Verse 3. Let the people praise thee, O God. Cause them to own thy goodness and thank thee with all their hearts; let nations do this, and do it continually, being instructed in thy gracious way.
Let all the people praise thee. May every man bring his music, every citizen his canticle, every peasant his praise, every prince his psalm. All are under obligations to thee, to thank thee will benefit all, and praise from all will greatly glorify thee; therefore, O Lord, give all men the grace to adore thy grace, the goodness to see thy goodness. What is here expressed as a prayer in our translation, may be read as a prophecy, if we follow the original Hebrew.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 3. Let the people praise thee. Mark the sweet order of the blessed Spirit: first, mercy; than, knowledge; last of all, praising of God. We cannot see his countenance except he be merciful to us; and we cannot praise him except his way be known upon earth. His mercy breeds knowledge; his knowledge, praise. John Boys.
Verse 3. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. What then? "Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us." We have comforts increased, the more we praise God for what we have already received. The more vapours go up, the more showers come down; as the rivers receive, so they pour out, and all run into the sea again. There is a constant circular course and recourse from the sea, unto the sea; so there is between God and us; the more we praise him, the more our blessings come down; and the more his blessings come down, the more we praise him again; so that we do not so much bless God as bless ourselves. When the springs lie low, we pour a little water into the pump, not to enrich the fountain, but to bring up more for ourselves. Thomas Manton.
Verse 3. This verse is exceedingly emphatic.
- First, by an apostrophe to God, in the pronoun, Thee. As if he said: Let the people praise thee, not strange gods; for thou art the only true God.
- Secondly, inasmuch as it is not said, Let us praise thee, O God; but let the people praise thee, and let all the people. For here is expressed the longing of the pious heart, and its fond desire that God should be praised and magnified throughout all lands and by all people of the round earth.
- Thirdly, by the iteration, in which the same particle is repeated in this and the fifth verse no less than four times, as if the duty could not be sufficiently inculcated. It is not enough to have said it once; it is delightful to repeat it again. Wolfgang Musculus (1497- 1563).
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 3. Viewed,
- As the desire of every renewed heart.
- As a prayer.
- As a prophecy.