Verse 3. And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. Gathering follows upon redeeming. The captives of old were restored to their own land from every quarter of the earth, and even from beyond the sea; for the word translated south is really the sea. No matter what divides, the Lord will gather his own into one body, and first on earth by "one Lord, one faith, and one baptism", and then in heaven by one common bliss they shall be known to be the one people of the One God. What a glorious Shepherd must, he be who thus collects the blood bought flock from the remotest regions, guides them through countless perils, and at last makes them to lie down in the green pastures of Paradise. Some have wandered one way and some another they have all left Immanuel's land and strayed as far as they could, and great are the grace and power by which they are all collected into one flock by the Lord Jesus. With one heart and voice let the redeemed praise the Lord who gathers them into one.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 3. And gathered. If anything can inspire us with gratitude, this motive should prevail, because we cannot but feel the force of it, as it reminds us of that misery from which we in particular were redeemed. The Gentiles had wandered from God, and were so lost and bewildered in the mazes of error and superstition, that nothing but the almighty love of our Lord Jesus could have gathered them together into one church. --William Romaine.
Verse 3. Gathered them. The Syriac gives as the title of this psalm: God collects the Jews out of captivity, and brings them back out of Babylon the only begotten Son of God also, Jesus Christ, collects the nations from the four corners of the world, by calling upon man to be baptized. --E.W. Hengstenberg.
Verse 3. From the west. The mention of the west leads the psalmist's thoughts to Egypt; and the remembrance of the bondage and labours of the ancestors of the Israelites in Egypt, coupled with the description in a previous psalm ( Psalms 105:17 ) of the imprisonment of Joseph. --Joseph Francis Thrupp.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 3. The ingathering of the chosen.
- All wandered.
- Their ways different.
- All observed of the Lord.
- All brought to Jesus as to one centre. Note ways, and times of gathering.