Verse 4. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth. Angels and men, the upper and the lower worlds, are called to witness the solemn scene. The whole creation shall stand in court to testify to the solemnity and the truth of the divine pleading. Both earth beneath and heaven above shall unite in condemning sin; the guilty shall have no appeal, though all are summoned that they may appeal if they dare. Both angels and men have seen the guilt of mankind and the goodness of the Lord, they shall therefore confess the justice of the divine utterance, and say "Amen" to the sentence of the supreme Judge. Alas, ye despisers! What will ye do and to whom will ye fly? That he may judge his people. Judgment begins at the house of God. The trial of the visible people of God will be a most awful ceremonial. He will thoroughly purge his floor. He will discern between his nominal and his real people, and that in open court, the whole universe looking on. My soul, when this actually takes place, how will it fare with thee? Canst thou endure the day of his coming?
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 4. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth. That these dumb creatures may be as so many speaking evidences against an unworthy people, and witness of God's righteous dealings against them. See Deuteronomy 32:1 Isaiah 1:2 Micah 6:2 . The Chaldee thus paraphrases: He will call the high angels from above; and the just of the earth from beneath. John Trapp.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The court called in the name of the King of kings.
- The judgment set, and the judge taking his seat.
- The parties summoned; Psalms 50:8 .
- The issue of this solemn trial foretold; Psalms 50:6 . Matthew Henry.
- God's call to man.
- Man's call to God.
- What God will do for his people. He will judge them.
- The means at his disposal for this purpose. "He shall call," etc. -- Heaven and earth are subservient to him for the good of his church. G. R.
Verse 4. The judgment of the visible church. It will be by God himself, public, searching - - with fire and wind, exact, final.