthems, etc., to do with devotion? Do not men mistake physical effects for
spiritual impulses? Do they not often offer to God strains far more calculated
for human amusement than for divine acceptance? An understanding enlightened of
the Holy Spirit is then and then only fully capable of offering worthy praise.
Verse 8. Now at this moment, over the most debased
idolaters, God holds a secret rule; here is work for faith. How we ought to long
for the day when this truth shall be changed in its aspect, and the rule now
unrecognised shall be delighted in! The great truth that God
reigneth in providence is the guarantee that in a gracious gospel sense
his promises shall be fulfilled, and his kingdom shall come. He sitteth upon
the throne of his holiness. Unmoved he occupies an undisputed throne, whose
decrees, acts, and commands are holiness itself. What other throne is like this?
Never was it stained with injustice, or defiled with sin. Neither is he who sits
upon it dismayed, or in a dilemma. He sits in serenity, for he knows his own
power, and sees that his purposes will not miscarry. Here is reason enough for
Verse 9. The princes of the people are gathered together.
The prophetic eye of the psalmist sees the willing subjects of the great King
assembled to celebrate his glory. Not only the poor and the men of low estate
are there, but nobles bow their willing necks to his sway. "All kings shall bow
down before him." No people shall be unrepresented; their great men shall be
good men, their royal ones regenerate ones. How august will be the parliament
where the Lord Jesus shall open the court, and princes shall rise up to do him
honour! Even the people of the God of Abraham. That same God, who was
known only to here and there a patriarch like the father of the faithful, shall
be adored by a seed as many as the stars of heaven. The covenant promise shall
be fulfilled, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be
blessed." Shiloh shall come, and "to him shall the gathering of the people be."
Babel's dispersion shall be obliterated by the gathering arm of the Great
For the shields of the earth belong unto God. The insignia
of pomp, the emblems of rank, the weapons of war, all must pay loyal homage to
the King of all. Right honourables must honour Jesus, and majesties must own him
to be far more majestic. Those who are earth's protectors, the shields of the
commonwealth, derive their might from him, and are his. All principalities and
powers must be subject unto Jehovah and his Christ, for He is greatly
exalted. In nature, in power, in character, in glory, there is none to
compare with him. Oh, glorious vision of a coming era! Make haste, ye wheels of
time! Meanwhile, ye saints, "Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the
work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Whole Psalm. Some have applied this Psalm to Christ's
ascension; but it speaks of his Second Coming. The Mighty One is seated
peacefully on his throne. We are referred back to Ps 45:1-17. Andrew A.
Verse 1. O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with
the voice of triumph. This should be done, 1. Cheerfully, Clap
your hands, for this is a sign of inward joy, Na 3:19. 2. Universally: "O
clap you hands, all ye people." 3. Vocally: Shout unto God with the
voice of triumph. 4. Frequently: "Sing praises to God, sing
praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises", Ps 47:6; and
again "sing praises", Ps 47:7. It cannot be done too frequently. 5.
Knowingly and discreetly: "Sing ye praises with understanding; "know the
reason why ye are to praise him. Adam Clarke.
Verse 1. O clap your hands, etc. Such expressions of pious
and devout affection as to some may seem indecent and imprudent, yet ought not
to be hastily censured and condemned, much less ridiculed; because if they come
from an upright heart, God will accept the strength of the affection, and excuse
the weakness of the expressions of it. Matthew Henry.
Verse 1. O clap your hands. The voice of melody is
not so much to be uttered with the tongue, as with the hands; that it, it is our
deeds not our words, by which God is here to be praised. Even as it was in him
whose pattern we are to follow: "Jesus began both to do and to teach." J. M.
Verse 1. All ye people. Peoples, in the plural. Here
it is used to call both Jews and Gentiles--all nations. William S. Plumer.
Verse 1. Shout unto God. Jubilate Deo: in God, and
concerning God, and in honour of God. He does not excite them to
carnal joy. Martin Geier.
Verse 2. For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great king
over all the earth. The church celebrates the ascension of Christ,
because then he was "highly exalted; "then he became terrible to his
enemies, all power in heaven and earth being committed to him; and then he began
to display the excellent majesty of his universal kingdom, to which he was then
inaugurated, being crowned "King of kings, and Lord of lords." George
Verse 2. The Lord most high is terrible. Christ is
terrible, that is, fearful, or meet to be feared, not of his children
only for their good, but of the wicked also for their punishment;
terrible to the devil, as being stronger than he, casting out the prince
of darkness by the finger of God. Lu 11:22 Joh 12:31. And therefore so soon as
an unclean spirit saw Jesus, he cried out, "What have we to do with thee, thou
Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us?" Mr 1:24; or as other devils, Mt
8:29, "Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" for the devils in
believing tremble. Terrible to hypocrites, and other impious agents of
the devil, as having his fan in his hand to make clean his floor, and to gather
his wheat into his garner, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Mt 3:12. Or Christ is excelsus in potentia, terribilis in justitia; high
in power, and fearful in justice; high in exalting the good, and terrible in
humbling the bad. John Boys.
