Verse 2. Praise him for his mighty acts. Here is a reason for praise. In these deeds of power we see himself. These doings of his omnipotence are always on behalf of truth and righteousness. His works of creation, providence, and redemption, all call for praise; they are his acts, and his acts of might, therefore let him be praised for them.
Praise him according to his excellent greatness. His being is unlimited, and his praise should correspond therewith. He possesses a multitude or a plenitude of greatness, and therefore he should be greatly praised. There is nothing little about God, and there is nothing great apart from him. If we were always careful to make our worship fit and appropriate for our great Lord how much better should we sing! How much more reverently should we adore! Such excellent deeds should have excellent praise.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 2. Praise him for his mighty acts, etc. The reasons of that praise which it becomes all intelligent creatures, and especially redeemed men, to render to Jehovah, are here assigned. We are to praise Jehovah "in his sanctuary", in the place where his glory dwells, where his holiness shines forth with ineffable splendour; we are to praise him in the wide expanse over which he has spread the tokens of his power, whether in the heaven above, or in the earth beneath; we are to praise him for those omnipotent acts whereby he hath shown himself to be above all gods; we are to praise him in a manner suited to the excellent majesty of a Being whom all the heavens adore, and who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. His holiness, the infinity of his operations, the miraculous power which he has displayed, the unspotted excellence of his administration, call for loudest songs of praise from all whose reason enables them to rise to the contemplation of the great Supreme. --John Morison.
Verse 2. Praise him acceding to his excellent greatness. There is required special understanding and knowledge of the nature and worth of the mercy for which the duty of praise is undertaken; for God will not be praised confusedly, but distinctly and proportionably to his dispensation: Praise him according to his wondrous works; which is to be the prime and proper matter of their high praises, even his more proper and peculiar high acts, then to be remembered, as is largely expressed in Moses' praise for the particular mercy of coming safe through the Red Sea ( Exodus 15:1-27 ); and Deborah's high praise for deliverance from the host of Sisera ( Judges 5:1-31 ); where the chiefest and highest part of the celebration and exaltation of God in his praise consists in the declaration and commemoration of the particulars of God's special goodness in their present deliverance. Thus, you see the first thing that God looks for is proportionable praise, great praise for a great God, doing great things, and high praises for a high God, doing high things. -- Samuel Fairclough.
Verse 2. Praise him according to his excellent greatness, or, as the words may bear, "according to his muchness of greatness"; for when the Scripture saith, "God is great", this positive is to be taken as a superlative. "God is great", that is, he is greatest, he is greater than all; so great that all persons and all things are little, yea, nothing before him. Isaiah 40:15 : "Behold, the nations are (to him but) as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity." How great is God, in comparison of whom the greatest things are little things, yea, the greatest things are nothing! --Joseph Caryl.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 2. His excellent greatness. Wherein the greatness of God is specially excellent, and where it is best seen.
Verse 2. Praise him for his mighty acts.
- For us. Election. Redemption. Inspiration.
- In us. The work of enlightenment in the understanding; purification in the heart; quickening in the conscience; subjugation in the will.
- By us. Thought through us; felt through us; spoke through us; worked through us. To him be all the glory! --W.J.
Verse 2. Praise him according to his excellent greatness.
- Reverently, according to the greatness of his being.
- Gratefully, according to the greatness of his love.
- Retrospectively, according to the greatness of his gifts.
- Prospectively, according to the greatness of his promises. --W.J.
Verse 2. What the exhortation requires.
- That men should study God's works, and observe the glory of God in them.
- That they should meditate on his greatness till they realize its excellence.
- That they should openly proclaim the honour due to him.
- That they should not contradict in their life the praise they speak. --J.F.