Psalm 136:3

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 3. O give thanks to the Lord of lords. There are lords many, but Jehovah is the Lord of them. All lordship is vested in the Eternal. He makes and administers law, he rules and governs mind and matter, he possesses in himself all sovereignty and power. All lords in the plural are summed up in this Lord in the singular; he is more lordly than all emperors and kings condensed into one. For this we may well be thankful, for we know the superior Sovereign will rectify the abuses of the underlings who now lord it over mankind. He will call these lords to his bar, and reckon with them for every oppression and injustice. He is as truly the Lord of lords as he is Lord over the meanest of the land, and he rules with a strict impartiality, for which every just man should give heartiest thanks.

For his mercy endureth for ever. Yes, he mingles mercy with his justice, and reigns for the benefit of his subjects. He pities the sorrowful, protects the helpless, provides for the needy, and pardons the guilty; and this he does from generation to generation, never wearying of his grace, "because he delighteth in mercy." Let us arouse ourselves to laud our glorious Lord! A third time let us thank him who is our Jehovah, our God, and our Lord; and let this one reason suffice us for three thanksgivings, or for three thousand --

"For his mercy shall endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure."

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 3. The Lord of lords. The meaning of the title "Lord", as distinct from "Jehovah" and "God", is "Governor." And in this view also he is eminently entitled to praise and thanksgiving, in that his rule and government of the world are also eminently marked by "mercy" and "goodness": not the display of power only, but of power declared chiefly in showing mercy and pity: as again all subject to that rule are witnesses. Such is God in himself. Nor is it without intention that the doxology is threefold, indicating, doubtless, like the threefold invocation of the Name of the Lord in the blessing of the people ( Numbers 6:24-26 ) God in Trinity, "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost", as now fully revealed. --William De Burgh.