Psalm 48:14

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 14. For this God is our God for ever and ever. A good reason for preserving a record of all that he has wrought. Israel will not change her God so as to wish to forget, nor will the Lord change so as to make the past mere history. He will be the covenant God of his people world without end. There is no other God, we wish for no other, we would have no other even if there were. There are some who are so ready to comfort the wicked, that for the sake of ending their punishment they weaken the force of language, and make for ever and ever mean but a time; nevertheless, despite their interpretations we exult in the hope of an eternity of bliss, and to us "everlasting," and "for ever and ever" mean what they say. He will be our guide even unto death. Throughout life, and to our dying couch, he will graciously conduct us, and even after death he will lead us to the living fountains of waters. We look to him for resurrection and eternal life. This consolation is clearly derivable from what has gone before; hitherto our foes have been scattered, and our bulwarks have defied attack, for God has been in our midst, therefore all possible assaults in the future shall be equally futile.

"The church has all her foes defied
And laughed to scorn their rage;
Even thus for aye she shall abide
Secure from age to age."

Farewell, fear. Come hither, gratitude and faith, and sing right joyously.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 14. This God is our God for ever and ever. What a portion then is that of the believer! The landlord cannot say of his fields, these are mine for ever and ever. The king cannot say of his crown, this is mine for ever and ever. These possessions shall soon change masters; these possessors shall soon mingle with the dust, and even the graves they shall occupy may not long be theirs; but it is the singular, the supreme happiness of every Christian to say, or have a right to say, "This glorious God with all his divine perfections is my God, for ever and ever, and even death itself shall not separate me from his love." George Burder.

Verse 14. This God is our God. The people of God are sometime represented as so taken with this apprehension of their peculiar relation to God, that they cannot be content to know, but they proclaim it; nor was it enough the present age should know, but they must have it told the following generation: "Let Mount Zion rejoice," etc. Mark, "That ye may tell the generation following," For this is our God. See their ostentation of him! This God; q.d., Behold what a God have we! view him well, and take notice how glorious a God he is. And as they glory in the greatness of the God to whom they were related, so they do in the eternity of the relation. "This God is our God for ever and ever." John Howe.

Verse 14. God is not only a satisfying portion, filling every crevice of thy soul with the light of joy and comfort; and a sanctifying portion, elevating thy soul to its primitive and original perfection; and a universal portion; not health, or wealth, or friends, or honours, or liberty, or life, or house, or wife, or child, or pardon, or peace, or grace, or glory, or earth, or heaven, but all these, and infinitely more, but also he is an eternal portion. This God would be thy God for ever and ever. Oh, sweet word ever! thou art the crown of the saints' crown, and the glory of their glory. Their portion is so full that they desire no more; they enjoy variety and plenty of delights above what they are able to ask or think, and want nothing but to have it fixed. May they but possess it in peace without interruption or cessation, they will trample all kingdoms of the earth as dirt under their feet; and lo! thou art the welcome dove to bring this olive branch in thy mouth. This God is our God for ever and ever. All the arithmetical figures of days, and months, and years, and ages, are nothing to this infinite cipher ever, which, though it stand for nothing in the vulgar account, yet contains all our millions; yea, our millions and millions of millions are less than drops in this ocean ever. George Swinnock.

Verse 14. Some expositors have strangely found a difficulty in the last verse, deeming such a profession of personal faith as inappropriate termination for a national song. Even Dr. Delitzch, a wise and devout interpreter, shares in this notion; going, indeed, so far as to throw out the surmise, that some word must have been lost from the Hebrew text. To me it seems that the verse, as it stands, is admirably in harmony with the song, and is its crowning beauty. When the Lord does great things for church or nation, he means that all the faithful, however humble their station, should take courage from it, should repose in him fresh confidence, and cling to him with a firmer hope, and say, This God shall be our God for ever; he will guide us even unto death. William Binnie.

Verse 14. Unto death, or as some explain it, at death, i.e., he will save us from it; others, over death, beyond it. But the most obvious explanation, and the one most agreeable to usage, is that which makes the phrase mean even to the end of life, or as long as we live. The idea of a future state, though not expressed, is not excluded. J. A. Alexander.

Verse 14. (last clause). The last clause is much misunderstood. It is not, "Our guide unto death," for the words are, (twml[ wnghny), "shall lead us over death." Surely it means, "It is he who leads over death to resurrection" -- over Jordan to Canaan. The (Heb.) is used in Leviticus 15:25 , for "beyond," in regard to time, and is not this the sense here? "Beyond the time of death"? Till death is to us over? Till we have stood upon the grace of death? Yes; he it is who leads us on to this last victory; he swallows up death in victory, and leads us to trample on death. And so viewed, we easily discern the beautiful link of thought that joins this Psalm to that which follows. Such is the celebration of The Mighty One become the glory of Jerusalem. Andrew A. Bonar.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 14. (first clause). This is the language of a proprietary in God:

  1. Of an assured proprietary -- "This God is our God."
  2. Of a permanent proprietary -- for ever and ever.
  3. Of an exulting proprietary. W. Jay.

Verse 14.

  1. The language of discrimination. This God. This God in Christ, in the church.
  2. The language of Faith -- our God.
  3. Of Hope -- For ever and ever.
  4. Of Resignation -- He will be our guide, etc.