The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.
I. The Lord is great in supremacy.
II. The Lord is great in power.
III. The Lord is great in faithfulness.
IV. The Lord is great in mercy.
G. W. McCree, Christian World Pulpit, vol. x., p. 81.
Psalm 99:8The truths that lie in the text are these: pardon and retribution are ever united. They spring from one source of holy love, and they ought to become to us the occasions of solemn and thankful praise. "Exalt the Lord our God, for He is holy." "Thou forgavest them, and didst punish their inventions."
I. Notice, first, that forgiveness is at bottom the undisturbed communication of the love of God to sinful men. We are too apt to think that God pardons men in the fashion in which the sovereign pardons a culprit who has been sentenced to be hanged. Such pardon implies nothing as to the feelings of either the criminal or the monarch. There need neither be pity on the one side nor penitence on the other. The true idea of forgiveness is to be found not in the region of law only, but in the region of love and fatherhood. The forgiveness of God is over and over again set forth in Scripture as being a Father's forgiveness.
II. Such pardon does necessarily sweep away the one true penalty of sin. "The wages of sin is death." What is death? The wrenching away of a dependent soul from God. How is that penalty ended? When the soul is united to God in the threefold bond of trust, love, and obedience. The communication of the love is the barring of the hell.
III. The pardoning mercy of God leaves many penalties unremoved. Forgiveness and punishment both come from the same source, and generally go together. The old statement, "Whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," is absolutely true, universally true. The Gospel is not its abrogation. God loves us too well to annihilate the secondary consequences of our transgressions.
IV. Pardoning love so modifies the punishment that it becomes an occasion for solemn thankfulness. Whatever painful consequences of past sin may still linger about our lives or haunt our hearts, we may be sure of two things about them all: that they come from forgiving mercy; that they come for our profit.
A. Maclaren, Sermons Preached in Manchester, 3rd series, p. 195.
Reference: Psalm 99:8.— Expositor, 1st series, vol. ix., p. 150.
The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.
Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.
The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.
He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.
Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.
Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.