Psalm 148:8

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 8. Fire and hail. Lightning and hailstones go together. In the plagues of Egypt they cooperated in making Jehovah known in all the terrors of his power. Fire and ice morsels are a contrast in nature, but they are combined in magnifying the Lord.

Snow and vapours. Offsprings of cold, or creations of heat, be ye equally consecrated to his praise. Congealed or expanded vapours, falling flakes or rising clouds, should, rising or falling, still reveal the praises of the Lord.

Stormy winds fulfilling his word. Though rushing with incalculable fury, the storm wind is still under law, and moves in order due, to carry out the designs of God. It is a grand orchestra which contains such wind instruments as these! He is a great leader who can keep all these musicians in concert, and direct both time and tune.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 8. This verse arrays in striking order three elements that are ever full of movement and power -- ignea, aquea, area; fire (or caloric), water (or vapour), and air (or wind). The first includes meteors, lightnings and thunders; the second, snow, hoar frost, dew, mist and rain; the third, breezes, tempests and hurricanes. -- Hermann Venema.

Verse 8. Fire and hail. These are contrasted with one another. Snow and mist. The mist is the vapour raised by the heat of the sun, and therefore suitably contrasted with the snow, which is the effect of cold. "Stormy wind" ( Psalms 107:25 ), which accompanies the changes of temperature in the air. --James G. Murphy.

Verse 8. Snow. As sure as every falling flake of winter's snow has a part in the great economy of nature, so surely has every Word of God which falls within the sanctuary its end to accomplish in the moral sphere. I have stood on a winter day and seen the tiny flakes in little clouds lose themselves one by one in the rushing river. They seemed to die to no purpose -- to be swallowed up by an enemy which ignored both their power and their existence. And so have I seen the Word of God fall upon human hearts. Sent of God, from day to day and from year to year, I have seen it dropping apparently all lack of results into the fierce current of unbelief -- into the fiercer gulf stream of worldliness which was sweeping through the minds and the lives of the hearers. But as I stood upon the river's bank and looked upon what seemed to be the death of the little fluttering crystal, a second thought assured me that it was but death into life, and that every tiny flake which wept its live away in the rushing waters, became incorporate with the river's being. So when I have seen the Word of God fall apparently fruitless upon the restless, seething, rushing current of human life, a recovered faith in the immutable declaration of God has assured me that what I looked upon was not a chance or idle death, but rather the falling of the soldier, after that he had wrought his life force into the destiny of a nation and into the history of a world. And so it must ever be. The Word of God ever reaches unto its end. --S.S. Mitchell, in a Sermon entitled "The Coming of the Snow and the Coming of the Word." 1884.

Verse 8. The stormy wind is the swift messenger of God, Psalms 147:15 . The hurricane fulfils the divine command. See Matthew 8:27 . "Even the winds and the sea obey him." The "wind" is the minister of judgment. See Ezekiel 13:13 . The words of this verse have special use; for men are exceedingly apt to ascribe the violence of tempests to blind chance. --Martin Geier.

Verse 8. The half learned man is apt to laugh at the simple faith of the clown or savage, who tells us that rain comes from God. The former, it seems, has discovered that it is the product of certain laws of air, water, and electricity. But truly the peasant is the more enlightened of the two, for he has discovered the main cause, and the real Actor, while the other has found only the second cause, and the mere instrument. It is as if a friend were to send us a gift of ingenious and beautiful workmanship, and just as our gratitude was beginning to rise to the donor, some bystanders were to endeavour to damp it all, by telling us that the gift is the product of certain machinery he had seen. --James MacCosh, 1811.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 8. Canon Liddon preached in St. Paul's on Sunday afternoon, December 23, 1883, and took for his text Psalms 148:8 , Wind and storm fulfilling his word. He spoke of the divine use of destructive forces.

  1. In the physical world we see wind and storm fulfilling God's word.

    1. The Bible occasionally lifts the veil, and shows us how destructive forces of Nature have been the servants of God.
    2. Modern history illustrates this vividly.
  2. In the human, spiritual, and moral world, we find new and rich application of the words of the text.

    1. In the State we see the storm of invasion and the storm of revolution fulfilling God's word.
    2. In the Church we see the storm of persecution and the storm of controversy fulfilling God's word.
    3. In the experience of individual life we see outward troubles, and inward storms of religious doubts fulfilling God's word. --The Contemporary Pulpit, 1884.