Psalm 135:6

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 6. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. His will is carried out throughout all space. The king's warrant runs in every portion of the universe. The heathen divided the great domain; but Jupiter does not rule in heaven, nor Neptune on the sea, nor Pluto in the lower regions; Jehovah rules over all. His decree is not defeated, his purpose is not frustrated: in no one point is his good pleasure set aside. The word "whatsoever" is of the widest range and includes all things, and the four words of place which are mentioned comprehend all space; therefore the declaration of the text knows neither limit nor exception. Jehovah works his will: he pleases to do, and he performs the deed. None can stay his hand. How different this from the gods whom the heathen fabled to be subject to all the disappointments, failures, and passions of men! How contrary even to those so called Christian conceptions of God which subordinate him to the will of man, and make his eternal purposes the football of human caprice. Our theology teaches us no such degrading notions of the Eternal as that he can be baffled by man. "His purpose shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure." No region is too high, no abyss too deep, no land too distant, no sea too wide for his omnipotence: his divine pleasure travels post over all the realm of nature, and his behests are obeyed.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 6. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he, etc. He was not forced to make all that he made, but all that he willed he made. His will was the cause of all things which he made. Thou makest a house, because if thou didst not make it thou wouldest be left without a habitation: necessity compels thee to make a home, not free will. Thou makest a garment, because thou wouldest go about naked if thou didst not make it; thou art therefore led to making a garment by necessity, not by free will. You plant a mountain with vines, you sow seed, because if thou didst not do so, thou wouldest not have food; all such things thou doest of necessity. God has made all things of his goodness. He needed nothing that he made; and therefore he hath made all things that he willed.

He did whatsoever he willed in the heaven and earth: do you do all that you will even in your field? You will many things, but can not do all you wish in thy own house. Thy wife, perchance, gainsays thee, thy children gainsay thee, sometimes even thy servant contumaciously gainsays thee, and thou doest not what thou wiliest. But thou sayest, I do what I will, because I punish the disobedient and gainsayer. Even this you do not when you will. --Augustine.

Verse 6. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he, etc. God's will obtains and hath the upper hand everywhere. Down man, down pope, down devil; you must yield; things shall not be as you will, but as God will! We may well say, "Who hath resisted his will?" Ro 9:19. Many, indeed, disobey, and sin against the will of his precept; but none ever did, none ever shall, frustrate or obstruct the will of his purpose; for he will do all his pleasure, and in his way mountains shall become a plain. --William Slater (- 1704), in "The Morning Exercises."

Verse 6. Upon the Arminian's plan (if absurdity can deserve the name of a plan), the glorious work of God's salvation, and the eternal redemption of Jesus Christ, are not complete, unless a dying mortal lends his arm; that is, unless he, who of himself can do nothing, vouchsafe to begin and accomplish that which all the angels in heaven cannot do; namely, to convert the soul from Satan to God. How contrary is all this to the language of Scripture -- how repugnant to the oracles of truth "Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven and in earth." --Ambrose Serle (-1815), in "Horoe Solitariae."

Verse 6. In heaven and in the earth, etc. His power is infinite. He can do what he will do everywhere; all places are there named but purgatory; perhaps he can do nothing there, but leaves all that work for the Pope. --Thomas Adams.

Verse 6. In the seas, and all deep places. He did wonders in the mighty waters: more than once he made the boisterous sea a calm, and walked upon the surface of it; and as of old he broke up the fountains of the great deep, and drowned the world; and at another time dried up the sea, and led his people through the depths, as through a wilderness; so he will hereafter bind the old serpent, the devil, and cast him into the abyss, into the great deep, the bottomless pit, where he will continue during the thousand years' reign of Christ with his saints. --John Gill.

Verse 6. The word "pleaseth" limits the general note or particle "all" unto all works which in themselves are good, or else serve for good use, and so are pleasing to the Lord for the use sake. He doth not say that the Lord doth all things which are done, but all things which he pleaseth, that is, he doth not make men sinful and wicked, neither doth he work rebellion in men, which is displeasing unto him; but he doth whatsoever is pleasing, that is, all things which are agreeable to his nature. And whatsoever is according to his will and good pleasure, that he doth, for none can hinder it. This is the true sense and meaning of the words. --George Walker, in "God made visible in his Works", 1641.

Verse 6. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did, etc. With reference to, the government of Providence, it is said of God, that "he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth." Even insensible matter is under his control. Fire and hail, snow and vapour, and stormy wind, fulfil his word: and with reference to intelligent agents, we are told that he maketh the most refractory, even the Wrath of man, to praise him, and the remainder of wrath he restrains. The whole Bible exhibits Jehovah as so ordering the affairs of individuals, and of nations, as to secure the grand purpose he had in view in creating the world, -- viz., the promotion of his own glory, in the salvation of a multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues. One of the most prominent distinctions between divine revelation and ordinary history is, that when the same general events are narrated, the latter exhibits -- (it is its province so to do -- it is not able indeed to do more,) the agency of man, the former, the agency of God. Profane history exhibits the instruments by which Jehovah works; the finger of divine revelation points to the unseen but almighty hand which wields and guides the instrument, and causes even Herod and Pontius Pilate, together with the Jews and the people of Israel, to do what the hand and the counsel of God determined before to be done. --George Payne, in "Lectures on Christian Theology", 1850.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 6. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he. God's good pleasure in the work of grace. Seen, not in the death of the wicked, Ezekiel 33:11 ; but in the election of his people, 1 Samuel 12:22 ; in the infliction of suffering on the substitute, Isaiah 53:10 ; in the provision of all fulness for his people in Christ, Colossians 1:19 ; in the arrangement of salvation by faith in Christ, John 6:39 ; in instituting preaching as the means of salvation, 1 Corinthians 1:21 ; in the adoption of believers as his children, Ephesians 1:5 ; in their sanctification, 1 Thessalonians 4:3 ; in their ultimate triumph and reign, Luke 12:32 . --C. A. D.

Verse 6. (last words). The power of God in places of trouble, change, and danger -- seas; and in conditions of sin, weakness, despair, perplexity -- in all deep places.

Verse 6-12. The Resistless Pleasure of Jehovah.

  1. Behold it as here exemplified:
    1. Ruling all nature.

b) Overturning a rebellious nation.

c) Making sport of kings and crowns.

d) Laying a fertile country at the feet of the chosen.

  1. Be wise in view thereof.
    1. Submit to it: it sweeps the seas, and lays hands on earth and heaven.

b) Think not to hide from it: the "ends of the earth" and "all deep places" are open to it; it is swifter than its own lightnings.

c) Be awed by its majesty: God's way is strewn with crowns and the bones of kings.

d) Seek its protection: its mightiest efforts are in defence of those it favours.

e) Let the Lord's people fear not with so great a God, and so exhaustless an armoury. --W. B. H.