Verse 19. The LORD has prepared his throne in the heavens. Here is a grand burst of song produced by a view of the boundless power, and glorious sovereignty of Jehovah. His throne is fixed, for that is the word; it is estabhshed, settled, immovable.
"He sits on no precarious throne,
Nor borrows leave to be."
About his government there is no alarm, no disorder, no perturbation, no hurrying to and fro in expedients, no surprises to be met or unexpected catastrophes to be warded off; -- all is prepared and fixed, and he himself has prepared and fixed it. He is no delegated sovereign for whom a throne is set up by another; he is an autocrat, and his dominion arises from himself and is sustained by his own innate power. This matchless sovereignty is the pledge of our security, the pillar upon which our confidence may safely lean.
And his kingdom ruleth over all. Over the whole universe he stretches his sceptre. He now reigns universally, he always has done so, and he always will. To us the world may seem rent with anarchy, but he brings order out of confusion. The warring elements are marching beneath his banner when they most wildly rush onward in furious tempest. Great and small, intelligent and material, willing and unwilling, fierce or gentle, -- all, all are under his sway. His is the only universal monarchy, he is the blessed and only Potentate, King of kings and Lord of lords. A clear view of his ever active, and everywhere supreme providence, is one of the most delightful of spiritual gifts; he who has it cannot do otherwise than bless the Lord with all his soul.
Thus has the sweet singer hymned the varied attributes of the Lord as seen in nature, grace, and providence, and now he gathers up all his energies for one final outburst of adoration, in which he would have all unite, since all are subjects of the Great King.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 19. The Lord hath prepared his Throne. The word signifies establisthed as well as prepared, and might be so rendered. Due preparation is the natural way to the establishment of a thing; hasty resolves break and moulder. This notes,
Verse 19. His throne in the heavens, denotes:
Verse 19. His kingdom ruleth over all. His Lordship is universal. First, over all time: other lords die, but he is eternal. Eternity is properly the duration of an uncreated Ens. It is improperly taken, either for things that have both beginning and end, as everlasting mountains; divers such phrases in Scripture; or for things that have a beginning but shall have no end; so are angels and men's souls eternal; so, eternal life, eternal fire. But God calls himself, "I AM," Exodus 3:14 : I am what I have been, I have been what I am, what I am and have been I shall be. This attribute is incommunicable: all other things had a non esse preceding their esse; and they have a mutation tending to nothing. "They that war against thee shall be as nothing," Isaiah 41:12 : all come to nothing unless they be upheld by the manutency of God: but "Thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end," Psalms 102:27 . Thou turnest man to destruction, and again sayest, Return: "even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God," Psalms 90:2 ; the sole umpire and measurer of beginning and ending.
Secondly, over all places, heaven, earth, hell, Psalms 135:6 . Kings are limited, and cannot do many things they desire: they cannot command the sun to stand still, nor the wind to blow which way they would: in the lofty air, in the depths of the sea no king reigns. They fondly flatter the pope with his long arms that they reach to purgatory; (but indeed both power and place are alike imaginary;) it is Christ alone that hath the keys of all places.
Thirdly, over all creatures; binding the influences of Pleiades, and loosing the bands of Orion, Job 38:31 ; commanding the fire against the nature of it, to descend, 2 Kings 1:12 ; creating and ruling the stars, Amos 5:8 ; overruling the lions, Daniel 6:22 , sending the meteors, Psalms 148:8 , hedging in the sea, lapping it up like a child in swaddling-clothes, Job 38:8, dividing, diverting, filling it. In both fire and water, those two raging elements that have no mercy, he shows mercy; delivers us from both in both. He calls the fowls, and they come; the beasts, and they hear: the trees, and they spring to obey him. He hath a raven for Elijah, a gourd for Jonah, a dog for Lazarus. Makes the leviathan, the hugest living creature, preserve his prophet. That a terrible lion should be killed, as was by Samson; or not kill, as they forbore Daniel; or kill and not eat, as that prophet, 1 Kings 13:1 - 29: here was the Lord. Over metals; he makes iron to swim, stones to cleave asunder. Over the devils; they must obey him though unwillingly. But they continually rebel against him, and break his will? They do indeed against his complacency, not against his permission. There is then no time, not the hour of death; no place, not the sorest torment; no creature, not the devil; but the Lord can deliver us from them. Therefore at all times, in all places, and against all creatures, let us trust in him for deliverance. Thomas Adams.
Verse 19. His kingdom ruleth over all. When Melancthon was extremely solicitous about the affairs of the church in his days, Luther would have him admonished in these terms, Monendus est Philippus ut desinat esse rector mundi: Let not Philip make himself any longer governor of the world. David Clarkson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 19. "A Discourse upon God's Dominion." See Charnock's Works Nicol's Edition, Vol. II., pp. 400-499.