|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
104:31-35 Man's glory is fading; God's glory is everlasting: creatures change, but with the Creator there is no variableness. And if mediation on the glories of creation be so sweet to the soul, what greater glory appears to the enlightened mind, when contemplating the great work of redemption! There alone can a sinner perceive ground of confidence and joy in God. While he with pleasure upholds all, governs all, and rejoices in all his works, let our souls, touched by his grace, meditate on and praise him.
Verse 32. - He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth (comp. Psalm 18:7; Psalm 114:7). The earth "trembles," as knowing that it can be destroyed at any moment. He toucheth the hills, and they smoke; or, the mountains - the strongest portions of the earth (Psalm 36:6; Psalm 65:6) - "smoke" when he touches them (see Exodus 19:18; Deuteronomy 4:11; Psalm 144:5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth,.... As Sinai did when he descended on it, Psalm 68:8, to which the allusion seems to be; and a look from him, a severe one, a frowning one, will make the inhabitants of the earth to tremble; a providential look, sending famine, pestilence or the sword among them. A displeased look will make the hearts of his own children tremble, as no doubt Peter's did, when the Lord looked upon him, and he remembered his word; and if a look, much more a word, an awful word, as his voice in the law, pronouncing such cursed as keep it not; and especially the tremendous sentence he will pronounce on the wicked at the last day,
go, ye cursed, &c. and if a look and a word are so terrible, what will be the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger upon those who have refused to give him glory? For the words seem to carry in them a reason why he should be glorified, taken from the consequence of not glorifying him, who has such a majesty in his looks, such a terror in his countenance, and such power in his hands.
He toucheth the hills, and they smoke; as Sinai likewise did, when he was upon it, Exodus 19:18, and as other hills do, when touched with lightning; the tops of mountains, the higher they are, the sooner and the more they smoke (u). God, with a touch of his hand, can set mountains on fire, open "volcanos", and cause them to burn for years together; as Etna, Vesuvius, Hecla, and others: and how easily can he set on fire the course of nature, burn the world, and all that is in it! It is but touching it, and it takes fire immediately: this he can as easily do as a man can light a torch or a candle; and as easily can he destroy sinners with the fire of his wrath, or cast them into everlasting fire, with the devil and his angels, which will burn to the lowest hell; and what are hills and mountains, or the greatest personages on earth, if he does but touch them, or lay his hand upon them in wrath? They are crushed as the moth; they are nothing before our great Zerubbabel.
(u) "Montis vicina cacumina coelo----Tanto "magis edita fumant", Lucret. de Rerum Natura, l. 6. v. 458, 459.
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