O LORD our God, other lords beside you have had dominion over us: but by you only will we make mention of your name.…
This may be regarded as still a part of the song which the exiles would sing when the way was made plain for their return to their own beloved land. The way would not be plain until the great oppressing city of Babylon, and the great oppressing dynasty of Nebuchadnezzar, had been humbled. Then God would "ordain peace" for his people; and then the full and glad allegiance of Ms people to him could be fully and freely expressed and manifested. The answering spiritual truth is that we are under the tyranny of other lords - "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life." Even while we struggle and suffer under their oppression, the power of this "body of sin and death," we may hold fast our allegiance to God in heart and purpose; and we may look on to the time that is speedily coming, when God shall himself accomplish our deliverance, and then our allegiance shall gain full and hearty expression; we shall praise him only, we shall serve him only, and praise and serve him as we ought. Getting illustration from the historical circumstances, we may set forth this point in its personal applications under three divisions.
I. ISRAEL'S TIMES OF OPPRESSION UNDER HEATHEN RULERS. These include the oppression under Pharaoh in Egypt; the inroads of neighboring nations in the times of the Judges; the temporary supremacy of the Philistines; the degrading supremacy of foreign idolatrous systems in the age of the later kings; the crushing of the national life by the self-aggrandizing Assyrians and Babylonians. Israel had a full experience of the power of the oppressor, many "other lords" had held dominion over Israel. These may represent the tyrannies of social custom, prevailing opinion, bodily lust, easily besetting sins, and worldly persecution, which now bear so hardly upon the saints of God. If these do but hold a usurped dominion, it is too often so stringent as almost to crush out all expressions of the life unto God.
II. ISRAEL'S HEART OF ALLEGIANCE TO GOD IN TIMES OF OPPRESSION. The elect remnant, in every age, kept the allegiance, though they had to hide it in secret places. A "ten righteous" ever kept the nation from utter destruction. There is a holy leaven among us now.
III. ISRAEL'S FREEDOM FOR FULL ALLEGIANCE IN THE DIVINE INTERVENTION. Sooner or later God would deliver them, and will deliver us; and then we can open our lips, "make mention of his Name," and give ourselves openly to him, as we have held ourselves secretly for him all through the trying time. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.