|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
99:1-5 God governs the world by his providence, governs the church by his grace, and both by his Son. The inhabitants of the earth have cause to tremble, but the Redeemer still waits to be gracious. Let all who hear, take warning, and seek his mercy. The more we humble ourselves before God, the more we exalt him; and let us be thus reverent, for he is holy.
Verse 4. - The King's strength also loveth judgment. "The king" is here the Lord, Jehovah (see Psalm 98:3). His "strength," or might, "loves," and is always combined with, right (comp. Isaiah 61:8, "I the Lord love judgment"). Thou dost establish equity. The pronoun is emphatic: "Thou, even thou" - nearly equivalent to "thou only" - "dost establish equity." Thou - again emphatic - "thou, even thou" - executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob; i.e. governest thy people Israel with strict and absolute justice.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The King's strength also loveth judgment,.... Or he who is a strong and mighty King, as Christ is; which appears by saving his people, and preserving them to his kingdom and glory, and by destroying all his and their enemies; but, though he is so potent and victorious a Prince, yet no tyrannical one, he loves and does what is just and righteous; he loved the righteous law of God, and obeyed it in the whole course of his life; he wrought out a perfect righteousness for his people, and encourages and loves righteousness in them; he will judge the world in righteousness hereafter; and is now on his throne, and in his kingdom, ordering it with judgment and justice; all the administrations of his kingly office are just and true, and herein he delights:
thou dost establish equity, or "equities" (a); uprightnesses, righteousnesses; a perfect and a complete righteousness:
this he has prepared (b), as the word signifies, by his obedience, sufferings, and death, and has established as an everlasting one; moreover, equity, righteousness, and justice, are the settled rules and laws of his government; see Isaiah 9:7,
thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob; among the true Israel and people of God, as David his type did, 2 Samuel 8:15, thereby keeping them in due order, in the observance of his righteous judgments and statutes, and defending them from their enemies.
(a) "rectitudines", Montanus, Gejerus, Michaelis; "aequitates", Vatablus; "recta", Musculus. (b) "parasti", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Gejerus; "praeparasti", Tigure version.
The Treasury of David
4 The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
"The king's strength also loveth judgment." God is the king, the mercy-seat is his throne, and the sceptre which he sways is holy like himself. His power never exerts itself tyranically; he is a sovereign, and he is absolute in his government, but his might delights in right, his force is used for just purposes only. Men in these days are continually arraigning the Lord's government, and setting up to judge whether he does right or not; but saintly men in the olden time were of another mind, they were sure that what the Lord did was just, and instead of calling him to account they humbly submitted themselves to his will, rejoicing in the firm persuasion that with his Whole omnipotence God was pledged to promote righteousness, and work justice among all his creatures. "Thou dost establish equity." Not a court of equity merely, but equity itself thou dost set up, and that not for a time or upon an occasion, but as an established institution, stable as thy throne. Not even for the sake of mercy does the Lord remove or injure the equity of his moral government; both in providence and in grace he is careful to conserve the immaculate purity of his justice. Most kingdoms have an establishment of some kind, and generally it is inequitable; here we have an establishment which is equity itself. The Lord our God demolishes every system of injustice, and right alone is made to stand. "Thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob." Justice is not merely established, but executed in God's kingdom; the laws are carried out, the executive is as righteous as the legislative. Herein let all the oppressed, yea, and all who love that which is right, find large occasion for praise. Other nations under their despots were the victims and the perpetrators of grievous wrong, but when the tribes were faithful to the Lord they enjoyed an upright government within their own borders, and acted with integrity towards their neighbours. That king-craft which delights in cunning, favouritism, and brute force is as opposite to the divine kingship as darkness to light. The palace of Jehovah is no robber's fortress nor despot's castle, built on dungeons, with stones carved by slaves, and cemented with the blood of toiling serfs. The annals of most human governments have been written in the tears of the downtrodden, and the curses of the oppressed; the chronicles of the Lord's kingdom are of another sort, truth shines in each line, goodness in every syllable, and justice in every letter. Glory be to the name of the King, whose gentle glory beams from between the cherubic wings.
"Exalt ye the Lord our God." If no others adore him, let his own people render to him the most ardent worship. Infinite condescension makes him stoop to be called our God, and truth and faithfulness bind him to maintain that covenant relationship; and surely we, to whom by grace he so lovingly gives himself, should exalt him with all our hearts. He shines upon us from under the veiling wings of cherubim, and above the seat of mercy, therefore let us come and worship at his footstool. When he reveals himself in Christ Jesus, as our reconciled God who allows us to approach even to his throne, it becomes us to unite earnestness and humility, joy and adoration, and, while we exalt him, prostrate ourselves in the dust before him. Do we need to be thus excited to worship? How much ought we to blush for such backwardness! It ought to be our daily delight to magnify so good and great a God. "For he is holy:" A second time the note rings out, and as the ark, which was the divine footstool, has just been mentioned, the voice seems to sound forth from the cherubim where the Lord sitteth, who continually do cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth!" Holiness is the harmony of all the virtues. The Lord has not one glorious attribute alone, or in excess, but all glories are in him as a whole; this is the crown of his honour and the honour of his crown. His power is not his choicest jewel, nor his sovereignty, but his holiness. In this all comprehensive moral excellence he would have his creatures take delight, and when they do so their delight is evidence that their hearts have been renewed, and they themselves have been partakers of his holiness. The gods of the heathen were, according to their own votaries, lustful, cruel, and brutish; their only claim to reverence lay in their supposed potency over human destinies: who would not far rather adore Jehovah, whose character is unsullied purity, unswerving justice, unbending truth, unbounded love, in a word, perfect holiness?
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4, 5. To His wise and righteous government all nations should render honor.
king's … judgment—His power is combined with justice.
he is holy—(compare Ps 22:3).
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