Verse 10. Beasts, and all cattle. Animals fierce or tame; wild beasts and domestic cattle; let all these show forth the praises of Jehovah. Those are worse than beasts who do not praise our God. More than brutish are those who are wilfully dumb concerning their Maker.
Creeping things, and flying fowl. The multitudes that throng the earth and the air; insects of every form and birds of every wing are called upon to join the universal worship. No one can become familiar with insect and bird life without feeling that they constitute a wonderful chapter in the history of divine wisdom. The minute insect marvellously proclaims the Lord's handiwork: when placed under the microscope it tells a wondrous tale. So, too, the bird which soars aloft displays in its adaptation for an aerial life an amount of skill which our balloonists have in vain attempted to emulate. True devotion not only hears the praises of God in the sweet song of feathered minstrels, but even discovers it in the croaking from the marsh, or in the buzz of "the blue fly which singeth in the window pane." More base than reptiles, more insignificant than insects, are songless men.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 10. Creeping things. In public worship all should join. The little strings go to make up a concert, as well as the great. --Thomas Goodwin.
Verse 10. Flying fowl. Thus the air is vocal. It has a hallelujah of its own. The "flying fowl" praise him; whether it be "the stork that knoweth her appointed time" ( Jeremiah 8:7 ), or "the sparrow alone upon the housetop" ( Psalms 102:7 ), or "the raven of the valley" ( Proverbs 30:17 ), or the eagle "stirring up her nest, and fluttering over her young" ( Deuteronomy 32:11 ), or the turtle making its voice to be heard in the land ( Song of Solomon 2:12 ), or the dove winging its way to the wilderness ( Psalms 105:6 ). This is creation's harp (truer and sweeter than Memnon's) which each sunrise awakens, "turning all the air to music." -- Horatius Bonar, in "Earth's Morning; or, Thoughts on Genesis", 1875.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 10. The wildest, the quietest, the most depressed, and the most aspiring should each have its song.