Verse 23. Ye that fear the Lord praise him. The reader must imagine the Saviour as addressing the congregation of the saints. He exhorts the faithful to unite with him in thanksgiving. The description of "fearing the Lord" is very frequent and very instructive; it is the beginning of wisdom, and is an essential sign of grace. "I am a Hebrew and I fear God" was Jonah's confession of faith. Humble awe of God is so necessary a preparation for praising him that none are fit to sing to his honour but such as reverence his word; but this fear is consistent with the highest joy, and is not to be confounded with legal bondage, which is a fear which perfect love casteth out. Holy fear should always keep the key of the singing pew. Where Jesus leads the tune none but holy lips may dare to sing.
All ye the seed of Jacob glorify him. The genius of the gospel is praise. Jew and Gentile saved by sovereign grace should be eager in the blessed work of magnifying the God of our salvation. All saints should unite in the song; no tongue may be silent, no heart may be cold. Christ calls us to glorify God, and can we refuse?
And fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. The spiritual Israel all do this, and we hope the day will come when Israel after the flesh will be brought to the same mind. The more we praise God the more reverently shall we fear him, and the deeper our reverence the sweeter our songs. So much does Jesus value praise that we have it here under his dying hand and seal that all the saints must glorify the Lord.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUANT SAYINGS
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 23. A threefold duty, "praise him," "glorify him;" "fear him;" towards one object, "the Lord;" for three characters, "ye that fear him, seed of Jacob, seed of Israel", which are but one person.
Verse 23. Glory to God the fruit of the tree on which Jesus died.