Verse 3. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations
under our feet. The consequence of our Lord's ascension was the going
forth of the all subduing Word, under the influence and direction of which, the
convinced and converted nations renounced their idols and their lusts, and bowed
their willing necks to the yoke of Jesus. This is that great conquest, fore
showed by the victories of Joshua, David, and all the faithful heroes of old
time, and foretold in language borrowed from their history. George Horne.
Verse 3. He shall subdue the people under us, etc., or he
shall lead like sheep; or bring unto to fold; as divers render
the word, by comparing Isa 5:17 Mic 2:12. He seems to speak of such a
subjugation of them, as was for the good of the people subdued, because this is
matter of rejoicing to them, verse 1; which is true both of these people whom
David subdued, who thereby had opportunities, obligations, and encouragements to
own and worship the true God, which was the only way to their true and lasting
happiness; and especially of those Gentiles who were subdued to Christ by the
preaching of the gospel. The Gentile converts were in some sort brought under
the Jews, because they were subjected to Christ and to his apostles, and to the
primitive church, which were Jews. Matthew Poole.
Verse 3. And the nations under our feet. By this manner of
speech is meant, that the Gentiles should be scholars, and the Jews
schoolmasters, as it were to them; for to sit under the feet, or
at the feet, is used in Scripture for being a scholar, or learning, as Ac
22:3. Thomas Wilcocks.
Verse 4. He shall choose. Futures are variously rendered;
and accordingly the vulgar Latin, Syriac, and Arabic, render this word, He
hath chosen. Matthew Poole.
Verse 4. He shall choose our inheritance for us. It is
reported of a woman who, being sick, was asked whether she was willing to live
or die; she answered, "Which God pleases." But, said one, if God should refer it
to you, which would you choose? "Truly, "replied she, "I would refer it to him
again." Thus that man obtains his will of God, whose will is subjected to God.
We are not to be troubled that we have no more from God, but we are to be
troubled that we do no more for God. Christians, if the Lord be well
pleased with your persons, should not you be well pleased with your conditions?
There is more reason that you should be pleased with them, than that he should
be pleased with you. Believers should be like sheep, which change their pastures
at the will of the shepherd; or like vessels in a house, which stand to be
filled or emptied at the pleasure of their owner. He that sails upon the sea of
this world in his own bottom, will sink at last into a bottomless ocean. Never
were any their own carvers, but they were sure to cut their own fingers.
Verse 4. He shall choose our inheritance for us, means that
he who knows what is better for us than ourselves, hath chosen, that is,
hath appointed, and that of his own good will and mercy towards us, our
inheritance; not only things meet for this life, as lands, and houses, and
possessions, etc., but even all other things concerning the hope of a better
life, to wit, a kingdom that cannot be shaken, an everlasting habitation, and
inheritance which is immortal and undefiled, and fadeth not away, reserved for
us in heaven. John Boys.
Verse 4. The excellency (or glory) of Jacob, whom he loved;
that is, even all those excellent things that he gave and promised to Jacob,
wherein he might glory and rejoice. The faithful mean, that they had as great,
both abundance and assurance of God's grace and goodness, as ever Jacob had.
Verse 4. It may be thou art godly and poor. It is well; but
canst thou tell whether, if thou wert not poor, thou wouldst be godly? Surely
God knows us better than we ourselves do, and therefore can best fit the estate
to the person. Giles Fletcher.
Verse 5. God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of
a trumpet. It is worthy (as Origen suggests) that this mention of the
shout, and the voice of the trumpet, serves to connect
together past and future events in the history of the church and of the world,
and carry our thoughts forward to Christ's coming to judgment. Christopher
Verse 5. Thou hast great cause, O my soul, to praise him,
and to rejoice before him, especially if thou considerest that Christ ascended
not for himself, but also for thee: it is God in our nature that is gone up to
heaven: whatever God acted on the person of Christ, that he did as in thy
behalf, and he means to act the very same on thee. Christ as a public person
ascended up to heaven; thy interest is in this very ascension of Jesus Christ;
and therefore dost thou consider thy Head as soaring up? O let every member
praise his name; let thy tongue (called thy glory), glory in this, and
trumpet out his praise, that in respect of thy duty it may be verified: "Christ
is gone up with a shout, the Lord with a sound of a trumpet." Isaac
Verse 7. For God is the King of all the earth: as if he had
said, "our King, said I? it is too little; he is King of all the earth."
