Psalm 76:3

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 3. There brake he the arrows of the bow. Without leaving his tranquil abode, he sent forth his word and snapped the arrows of his enemies before they could shoot them. The idea is sublime, and marks the ease, completeness, and rapidity of the divine action.

The shield, and the sword, and the battle. Every weapon, offensive and defensive, the Lord dashed in pieces; death bearing bolts and life preserving armour were alike of no avail when the Breaker sent forth his word of power. In the spiritual conflicts of this and every age, the like will be seen; no weapon that is formed against the church shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against her in judgment, she shall condemn.

Selah. It is meet that we should dwell on so soul stirring a theme, and give the Lord our grateful adoration, -- hence a pause is inserted.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Whole Psalm. No Psalm has a greater right to follow Psalm 75 than this, which is inscribed To the Precentor, with accompaniment of stringed instruments (vid. iv. 1), a Psalm by Asaph, a song. Similar expressions (God of Jacob, Psalms 75:10 77:7; saints, wicked of the earth, Psalms 75:9 76:10), and the same impress throughout speak in favour of unity of authorship. In other respects too, they form a pair: Psalm 75 prepares the way for the divine deed of judgments as imminent, which Psalm 76 celebrates as having taken place. Franz Delitzsch.

Verse 2-3. The care of Salem, or Zion, lies at the bottom of all God's powerful acting and workings among the sons of men. Every mighty work of God throughout the world may be prefaced with these two verses. The whole course of affairs in the world in steered by Providence in reference to the good of Salem. John Owen.

Verse 3. There. Observe how it is said, There he brake, namely, in his temple, his habitation there. For unto that his temple doth the coherence in the verse afore carry it, for that was last in mention, and with the greatest emphasis. In the story we read how that Sennacherib's overthrow was from Hezekiah's prayer in the temple; for upon Sennacherib's letter, and Hezekiah's hearsay of the blasphemy, he took himself thither, went instantly into the temple, and began his prayer thus: "O thou God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims." He invocates him under that style of his dwelling in the holiest, and so hearing prayers there. Thus you have it recorded both in Isaiah and in 2 Kings 19:15 . And how suitably, in answer hereunto, it is said here in the Psalm, that God gave forth sentence presently out of his tabernacle, yea, and that so suddenly too, as that the very execution is said to be done there, that is, from thence. And yet again, in the eighth verse of the Psalm, it is said to be a sentence from heaven too; Thou didst cause judgment (so called because it was the sentence of God as a judge) to be heard from heaven. Thus Hezekiah prayed, and thus God heard; and both as in the temple. Thomas Goodwin.

Verse 3. There. These men, to wit the King of Asshur and his accomplices, came to cast out God out of his dwelling place; but he stood to the defence of his own house, and showed them that he would not remove for their pleasure. Robert Bruce.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 3. Christian glories, or the victories vouchsafed to the church over heathenism, heresy, persecution, etc.

Verse 3.

  1. Where enemies are conquered; "There;" not on the
    battlefield so much as in the house of God; as Amalek
    by Moses on the Mount; Sennacherib by Hezekiah in the
    Sanctuary.
  2. How there?
    1. By faith.
    2. By prayer. "The weapons of our warfare," etc.