Verse 8. Let all the earth fear the Lord. Not only Jews, but Gentiles. The psalmist was not a man blinded by national prejudice, he did not desire to restrict the worship of Jehovah to the seed of Abraham. He looks for homage even to far off nations. If they are not well enough instructed to be able to praise, at least let them fear. There is an inferior kind of worship in the trembling which involuntarily admits the boundless power of the thundering God. A defiant blasphemer is out of place in a world covered with tokens of the divine power and Godhead: the whole earth cannot afford a spot congenial for the erection of a synagogue of Atheism, nor a man in whom it is becoming to profane the name of God. Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. Let them forsake their idols, and reverently regard the only living God. What is here placed as a wish may also be read as a prophecy: the adoration of God will yet be universal.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 8. Let all the earth. For who can doubt that God can do as he wills upon earth, since he so tamed the unconquerable nature of the sea? Hugo Grotius, 1583- 1645.
Verse 8. Let all the earth fear the Lord, etc. Let them not fear another instead of him. Doth a wild beast rage? Fear God. Doth a serpent lie in wait? Fear God. Doth man hate thee? Fear God. Doth the devil fight against thee? Fear God. For the whole creation is under him whom thou art commanded to fear. Augustine.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 8. Reasons for universal worship, obstacles to it, future prospects of it, our duty in relation to it.
Verse 8. (last clause). Awe -- the soul of worship.