|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
147:1-11 Praising God is work that is its own wages. It is comely; it becomes us as reasonable creatures, much more as people in covenant with God. He gathers outcast sinners by his grace, and will bring them into his holy habitation. To those whom God heals with the consolations of his Spirit, he speaks peace, assures them their sins are pardoned. And for this, let others praise him also. Man's knowledge is soon ended; but God's knowledge is a dept that can never be fathomed. And while he telleth the number of the stars, he condescends to hear the broken-hearted sinner. While he feeds the young ravens, he will not leave his praying people destitute. Clouds look dull and melancholy, yet without them we could have no rain, therefore no fruit. Thus afflictions look black and unpleasant; but from clouds of affliction come showers that make the soul to yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The psalmist delights not in things wherein sinners trust and glory; but a serious and suitable regard to God is, in his sight, of very great price. We are not to be in doubt between hope and fear, but to act under the gracious influences of hope and fear united.
Verse 7. - Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving. God is not only to be praised for his greatness (ver. 5), but also to be thanked for his loving-kindness (vers. 2, 3, 8, 9). Sing praise upon the harp unto our God. The glad sound of the harp should accompany his praises.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving,.... These are the words of the psalmist unto the Israelites, according to Aben Ezra and Kimchi; but may be an exhortation to all men, especially good men; who are capable of observing the following things concerning providential goodness and special grace, on account of which they are called upon to "sing unto the Lord": or to "answer" (q); to sing alternately, or by responses; the word is used for singing, Hosea 2:15; see Exodus 15:21; and intends vocal singing, as the next clause instrumental singing, as Kimchi observes. However, the Lord is the object of it, to whom praise is to be sung for all the great and good things done by him, and that "with thanksgiving" to God for them; which, though a distinct thing from singing, and may be done without it, as in prayer; yet singing ought never to be without that; see Ephesians 5:19;
sing praise upon the harp unto our God; an instrument of music used in the times of the Old Testament; an emblem of the heart, and of making melody in it to the Lord: the hearts of believers are the harps of God, on and with which they sing unto him, when they sing aright, and these are in proper tune.
(q) "respondete", Montanus, Cocceius; "alternis canite", Tigurine version, Piscator, Michaelis.
The Treasury of David
7 Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God'
8 Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
9 He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
10 He delighteth not in the strength of the horse - he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
In this paragraph the contrast announced in the former section is enlarged upon from another point of view, namely, as it is seen in nature and in providence.
"Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving;" or rather, "respond to Jehovah." He speaks to us in his works, let us answer him with our thanks. All that he does is gracious, every movement of his hand is goodness; therefore let our hearts reply with gratitude, and our lips with song. Our lives should be responses to divine love. Jehovah is ever engaged in giving, let us respond with thanksgiving.
"Sing praise upon the harp unto our God." Blend music with song. Under a dispensation of ritual the use of music was most commendable, and suitable in the great congregation, those of us who judge it to be less desirable for public worship, under a spiritual economy, because it has led to so many abuses, nevertheless rejoice in it in our privacy, and are by no means insensible to its charms. It seems a profanation that choice minstrelsy should so often be devoted to unworthy themes' the sweetest harmonies should be consecrated to the honour of the Lord. He is our God, and this fact is one choice joy of the song. We have chosen him because he has chosen us; and we see in him peculiarities which distinguish him from all the pretended deities of those among whom we dwell. He is our God in covenant relationship for ever and ever, and to him be praise in every possible form.
"Who covereth the heaven with clouds." He works in all things, above as well as below. Clouds are not caused by accident, but produced by God himself, and made to assume degrees of density by which the blue firmament is hidden. A sky-scape might seem to be a mere fortuitous concourse of vapours, but it is not so: the Great Artist's hand thus covers the canvas of the heavens. "Who prepareth rain for the earth." The Lord prepares clouds with a view to rain, and rain with an eye to the fields below. By many concurrent circumstances all things are made ready for the production of a shower; there is more of art in the formation of a rain-cloud and in the fashioning of a rain-drop, than appears to superficial observers. God is in the vapour, and in the pearly drop which is born of it. "Who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains." By the far-reaching shower he produces vegetation where the hand of man is all unknown. He cares not only for Goshen's fertile plains, but for Carmel's steep ascents. God makes the heavens the servants of the earth, and the clouds the irrigators of the mountain meadows. This is a kind of evolution about which there can be no dispute. Nor does the Lord forget the waste and desolate places, but causes the lone hills to be the first partakers of his refreshing visitations. This is after the manner of our God. He not only causes rain to descend from the heavens to water the grass, and thus unites the skies and the herbs by a ministry of mercy; but he also thinks of the rocky ledges among the hills, and forgets not the pastures of the wilderness. What a God is this!
"Passing by the rich and great,
For the poor and desolate."
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7-9. His providence supplies bountifully the wild animals in their mountain homes.
Sing … Lord—literally, "Answer the Lord," that is, in grateful praise to His goodness, thus declared in His acts.
Psalm 147:7 Parallel Commentaries
Psalm 147:7 NIV
Psalm 147:7 NLT
Psalm 147:7 ESV
Psalm 147:7 NASB
Psalm 147:7 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible