Psalm 96:10

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 10. Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth. This is the gladdest news which can be carried to them, -- the Lord Jehovah, in the person of his Son has assumed the throne, and taken to himself his great power. Tell this out among the heathen, and let the heathen themselves, being converted, repeat the same rejoicing. The dominion of Jehovah Jesus is not irksome, his rule is fraught with untold blessings, his yoke is easy, and his burden is light.

The world also shall be established that it shall not be moved. Society is safe where God is king, no revolutions shall convulse his empire, no invasions shall disturb his kingdom. A settled government is essential to national prosperity, the reign of the god of truth and righteousness will promote this to the highest degree. Sin has shaken the world, the reign of Jesus will set it fast again upon sure foundations.

He shall judge the people righteously. This is the best method for establishing society on a secure basis, and this is the greatest source of joy to oppressed nations. Iniquity makes the dynasties of tyrants fall, equity causes the throne of Jesus to stand. He will impartially rule over Jew and Gentile, prince and peasant, and this will bring happiness to those who are now the victims of the despot's arbitrary will.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 10. Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth. This clause reads in the old Latin version, "Tell it out among the heathen, that the Lord reigneth from the tree." Justin Martyr accuses the Jews, that they have erased the words "a ligno", apo xulou, which are wanting in the original and in the Septuagint. Mrs. Charles renders the verse thus:

"The truth that David learned to sing,
Its deep fulfilment here attains;
Tell all the earth the Lord is king!
Lo, from the cross, a King he reigns!"

From "Christ in Song. Hymns of Immanuel, with Notes by P. Schaff," 1870.

Verse 10. Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth. It is not enough to feel desire; we must "say among the heathen, the Lord reigneth." There is a commandment given us of the Load to "go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" -- to tell them what Christ hath taught us -- to say to them, in fact, "The LORD reigneth."...

We go among the heathen, and say, "the Lord reigneth" -- point them to all the various objects in creation -- to the stars of heaven, to the beauties of vegetation, to the daily occurrences of providence, to the body fearfully and wonderfully made, to its continual preservation and supply. We may easily take our text from every thing by which we are surrounded, and say, "The Lord reigneth." But we must not stop here. It is well to have right views of God as the Creator; but it is only as we view him as the God of Redemption, that we can praise him "in the beauty of holiness." Leigh Richmond.

Verse 10. Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth must be the Christian's as it was the Israelite's motto. The earliest preaching of our Saviour and his disciples was the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom. It was because all power was given unto him in heaven and in earth, that, after his resurrection from the dead, Jesus sent forth his apostles to go and teach all nations. The substance of the apostles' subsequent preaching was, confessedly, the kingdom of God. J. F. Thrupp.

Verse 10. Say among the heathen. Go, ye that are already become proselytes unto him, and publish everywhere, in all countries, that the Lord Christ is the sovereign of the world, who alone can make it happy: for he shall settle those in peace that submit unto his government: and they shall not be so disturbed as they were wont with wars and tumults: he shall administer equal justice unto all: and neither suffer the good to be unrewarded, nor the evil to escape unpunished. Symon Patrick.

Verse 10. The world also, etc. The natural world shall be established; the standing of the world, and its stability, is owing to the mediation of Christ.

Sin had given it a shock, and still threatens it; but Christ, as redeemer, upholds all things, and preserves the course of nature. The world of mankind shall be established, shall be preserved, till all that belong to the election of grace are called in, though a guilty, provoking world. The Christian religion, as far as it is embraced, shall establish states and kingdoms, and preserve good order among men. The church in the world shall be established, that it cannot be moved, for it is built upon a rock, and the gates of hell shall never prevail against it; it is a "kingdom that cannot be shaken." Matthew Henry.

Verse 10. It shall not be moved. When we learn from the records of geology, as they are inscribed upon the rocks, how numerous and thorough have been the revolutions of the surface and the crust of the globe in past ages; how often and how long the present dry land has been alternately above and beneath the ocean; how frequently the crust of the globe has been fractured, bent, and dislocated; now lifted upward, and now thrown downward, and now folded by lateral pressure; how frequently melted matter has been forced through its strata and through its fissures to the surface; in short, how every particle of the accessible portions of the globe has undergone entire metamorphoses; and especially when we recollect what strong evidence there is that oceans of liquid matter exist beneath the solid crust, and that probably the whole interior of the earth is in that condition, with expansive energy sufficient to rend the globe into fragments; when we review all these facts, we cannot but feel that the condition of the surface of the globe must be one of great insecurity and liability to change. But it is not so. On the contrary, the present state of the globe is one of permanent uniformity and entire security, except those comparatively slight catastrophes which result from earthquakes, volcanoes, and local deluges. Even the climate has experienced no general change within historic times, and the profound mathematical researches of Baron Fourier have demonstrated that, even though the internal parts of the globe are in an incandescent state, beneath a crust thirty or forty miles, the temperature of the surface has long since ceased to be affected by the melted central mass; that it is not now more than one seventeenth of a degree higher than it would be if the interior were ice; and that hundreds of thousands of years will not see it lowered, from this cause, more than the seventeenth part of a degree. And as to the apprehension that the entire crust of the globe may be broken through, and fall into the melted matter beneath, just reflect what solidity and strength there must be in a mass of hard rock from fifty to one hundred miles in thickness, and your fears of such a catastrophe will probably vanish.

Now, such a uniformity of climate and security from general ruin are essential to the comfort and existence of animal nature. But it must have required infinite wisdom and benevolence so to arrange and balance the mighty elements of change and ruin which exist in the earth, that they should hold one another in check, and make the world a quiet, unchanged, and secure dwelling place for so many thousands of years. Surely that wisdom must have been guided by infinite benevolence. Edward Hitchcock, in "The Religion of Geology," 1851.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 10-13. The reign of righteousness.

  1. The announcement of a righteous king and judge.
  2. The joyful reception prepared for him.
  3. His glorious coming. C. D.
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