Psalm 136:12

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 12. With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm. Not only the matter but the manner of the Lord's mighty acts should be the cause of our praise. We ought to bless the Lord for adverbs as well as adjectives. In the Exodus the great power and glory of Jehovah were seen. He dashed in pieces the enemy with his right hand. He led forth his people in no mean or clandestine manner. "He brought them forth also with silver and gold, and there was not one feeble person in all their tribes." Egypt was glad when they departed. God worked with great display of force, and with exceeding majesty; he stretched out his arm like a workman intent on his labour, he lifted up his hand as one who is not ashamed to be seen. Even thus was it in the deliverance of each one of us from the thraldom of sin; "according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places."

For his mercy endureth for ever -- therefore his power is put forth for the rescue of his own. If one plague will not set them free there shall be ten; but free they shall all be at the appointed hour; not one Israelite shall remain under Pharaoh's power. God will not only use his hand but his arm -- his extraordinary power shall be put to the work sooner than his purpose of mercy shall fail.

See, he lifts his strong right hand,
For his mercies steadfast stand.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 12. With a stretched out arm. The figure of an outstretched arm is appropriate, for we stretch out the arm when any great effort is required; so that this implies that God put forth an extraordinary and not a common or slight display of his power in redeeming his people. --John Calvin.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 12. Displays of divine power in the history of the saints a reason for song.