|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
136:1-9 Forgetful as we are, things must be often repeated to us. By mercy we understand the Lord's disposition to save those whom sin has rendered miserable and vile, and all the provision he has made for the redemption of sinners by Jesus Christ. The counsels of this mercy have been from everlasting, and the effects of it will endure for ever, to all who are interested in it. The Lord continues equally ready to show mercy to all who seek for it, and this is the source of all our hope and comfort.
Verse 4. - To him who alone doeth great wonders (comp. Psalm 72:18). For his mercy, etc.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
To him who alone doeth great wonders,.... As in the works of creation at first, having no help from angels or men; so in the works of providence, many of which are unsearchable, and past finding out, and in which he has no assistance from creatures; and in the works of grace, redemption, and salvation, which his own arm has wrought out; as well as what he did when here on earth in our nature; the miracles then wrought by his omnipotent arm alone; and even all the wonders which Moses and Elijah did under the Old Testament, and the apostles of Christ under the New, were done, not by their power, but by his alone; who will do still greater wonders, when he shall create all tidings new, raise the dead, and summon all nations before him, and render to everyone according to his works;
for his mercy endureth for ever: towards his people, for whose sake all these wonders are wrought.
The Treasury of David
4 To him who alone doth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever
"To him who alone doeth great wonders." Jehovah is the great Thaumaturge, the unrivalled Wonderworker. None can be likened unto him, he is alone in wonderland, the Creator and Worker of true marvels, compared with which all other remarkable things are as child's play. His works are all great in wonder even when they are not great in size; in fact, in the minute objects of the microscope we behold as great wonders as even the telescope can reveal. All the works of his unrivalled skill are wrought by him alone and unaided, and to him, therefore, must be undivided honour. None of the gods or the lords helped Jehovah in creation, or in the redemption of his people: his own right hand and his holy arm wrought for him these great deeds. What have the gods of the heathen done? If the question be settled by doings, Jehovah is Indeed "alone." It is exceedingly wonderful that men should worship gods who can do nothing, and forget the Lord who alone doeth great wonders. Even when the Lord uses men as his Instruments, yet the wonder of the work is his alone; therefore let us not trust in men, or idolize them, or tremble before them. Praise is to be rendered to Jehovah, "for his mercy endureth for ever." The mercy of the wonder is the wonder of the mercy; and the enduring nature of that mercy is the central wonder of that wonder. The Lord causes us often to sit down in amazement as we see what his mercy has wrought out and prepared for us: "wonders of grace to God belong," yea, great wonders and unsearchable. Oh the depth! Glory be to his name world without end!
Doing wondrous deeds alone,
Mercy sits upon his throne.
"To him that by wisdom made the heavens." His goodness appears in creating the upper regions. He set his wisdom to the task of fashioning a firmament, or an atmosphere suitable for a world upon which mortal men should dwell. What a mass of wisdom lies hidden in this one creating act! The discoveries of our keenest observers have never searched out all the evidences of design which are crowded together in this work of God's hands. The lives of plants, animals, and men are dependent upon the fashioning of our heavens: had the skies been other than they are we had not been here to praise God. Divine foresight planned the air and the clouds, with a view to the human race. "For his mercy endureth for ever." The Psalmist's details of mercy begin in the loftiest regions, and gradually descend from the heavens to "our low estate" (Psalm 136:23); and this is an ascent, for mercy becomes greater as its objects become less worthy. Mercy is far-reaching, long-enduring, all-encompassing. Nothing is too high for its reach, as nothing is beneath its stoop.
High as heaven his wisdom reigns,
Mercy on the throne remains.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. alone—excluding all help.
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