Psalm 136:7

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 7. To him that made great lights. This also is a creating miracle worthy of our loudest thanks. What could men have done without light? Though they had the heavens above them, and dry land to move upon, yet what could they see, and where could they go without light? Thanks be to the Lord, who has not consigned us to darkness. In great mercy he has not left us to an uncertain, indistinct light, floating about fitfully, and without order; but he has concentrated light upon two grand luminaries, which, as far as we are concerned, are to us "great lights." The Psalmist is making a song for common people, not for your critical savans, -- and so he sings of the sun and moon as they appear to us, -- the greatest of lights. These the Lord created in the beginning; and for the present age of man made or constituted them light bearers for the world.

For his mercy endureth for ever. Mercy gleams in every ray of light, and it is most clearly seen in the arrangement by which it is distributed with order and regularity from the sun and moon.

Lamps he lit in heaven's heights,
For in mercy he delights.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 7. Great lights. The luminaries of heaven are unspeakable blessings to the children of men. The sun, in the greatness of his strength, measures their day, and exerts an influence over animal and vegetable life, which surrounds them with innumerable comforts; and the moon and stars walking forth in their brightness, give direction to them amidst the sable hours of night, and both by land and sea proclaim the wisdom, and benignity, and gracious arrangement of the adorable Creator. By these luminaries, day and night, heat and cold, summer and winter are continually regulated: so that God's covenant with the earth is maintained through their medium. How truly, then, may we exclaim, "His mercy endureth for ever!" --John Morison.

Verse 7. To him that made great lights. Light is the life and soul of the universe, the noblest emblem of the power and glory of God, who, in the night season, leaves not himself without witness, but gives us some portion of that light reflected, which by day we behold flowing from its great fountain in the heart of heaven. Thy church and thy saints, O Lord, "are the moon and the stars", which, by the communication of doctrine, and the splendour of example, guide our feet, while we travel on in the night that hath overtaken us, waiting for the dawn of everlasting day. Then we shall behold thy glory, and see thee as thou art. --George Horne.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 7. The mercy which dwells in the creation and distribution of light.

Verse 7-9.

  1. The constancy of rule.
  2. The association of light with rule.
  3. The perpetuity of mercy in this matter.