|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
66:1-7 The holy church throughout all the world lifts up her voice, to laud that Name which is above every name, to make the praise of Jesus glorious, both by word and deed; that others may be led to glorify him also. But nothing can bring men to do this aright, unless his effectual grace create their hearts anew unto holiness; and in the redemption by the death of Christ, and the glorious deliverances it effects, are more wondrous works than Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage.
Verse 1. - Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands; literally, all the earth - an invitation to the whole world to join in the joy of Israel, wherein they too are interested (comp. Psalm 60:2, 5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Make a joyful noise unto God,.... The Creator of the ends of the earth; the Provider for all his creatures; and the Dispenser of the blessings of grace, under the Gospel dispensation, to men in all countries. The Messiah may well be thought to be intended, since the psalm refers to Gospel times; who is God over all, blessed for ever; to whom a joyful noise, shouts, and acclamations, are to be made by all his subjects, true believers in him, in all lands, as to their King; see Numbers 23:21; who is ascended on high, has led captivity captive; received gifts for then, and gives them to them; is enthroned on his Father's right hand, is crowned with glory and honour, where he reigns, and must reign, till all enemies are put under his feet; when his kingdom will be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth: and upon the destruction of his enemies, and the enlargement of his kingdom in the latter day, voices will be heard in heaven, the church; and such joyful noises as are here exhorted and directed to, Revelation 19:1. Moreover, such acclamations are suitable to him, as a victorious conqueror; who, at his death, overcame sin, Satan, the world, and death itself; and, by the ministry of the Gospel, went forth conquering, and to conquer; and has subdued many people in all nations, and caused his ministers to triumph in him in every place; and who, by his Spirit and grace, still continues to bring souls to a subjection to him, to dispossess Satan from them, to set up his throne in their hearts, and reign there, and to make them more than conquerors through himself that has loved them: of which there will be more numerous instances in the latter day; and all such are under great obligations to make a joyful noise unto him, or to express their joy and thankfulness in loud singing of his praises;
all ye lands; that is, all the inhabitants of the earth, as the Targum; not Judea, to which some restrain it, but the whole earth: for Christ is the Saviour of some, in all countries, of the children of God, that are scattered abroad throughout the whole world, for whom he is a propitiation. The Gospel has been sent to all nations, and preached to every creature; some in all lands have been converted, and made partakers of the blessings and privileges of the Gospel, and therefore have reason to be glad and make a joyful noise; and the more so, inasmuch as they were in a state of great darkness and ignorance before, without Christ, without hope, and without God in the world.
The Treasury of David
1 Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:
2 Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.
3 Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.
4 All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.
"Make a joyful noise unto God." "In Zion," where the more instructed saints were accustomed to profound meditation, the song was silent unto God, and was accepted of him: but in the great popular assemblies a joyful noise was more appropriate and natural, and it would be equally acceptable. If praise is to be wide-spread, it must be vocal; exulting sounds stir the soul and cause a sacred contagion of thanksgiving. Composers of tunes for the congregation should see to it that their airs are cheerful; we need not so much noise, as joyful noise. God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation. All praise from all nations should be rendered unto the Lord. Happy the day when no shouts shall be presented to Juggernaut or Buddha, but all the earth shall adore the Creator thereof. All ye lands. 'Ye heathen nations, ye who have not known Jehovah hitherto, with one consent let the whole earth rejoice before God. The languages of the lands are many, but their praises should be one, addressed to one only God.
"Sing forth the honour of his name." The noise is to be modulated with tune and time, and fashioned into singing, for we adore the God of order and harmony. The honour of God should be our subject, and to honour him our object when we sing. To give glory to God is but to restore to him his Own. It is our glory to be able to give God glory; and all our true glory should be ascribed unto God, for it is his glory. "All worship be to God only," should be the motto of all true believers. The name, nature, and person of God are worthy of the highest honour. "Make his praise glorious." Let not his praise be mean and grovelling: let it arise with grandeur and solemnity before him. The pomp of the ancient festivals is not to be imitated by us, under this dispensation of the Spirit, but we are to throw so much of heart and holy reverence into all our worship that it shall be the best we can render. Heart worship and spiritual joy render praise more glorious than vestments, incense, and music could do.
"Say unto God." Turn all your praises to him. Devotion, unless it be resolutely directed to the Lord, is no better than whistling to the wind. "How terrible art thou in thy works." The mind is usually first arrested by those attributes which cause fear and trembling; and, even when the heart has come to love God, and rest in him, there is an increase of worship when the soul is awed by an extraordinary display of the more dreadful of the divine characteristics. Looking upon the convulsions which have shaken continents, the hurricanes which have devastated nations, the plagues which have desolated cities, and other great and amazing displays of divine working, men may well say: "How terrible art thou in thy works." Till we see God in Christ, the terrible predominates in all our apprehensions of him. "Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee;" but, as the Hebrew clearly intimates, it will be a forced and false submission. Power brings a man to his knee, but love alone wins his heart. Pharaoh said he would let Israel go, but he lied unto God; he submitted in word but not in deed. Tens of thousands, both in earth and hell, are rendering this constrained homage to the Almighty; they only submit because they cannot do otherwise; it is not their loyalty, but his power, which keeps them subjects of his boundless dominion.
"All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee." All men must even now prostrate themselves before thee, but a time will come when they shall do this cheerfully: to the worship of fear shall be added the singing of love. What a change shall have taken place when singing shall displace sighing, and music shall thrust out misery! "They shall sing to thy name." The nature and works of God will be the theme of earth's universal song, and he himself shall be the object of the joyful adoration of our emancipated race. Acceptable worship not only praises God as the mysterious Lord, but it is rendered fragrant by some measure of knowledge of his name or character. God would not be worshipped as an unknown God, nor have it said of his people, "Ye worship ye know not what." May the knowledge of the Lord soon cover the earth, that so the universality of intelligent worship may be possible: such a consummation was evidently expected by the writer of this Psalm; and, indeed, throughout all Old Testament writings, there are intimations of the future general spread of the worship of God. It was an instance of wilful ignorance and bigotry when the Jews raged against the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles. Perverted Judaism may be exclusive, but the religion of Moses, and David, and Isaiah was not so.
"Selah." A little pause for holy expectation is well inserted after so great a prophecy, and the uplifting of the heart is also a seasonable direction. No meditation can be more joyous than that excited by the prospect of a world reconciled to its Creator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 66:1-20. The writer invites all men to unite in praise, cites some striking occasions for it, promises special acts of thanksgiving, and celebrates God's great mercy.
1. Make … noise—or, "Shout."
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