|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
89:5-14 The more God's works are known, the more they are admired. And to praise the Lord, is to acknowledge him to be such a one that there is none like him. Surely then we should feel and express reverence when we worship God. But how little of this appears in our congregations, and how much cause have we to humble ourselves on this account! That almighty power which smote Egypt, will scatter the enemies of the church, while all who trust in God's mercy will rejoice in his name; for mercy and truth direct all he does. His counsels from eternity, and their consequences to eternity, are all justice and judgment.
Verses 5-37. - The psalmist carries out the intention proclaimed in ver. 1, and proceeds to "sing of the mercies of the Lord" at great length. His song of praise divides into two portions. From ver. 5 to ver. 18 it is a general laudation of the Almighty for his greatness in heaven (vers. 5-7), in nature (vers. 9, 11, 12), and in the course of his rule on earth (vers. 10, 13-18), after which it passes into a laudation of him in respect of what he had done, and what he had promised, to David (vers. 19-37). Verse 5. - And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord. "The heavens" here are not the material heavens, as in Psalm 19. l, but the company of the dwellers in heaven. God's praise fittingly begins with them. Thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. The "congregation of the saints" is the company of angels (comp. Job 5:1; Job 15:15). Not on earth only (vers. 1, 2), but in heaven also God's "faithfulness" is the theme of song.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord,.... Which, by a prosopopceia, may be understood of the heavens literally, in the same sense as other inanimate creatures praise the Lord, Psalm 148:3, or mystically of the church, consisting of heaven born souls, and whose doctrines and ordinances are from heaven; or of the apostles, as Jerom, who had their ministry, mission, commission, and gifts, from thence; or rather of the angels, the inhabitants of heaven, who praise the Lord for his wonderful works of nature, providence, and grace, Psalm 148:2, particularly they admire and praise the wonderful work of redemption "that wonderful thing of thine" (m), as the word may be rendered, being in the singular number: the person of the Redeemer is wonderful, and that is his name; his incarnation is a most amazing thing, it is the great mystery of godliness; and the redemption wrought out by him is the wonder of men and angels: when he appeared in the world, the angels of God worshipped him; at his birth, they sung glory to God in the highest; and the mysteries of his grace are what they look into with wonder and praise, Hebrews 1:6,
thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints; i.e. is praised there; which Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret of the angels also, who are called saints, Deuteronomy 33:2, of which there is a congregation, even an innumerable company, Revelation 19:6, these not only admire and praise the wonderful works of the Lord, but his perfections also; and particularly his faithfulness in the execution of promises and threatenings, Revelation 7:11, but rather holy men are meant, such as are called to be saints, and are gathered together in a Gospel church state, designed by a congregation of them, among and by whom the truth and faithfulness of God, as well as his lovingkindness and mercy, are spoken of with the highest commendation, Psalm 40:9.
(m) "mirabile tuum", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Gerjus; "mirabile apus tuum", Junius & Tremellius; "illud miraculum tuum", Michaelis.
The Treasury of David
5 And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.
6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?
7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
8 Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?
9 Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.
10 Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm.
11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.
12 The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Herman shall rejoice in thy name.
13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
"And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord." Looking down upon what God had done, and was about to do, in connection with his covenant of grace, all heaven would be filled with adoring wonder. The sun and moon, which had been made tokens of the covenant, would praise God for such an extraordinary display of mercy, and the angels and redeemed spirits would sing, "as it were, a new song." "Thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints." By which is probably intended the holy ones on earth. So that the "whole family in heaven and earth" would join in the praise. Earth and heaven are one in admiring and adoring the covenant God: Saints above see most clearly into the heights and depths of divine love, therefore, they praise its wonders; and saints below, being conscious of their many sins and multiplied provocations of the Lord, admire his faithfulness. The heavens broke forth with music at the wonders of mercy contained in the glad tidings concerning Bethlehem, and the saints who came together in the temple magnified the faithfulness of God at the birth of the Son of David. Since that auspicious day, the general assembly on high and the sacred congregation below have not ceased to sing unto Jehovah, the Lord that keepeth covenant with his elect.
"For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord;" therefore all heaven worships him, seeing none can equal him. "Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?" - therefore the assemblies of the saints on earth adore him, seeing none can rival him. Until we can find one equally worthy to be praised, we will give unto the Lord alone all the homage of our praise. Neither among the sons of the morning nor the sons of the mighty can any peer be found for Jehovah, yea none that can be mentioned in the same day; therefore he is rightly praised. Since the Lord Jesus, both as God and as man, is far above all creatures, he also is to be devoutly worshipped. How full of poetic fire is this verse! How bold is the challenge! How triumphant the holy boasting! The sweet singer dwells upon the name of Jehovah with evident exultation; to him the God of Israel is God indeed and God alone. He closely follows the language long before rehearsed by Miriam, when she sang, "Who is like unto thee, O Jehovah, among the gods? Who is like thee?" His thoughts are evidently flying back to the days of Moses and the marvels of the Red Sea, when God was gloriously known by his incommunicable name; there is a ring of timbrels in the double question, and a sound as of the twinkling feet of rejoicing maidens. Have we no poets now? Is there not a man among us who can compose hymns flaming with this spirit? O, Spirit of the living God, be thou the inspirer of some master minds among us!
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