The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.…
I. EARTHLY DOMINION IS THE GIFT OF GOD. David and Solomon were the ideal kings of the Israelites. They did not only represent the Divine power, but also Divine righteousness. We apply the title of "majesty" to earthly monarchs, though, strictly speaking, it is an attribute which can only he ascribed to God. The grandeur of the going forth of earthly monarchs is but a feeble and material imitation of the going forth of God so eloquently described in this psalm.
II. GOD RULES OVER ALL SPIRITUAL POWERS. It was at first the belief of the Hebrews that there were "gods many and lords many." They would have been no more tempted to worship them, if they had been convinced that they had no real existence, than we should be tempted to worship Juggernaut. The Assyrians thought Asshur the most powerful god, who alone could give victory in battle; hence they worshipped him. Croesus sent to the oracles of all the gods to inquire what he should be doing on a certain day; and he worshipped the god whose oracle declared most accurately the future. Israel worshipped Jehovah, not only because He possessed power and foreknowledge, but most of all for His character. He was exalted above the other gods by His righteousness.
III. THE CONSIDERATION OF THESE FACTS A CAUSE OF JOY TO THE BELIEVER. It is the conviction that a wise and loving power is at the back of all we see around us, and working through all history to accomplish gracious purposes, which made Israel the greatest of all the ancient peoples — great, not in having the best soldiers and lawgivers, like the Romans, or the wisest philosophers, like the Greeks, but the noblest, truest, and best men. That faith which made the nation immortal will also make the individual immortal. God is on the side of our holiest aspirations and deepest yearnings, and against that which is base and miserable and sinful. Every desire must be brought into subjection, and God be all in all.
(R. C. Ford, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.