|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
114:1-8 An exhortation to fear God. - Let us acknowledge God's power and goodness in what he did for Israel, applying it to that much greater work of wonder, our redemption by Christ; and encourage ourselves and others to trust in God in the greatest straits. When Christ comes for the salvation of his people , he redeems them from the power of sin and Satan, separates them from an ungodly world, forms them to be his people, and becomes their King. There is no sea, no Jordan, so deep, so broad, but, when God's time is come, it shall be divided and driven back. Apply this to the planting the Christian church in the world. What ailed Satan and his idolatries, that they trembled as they did? But especially apply it to the work of grace in the heart. What turns the stream in a regenerate soul? What affects the lusts and corruptions, that they fly back; that prejudices are removed, and the whole man becomes new? It is at the presence of God's Spirit. At the presence of the Lord, not only mountains, but the earth itself may well tremble, since it has lain under a curse for man's sin. As the Israelites were protected, so they were provided for by miracles; such was that fountain of waters into which the flinty rock was turned, and that rock was Christ. The Son of God, the Rock of ages, gave himself to death, to open a fountain to wash away sins, and to supply believers with waters of life and consolation; and they need not fear that any blessing is too great to expect from his love. But let sinners fear before their just and holy Judge. Let us now prepare to meet our God, that we may have boldness before him at his coming.
Verse 2. - Judah was his sanctuary; or "became his sanctuary;" Judah - i.e. the land of Judah - received the special honor of being chosen for the seat of God's sanctuary. And Israel his dominion. While all the rest of Israel was accepted as constituting his kingdom or dominion. The whole people came under God's special protection.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Judah was his sanctuary,.... Meaning not the tribe of Judah only, though that in many things had the preeminence; the kingdom belonging to it, the chief ruler being out of it, especially the Messiah; its standard was pitched and moved first; it offered first to the service of the Lord; and the Jews have a tradition, mentioned by Jarchi and Kimchi, that this tribe, with its prince at the head of it, went into the Red sea first; the others fearing, but afterwards followed, encouraged by their example: but rather all the tribes are meant, the whole body of the people; for this is not to be understood of the tabernacle or temple in the tribe of Judah, sometimes called a sanctuary; for neither of these were in being when Israel came out of Egypt; but it may be rendered, "Judah was his holiness" (u), or was holiness to the Lord, the Lord's holy people; see Jeremiah 2:2, not all internally holy; for there were many that came out of Egypt that were unholy, rebellious, and disobedient, and whose carcasses fell in the wilderness; but externally, when brought out of Egypt they were separated from all other people, and in this sense sanctified, and became a holy and special people, chosen by the Lord to be so; with whom, he made a covenant, and to whom he gave holy laws and righteous statutes: and in this they were typical of those who are effectually called by grace with an holy calling, and unto holiness; have principles of grace and holiness wrought in them, and have Holiness to the Lord written upon them; they have the sanctification of the Spirit, and Christ is made sanctification to them; and they are the Lord's sanctuary, in which he dwells.
And Israel his dominion: for, though all the world is his kingdom and his government, yet the people of Israel were in a very particular and remarkable manner his dominion; from the time of their coming out of Egypt to their having a king, their government was properly a theocracy; God was their King, and by him they were immediately ruled and governed, and had a body of laws given them from him, and were under his immediate care and protection, Exodus 19:5. In this they were typical of the saints called by grace, who are then translated from the power of Satan into the kingdom of Christ; whom they acknowledge to be their Lord and King, and whose laws, commands, and ordinances, they willingly observe; the people of God are often represented as a kingdom, and Christ as King of saints; the Targum is
"the congregation of the house of Judah was united to his holiness, and Israel to his power.''
(u) "sanctificatio ejus", Pagninus, Vatablus; "sanctitas ejus", Gejerus, Michaelis.
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