Verse 7. Sing ye praises with understanding. How may we make
melody in our hearts to God in singing of Psalms? We must sing with
understanding. We must not be guided by the time, but the
words of the Psalm; we must mind the matter more than the music, and
consider what we sing, as well as how we sing; the tune may affect the fancy,
but it is the matter affects the heart, and that God principally eyes. The
psalmist advises us in this particular, and so doth the apostle 1Co 14:15.
Otherwise this sweet duty would be more the work of a chorister than of a
Christian, and we should be more delighted in an anthem of the musician's
making, than in a Psalm of the Spirit's making. A. Lapide observes that in the
text, 1Co 14:15, the word understanding is maschil, (lyksm), profound judgment: we must sing wisely,
if we will sing gratefully; we must relish what we sing. In a word, we must
sing as we must pray; now the most rude petitioner will understand what
he prays. 1Co 14:15. If we do not understand what we sing, it argues
carelessness of spirit, or hardness of heart; and this makes the service
impertinent. Upon this the worthy Davenant cries out, "Adieu to the bellowing of
the Papists, who sing in an unknown tongue." God will not understand us in that
service which we understand not ourselves. One of the first pieces of the
creation was light, and this must break out in every duty. John
Wells(--1676), in "Morning Exercises."
Verse 7. Sing ye praises with understanding, sing an
instructive song. Let sense and sound go together. Let
your hearts and heads go with your voices. Understand what
you sing, and feel what you understand. Adam Clarke.
Verse 7. Sing ye praises with understanding; because in the
full light of the new dispensation, the darkness of the patriarchal ages, the
seeing as through a glass of the Levitical law, are turned into the vision of
full and very reality. Hugo Victorinus.
Verse 7. Sing ye praises with understanding. Mark this, thou
who daily readest the Psalms, and yet does not understand them. Simon de
Verse 7. With understanding. If they had sung with
understanding, they had not adored stones. When a man sensible sang to a
stone insensible, did he sing "with understanding"? But now, brethren, we
see not with our eyes whom we adore, and yet correctly we adore. Much more is
God commended to us, that with our eyes see him not. Augustine.
Verse 9. The princes of the people are gathered together. I
note from hence, 1. That it is not impossible for great men to be good men; for
the heads of a country to be members of Christ; and for princes as well as the
people to serve the God of Abraham. It is said by the prophet, "upon my peace
came great bitterness; ""a thousand fell on the left hand, but ten thousand at
the right hand" Ps 91:7: ten perish in their prosperity, for one that falleth in
adversity. Homo victus in paradiso, victum in stercore: Adam in the
garden of pleasure was overcome by the subtil serpent, whereas Job on the
dunghill of misery was more than a conqueror. Woodmen say that deer are more
circumspect in fat pastures; so the godly fear most in a rich estate: nihil
timendum video (saith one), timeo tamen. (Seneca.) It is a sweet
prayer of our church in the Litany, "Good Lord, deliver us in all time of our
wealth, "insinuating that our minds are not so wanton as in abundance: yet, as
you see, such is Christ's unspeakable goodness towards all sort of men, in
preventing them even with the riches of his mercy, that not only the mean
people, but also the mighty princes among the heathen are joined unto the church
of the God of Abraham. John Boys.
Verse 9. Gathered together. Christ's gathering of the saints
together unto him will be at his second coming, his coming to judgment, the
general and final judgment. "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him." 2Th 2:1. James
Scott (--1773), in "A Collection of Sermons, "1774.
Verse 9. The people of the God of Abraham. First, touching
the God of Abraham, it is Christ, whose day Abraham desired to
see, and in seeing whereof he did so much rejoice Joh 8:1-59; that is, not only
the day of his birth, which he saw, as we learn by the oath which he caused his
servant to take Ge 24:1-67 but also the day of his passion, which he saw long
ago, and rejoiced in seeing it, when he said to his son Isaac in the mount, "The
Lord will provide a sacrifice." Ge 22:8. Secondly, The people of the God
of Abraham, are his children and posterity: not only that they are
the seed of Abraham, coming out of his loins, and are "the
children of the flesh" Ro 9:9; but "the children of the
promise; "for if they that come out of Abraham's loins were only his
children, then the Hagarins, the Turks, and Ishmaelites should be the people of
God; "But in Isaac shall thy seed be called." They that lay hold of the
promise by faith, "They that are of the faith, are the children of Abraham" Ga
3:7, that have the same spirit of faith that Abraham had. As the apostle saith
Ro 2:28, "He is not a Jew that is one outwardly, but a Jew inwardly is the true
Jew." They that worship the Messias by believing in him with the faith of
Abraham, they are Abraham's children, and the people of Abraham's God,
which thing John Baptist affirms Mt 3:1-17, "God can of stones raise up
children unto Abraham." So the Gentiles, which worshipped stones, and therefore
were "like unto them" Ps 115:1-18, were notwithstanding raised up to be
children to Abraham. Lancelot Andrewes.
