Verse 2. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him. Here is that new creation which calls for the new song. It was Jehovah who made Israel to be Israel, and the tribes to become a great nation: therefore let the Founder of the nation be had in perpetual honour. Joy and rejoicing are evidently to be the special characteristics of the new song. The religion of the dead in sin is more apt to chant dirges than to sing hallelujahs; but when we are made new in the spirit of our minds we joy and rejoice in him that made us. Our joy is in our God and King: we choose no lower delight.
Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Those who had seen the tribes formed into a settled kingdom as well as into a united nation should rejoice. Israel is the nation, Zion is the capital of the kingdom: Israel rejoices in her Maker, Zion in her King. In the case of our God we who believe in him are as glad of his Government as we are of his Creation: his reign is as truly the making of us as was his divine power. The children of Israel are happy to be made a people; the children of Zion are equally happy to be ruled as a people. In every character our God is the source of joy to us: this verse issues a permit to our joy, yea it lays an injunction upon us to be glad in the Lord.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 2. Let Israel rejoice, etc. Give us, oh, give us the man who sings at his work! Be his occupation what it may, he is equal to any of those who follow the same pursuit in silent sullenness. He will do more in the same time -- he will do it better -- he will persevere longer. One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst he marches to music. The very stars are said to make harmony as they revolve in their spheres. Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, altogether past calculation its powers of endurance. Efforts to be permanently useful must be uniformly joyous -- a spiritual sunshine -- graceful from very gladness -- beautiful because bright. --Thomas Carlyle.
Verse 2. Rejoice in him that made him; let the children of Zion be joyful. You are never right until you can be heartily merry in the Lord, nor until you can enjoy mirth in connection with holiness. --Walter Marshall.
Verse 2. Him that made him. Jehovah is called Maker, as one who formed Israel as a nation, and constituted the people a kingdom, though they had been a race of slaves. This is more than a general creation of men. --Hermann Venema.
Verse 2. Literally the Hebrew here brings forward the mystic doctrine of the Trinity, for it reads, "Let Israel rejoice in God his Makers." --Simon de Muis.
Verse 2. Joyful in their King. I beg the reader to remark with me, here is nothing said of Israel being joyful in what their king had done for them. These things, in their proper place, became sweet subjects of praise. But the subject of praise in which Israel is now to be engaged is Jesus himself. Reader, pause over this apparently small, but most important, distinction. The Lord is gracious in his gifts, gracious in his love, gracious in his salvation. Every thing he gives, it is from his mercy, and ever to be so acknowledged. But Jesus' gifts are not himself: I cannot be satisfied with his gifts, while I know that to others he gives his Person. It is Jesus himself I want. Though he give me all things that I need, yet if he be to me himself all things that I need, in him I have all things. Hence, therefore, let us see that Jesus not only gives us all, but that he is our all. -- Robert Hawker.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 2. The duty, reasonableness, and benefit of holy joy.
Verse 2. A peculiar people, their peculiar God, and their peculiar joy in him.
Verse 2. (second clause). Christ's people may well rejoice:
- In the majesty of his person.
- In the righteousness of his rule.
- In the extent of his conquests.
- In the protection they enjoy under him.
- In the glory to which he will raise them. --From "The Homiletical Library",
Verse 2,. 4. The cause given to God's Israel for Praise. Consider,
- God's doings for them. They have reason to rejoice in God, and employ themselves in his service; for it is he that "made" them.
- God's dominion over them. This follows upon the former: if he made them he is their King.
- God's delight in them. He is a King that rules by love, and therefore to be praised.
- God's designs concerning them. Besides the present complacency he hath in them, he hath prepared for their future glory. "He will beautify the meek", etc. --Matthew Henry.