Verse 2. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving. Here is probably a reference to the peculiar presence of God in the Holy of Holies above the mercy seat, and also to the glory which shone forth out of the cloud which rested above the tabernacle. Everywhere God is present, but there is a peculiar presence of grace and glory into which men should never come without the profoundest reverence. We may make bold to come before the immediate presence of the Lord -- for the voice of the Holy Ghost in this psalm invites us, and when we do draw near to him we should remember his great goodness to us and cheerfully confess it. Our worship should have reference to the past as well as to the future; if we do not bless the Lord for what we have already received, how can we reasonably look for more. We are permitted to bring our petitions, and therefore we are in honour bound to bring our thanksgivings.
And make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. We should shout as exultingly as those do who triumph in war, and as solemnly as those whose utterance is a psalm. It is not always easy to unite enthusiasm with reverence, and it is a frequent fault to destroy one of these qualities while straining after the other. The perfection of singing is that which unites joy with gravity, exultation with humility, fervency with sobriety. The invitation given in the first verse ( Psalms 95:1 ) is thus repeated in the second ( Psalms 95:2 ) with the addition of directions, which indicate more fully the intent of the writer. One can imagine David in earnest tones persuading his people to go up with him to the worship of Jehovah with sound of harp and hymn, and holy delight. The happiness of his exhortation is noteworthy, the noise is to be joyful; this quality he insists upon twice. It is to be feared that this is too much overlooked in ordinary services, people are so impressed with the idea that they ought to be serious that they put on the aspect of misery, and quite forget that joy is as much a characteristic of true worship as solemnity itself.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 2. Let us come before his presence. Hebrew, prevent his face, be there with the first. "Let us go speedily ... I will go also", Zechariah 8:21 . Let praise wait for God in Sion, Psalms 65:1 . --John Trapp.
Verse 2. (second clause). Let us chant aloud to him the measured lay. twrmz, I take to be songs, in measured verse, adjusted to the bars of a chaunt. --S. Horsley.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- What is meant by coming before his presence? Certainly not the holiness of places, etc.
- What offering is most appropriate when we come into his presence?