Verse 9. The shields of the earth belong unto God. There we
have the rulers of the earth set forth by a double relation; the one
upward, they are scuta Deo, they belong to God; the other
downward, they are scuta terae, "the shields of the earth; "and
both these noting two things, their dignity and their duty. They
belong to God, it is their honour that he hath sealed them: they belong to God,
it is their duty to be subject to him. They are shields of the earth, it
is their honour that they are above others: they are the shields of the
earth, it is their duty to protect others. Edward Reynolds (Bishop).
Verse 9. The shields of the earth are God's, is understood
by many as spoken of princes. I admit that this metaphor is of frequent
occurrence in Scripture, nor does this sense seem to be unsuitable to the scope
of the passage...Yet the sense will be more simple if we explain the words thus:
That, as it is God alone who defends and preserves the world, the high and
supreme majesty which is sufficient for so exalted and difficult a work as the
preservation of the world, is justly looked upon with admiration. The sacred
writer expressly uses the word shields in the plural number, for,
considering the various and almost innumerable dangers which unceasingly
threaten every part of the world, the providence of God must necessarily
interpose in many ways, and make use, as it were, of many bucklers. John
Verse 9. The shields of the earth. Magistrates are said to
bear the sword, not to be swords; and they are said to be
shields, not to bear shields; and all this to show that protection and
preservation are more essential and intrinsical to their office than destruction
and punishment are. Joseph Caryl.
HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER
Verse 1. Unusual and enthusiastic expressions of joy when justifiable and even desirable.
Verses 1-4. Joy the true spirit of worship.
1. Joy in God's character.
2. In his reign.
3. In the triumphs of his gospel.
4. In his favour to his saints.
Verse 2. The terrors of the Lord viewed by faith as a subject of joy.
Verse 2 (second clause). The universal reign of Christ as it is and is to be.
Verse 3. The hope of victory to the church. What shall be subdued? By whose instrumentality? Us. By whose power? He. When shall it be accomplished? What is the token of it? The ascension, Ps 47:5.
1. The final triumph of the saints. All enemies subdued under them in earth and hell, within and without--(a) gradually, (b)completely.
2. The power by which it is accomplished. He shall, etc.
(a) Not without means.
(b) Not by means only.
(c) But by appointed means made potent by divine energy. G. R.
Verse 4. This comprehends time and eternity. It is a matter of fact, of holy acquiescence, of desire, of thankfulness.
1. God is willing to choose our inheritance for us in time and eternity.
2. His choice is better than ours--the excellency of Jacob.
3. He will leave us to the consequences of our own choice.
4. He will help us in obtaining that which he chooses for us. G. R.
Verse 5. The ascension. Its publicity, solemnity, triumph, joy. Who went up. Where he went up. To what he went up. For what purpose. With what result.
Verse 6. The importance of holy song. The repetition rebukes our slackness, and implies that earnestness, frequency, delight, and universality should characterise the praises offered.
Verse 7 (last clause). The psalmody of the instructed, and instruction by psalmody; praise should be both the fruit and the vehicle of teaching.
Verse 8 (last clause). Divine sovereignty always connected with holiness.
1. God has a throne of holiness, for which he is to be feared by all men.
2. A throne of grace, for which he is to be loved by his redeemed.
3. A throne of glory, for which he is to be praised by his whole creation.
1. A shield is a merciful weapon, none more so.
2. A shield is a venturous weapon, a kind of surety,
which bears the blows and receives the injuries which were intended for another.
3. A shield is a strong weapon, to repel the darts of
wickedness and break them in pieces.
4. A shield is an honourable weapon, none more: taking away of
shields was a sign of victory; preserving them a sign of glory.
5. Remember, a shield must ever have an eye to guide it
--you the shields, the law the eye. Bishop Reynolds.
WORK UPON THE FORTY-SEVENTH PSALM
In the Works of JOHN BOYS, 1626, folio, pp. 931-937, there
is an Exposition of this Psalm.