Psalm 148:6

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 6. He hath also stablished them for ever and ever. The continued existence of celestial beings is due to the supporting might of Jehovah, and to that alone. They do not fail because the Lord does not fail them. Without his will these things cannot alter; he has impressed upon them laws which only he himself can change. Eternally his ordinances are binding upon them. Therefore ought the Lord to be praised because he is Preserver as well as Creator, Ruler as well as Maker.

He hath made a decree which shall not pass. The heavenly bodies are ruled by Jehovah's decree: they cannot pass his limit, or trespass against his law. His rule and ordination can never be changed except by himself, and in this sense his decree "shall not pass": moreover, the highest and most wonderful of creatures are perfectly obedient to the statutes of the Great King, and thus his decree is not passed over. This submission to law is praise. Obedience is homage; order is harmony. In this respect the praise rendered to Jehovah from the "bodies celestial" is absolutely perfect. His almighty power upholds all things in their spheres, securing the march of stars and the flight of seraphs; and thus the music of the upper regions is never marred by discord, nor interrupted by destruction. The eternal hymn is for ever chanted; even the solemn silence of the spheres is a perpetual Psalm.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 6. He hath also stablished there for ever and ever, etc. Here two things are set before us, the permanence and the cosmic order of creation. Each created thing is not only formed to endure, in the type or the development, if not in the individual, but has its place in the universe fixed by God's decree, that it may fulfil its appointed share of working out his will. They raise a question as to the words "for ever and ever", how they can be reconciled with the prophecy, Isaiah 65:17 : "Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind"; a prophecy confirmed by the Lord himself, saying, "Heaven and earth shall pass away", and seen fulfilled in vision by the beloved disciple.

Matthew 5:18 Revelation 21:1 . And they answer that just as man dies and rises again to incorruption, having the same personality in a glorified body, so will it be with heaven and earth. Their qualities will be changed, not their identity, in that new birth of all things. --Neale and Littledale.

Verse 6. For ever and ever.

My heart is awed within me, when I think
Of the great miracle which still goes on,
In silence, round me -- the perpetual work
Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed,
For ever. --William Cullen Bryant, 1794-1878.

Verse 6. He hath made a decree, etc. Rather, He hath made an ordinance, and will not transgress it. This is more obvious and natural than to supply a new subject to the second verb, "and none of them transgress it." This anticipates, but only in form, the modern scientific doctrine of the inviolability of natural order. It is the imperishable faithfulness of God that renders the law invariable. --A.S. Aglen.