EXPOSITIONVer. 7. Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob. Or "from before the Lord, the Adonai, the Master and King." Very fitly does the Psalm call upon all nature again to feel a holy awe because its Ruler is still in its midst.
"Quake when Jehovah walks abroad,
Quake earth, at sight of Israel's God."
Let the believer feel that God is near, and he will serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Awe is not cast out by faith, but the rather it becomes deeper and more profound. The Lord is most reverenced where he is most loved.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 7. Tremble, thou earth. Hebrew, Be in pain, as a travailing woman: for if the giving of the law had such dreadful effects, what should the breaking thereof have? --John Trapp.
"At the presence of the Lord be in pangs, O earth."
"Lord," Adon, the Sovereign Ruler. "Pangs," Chuli: Micah 4:10 . The convulsions of nature, which accompanied the Exodus, were as the birth throes of the Israelite people. "A nation was born in a day." But the deliverance out of Babylon was the prelude to a far more wondrous truth; that of him, in whom human nature was to be regenerated. --William Kay.
Verse 7-8. Tremble, etc. This is an answer to the preceding question: as if he had said, It is no wonder that Sinai, and Horeb, and a few adjoining hills should thus tremble at the majestic presence of God; for the whole earth must do so, whenever he pleases. -- Thomas Fenton.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 7-8. Holy awe.
- Should be caused by the fact of the divine presence.
- Should be increased by his covenant character -- "the God of Jacob."
- Should culminate when we see displays of his grace towards his people -- "which turned," etc.
- Should become universal.