Verse 2. For the Lord, or JEHOVAH, the self existent and only God; Most high, most great in power, lofty in dominion, eminent in wisdom, elevated in glory. Is terrible, none can resist his power or stand before his vengeance; yet as these terrors are wielded on the behalf of his subjects, they are fit reasons for rejoicing. Omnipotence, which is terrible to crush, is almighty to protect. At a grand review of the troops of a great prince, all his loyal subjects are filled with triumph, because their liege lord is so able to defend his own, and so much dreaded by his foes. He is a great King over all the earth. Not over Judea only, but even to the utmost isles his reign extends. Our God is no local deity, no petty ruler of a tribe; in infinite majesty he rules the mightiest realm as absolute arbiter of destiny, sole monarch of all lands, King of kings, and Lord of lords. Not a hamlet or an islet is excluded from his dominion. How glorious will that era be when this is seen and known of all; when in the person of Jesus all flesh shall behold the glory of the Lord!
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 2. For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great king over all the earth. The church celebrates the ascension of Christ, because then he was "highly exalted;" then he became terrible to his enemies, all power in heaven and earth being committed to him; and then he began to display the excellent majesty of his universal kingdom, to which he was then inaugurated, being crowned "King of kings, and Lord of lords." George Horne.
Verse 2. The Lord most high is terrible. Christ is terrible, that is, fearful, or meet to be feared, not of his children only for their good, but of the wicked also for their punishment; terrible to the devil, as being stronger than he, casting out the prince of darkness by the finger of God. Luke 11:22 John 12:31 . And therefore so soon as an unclean spirit saw Jesus, he cried out, "What have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us?" Mark 1:24 ; or as other devils, Matthew 8:29 , "Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" for the devils in believing tremble. Terrible to hypocrites, and other impious agents of the devil, as having his fan in his hand to make clean his floor, and to gather his wheat into his garner, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Mt 3:12. Or Christ is excelsus in potentia, terribilis in justitia; high in power, and fearful in justice; high in exalting the good, and terrible in humbling the bad. John Boys.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 1-4. Joy the true spirit of worship.
- Joy in God's character.
- In his reign.
- In the triumphs of his gospel.
- In his favour to his saints.
Verse 2. The terrors of the Lord viewed by faith as a subject of joy.
Verse 2. (second clause). The universal reign of Christ as it is and is to be.