Verse 7. He ruleth by his power for ever. He has not deceased, nor abdicated, nor suffered defeat. The prowess displayed at the Red Sea is undiminished: the divine dominion endures throughout eternity.
His eyes behold the nations. Even as he looked out of the cloud upon the Egyptians and discomfited them, so does he spy out his enemies, and mark their conspiracies. His hand rules and his eye observes, his hand has not waxed weak, nor his eye dim. As so many grasshoppers he sees the people and tribes, at one glance he takes in all their ways. He oversees all and overlooks none.
Let not the rebellious exalt themselves. The proudest have no cause to be proud. Could they see themselves as God sees them they would shrivel into nothing. Where rebellion reaches to a great head, and hopes most confidently for success, it is a sufficient reason for abating our fears, that the Omnipotent ruler is also an Omniscient observer. O proud rebels, remember that the Lord aims his arrows at the high soaring eagles and brings them down from their nest among the stars. "He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree." After a survey of the Red Sea and Jordan, rebels, if they were in their senses, would have no more stomach for the fight, but would humble themselves at the Conqueror's feet.
Selah. Pause again, and take time to bow low before the throne of the Eternal.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 7. His eyes behold the nations. The radical meaning of the word hkc is augazein, to shine, and metonymically to examine with a bright eye; to inspect with a piercing glance, and thence to behold, for either good or evil, as Proverbs 15:3 : "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." Here it is taken in an adverse sense, and means, to watch from a watch tower, to threaten from a lofty place. Psalms 37:32 : "The wicked watcheth the righteous;" and Job 15:22 : He is waited for "from the watch tower for the sword;" that is to say, the sword is drawn above the head of the wicked, as if it threatened him from the watch tower of God. But, at the same time, there is also a reference to God's looking from the pillar of fire, and of cloud, upon the host of Pharaoh in the Red Sea. Exodus 14:24 . Hermann Venema.
Verse 7. His eyes behold the nations. This should give check to much iniquity. Can a man's conscience easily and delightedly swallow that which he is sensible falls under the cognizance of God, when it is hateful to the eye of his holiness, and renders the action odious to him? "Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?" saith Job, ( Job 31:4 )... The consideration of this attribute should make us humble. How dejected would a person be if he were sure all the angels in heaven, and men upon earth, did perfectly know his crimes, with all their aggravations! But what is created knowledge to an infinite and just censuring understanding? When we consider that he knows our actions, whereof there are multitudes, and our thoughts, whereof there are millions; that he views all the blessings bestowed upon us; all the injuries we have returned to him; that he exactly knows his own bounty, and our ingratitude; all the idolatry, blasphemy, and secret enmity in every man's heart against him; all tyrannical oppressions, hidden lusts, omissions of necessary duties, violations of plain precepts, every foolish imagination, with all the circumstances of them, and that perfectly in all their full anatomy, every mite of unworthiness and wickedness in every circumstance... should not the consideration of this melt our hearts into humiliation before him, and make us earnest in begging pardon and forgiveness of him. Stephen Charnock.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 7. Sovereignty, immutability ("for ever"), and omniscience, -- the enemies of proud rebels.