Psalm 96:3

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 3. Declare his glory among the heathen. His salvation is his glory, the word of the gospel glorifies him; and this should be published far and wide, till the remotest nations of the earth have known it. England has spent much blood and treasure to keep up her own prestige among barbarians; when will she be equally anxious to maintain the honour of her religion, the glory of her Lord? It is to be feared that too often the name of the Lord Jesus has been dishonoured among the heathen by the vices and cruelties of those who call themselves Christians; may this fact excite true believers to greater diligence in causing the gospel to be proclaimed as with a trumpet in all quarters of the habitable globe.

His wonders among all people. The gospel is a mass of wonders, its history is full of wonders, and it is in itself far more marvellous than miracles themselves. In the person of his Son the Lord has displayed wonders of love, wisdom, grace, and power. All glory be unto his name; who can refuse to tell out the story of redeeming grace and dying love? All the nations need to hear of God's marvellous works; and a really living, self denying church would solemnly resolve that right speedily they fill shall hear thereof. The tribes which are dying out are not to be excluded from gospel teaching any more than the great growing families which, like the fat kine of Pharaoh, are eating up other races: Red Indians as well as Anglo Saxons are to hear of the wonders of redeeming love. None are too degraded, none too cultured, none too savage, and none too refined.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 3. Declare. The corresponding word is a book; and the participle is often rendered a scribe, a writer. Psalms 45:1 . The verb is rendered, tell, show forth, declare. The variety of verbs used in Psalms 96:1-3 , proves that we are to employ all proper means for making known the Saviour. One of these methods is by writing. W. S. Plumer.

Verse 3. Declare his glory -- what a glorious person the Messiah is; the brightness of his Father's glory; having all the perfections of Deity in him; how the glory of God appears in him, and in all that he has done; and especially in the work of redemption, in which the glory of divine wisdom, power, justice, truth, and faithfulness, love, grace, and mercy, is richly displayed; say what glory he is advanced unto, having done his work, being highly exalted, set at the right hand of God, and crowned with glory and honour, and what a fulness of grace there is in him, for the supply of his people; and what a glory is on him, which they shall behold to all eternity. John Gill.

Verse 3. His glory shines from every ray of light that reaches us from a thousand stars; it sparkles from the mountain tops that reflect the earliest and retain the last rays of the rising and the setting sun; it spreads over the expanse of the sea, and speaks in the murmur of its restless waves; it girdles the earth with a zone of light, and flings over it an aureole of beauty. In the varied forms of animal tribes; in the relations of our world to other worlds, in the revolutions of planets, in the springing of flowers, in the fall of waters, and in the flight of birds; in the sea, the rivers, and the air; in heights and depths, in wonders and mysteries, -- Christ wears the crown, sways the sceptre, and receives from all a tribute to his sovereignty. We cannot augment it; we cannot add one ray of light to the faintness of a distant star nor give wings to an apterous insect, nor change a white hair into black. We can unfold, but not create; we can adore, but not increase; we can recognise the footprints of Deity, but not add to them. John Cumming in "From Patmos to Paradise," 1873.

Verse 3. Declare his glory among the heathen, etc. It is a part of the commission given to the ministers of the gospel, not only to teach their congregations concerning Christ, but also to have a care that they who never did hear of him, may know what he is, what he hath done and suffered, and what good may be had by his mediation. Nothing so glorious to God, nothing so wonderful in itself, as is the salvation of man by Christ; to behold God saving his enemies by the incarnation, sufferings, and obedience of Christ the eternal Son of God: Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. David Dickson.

Verse 3. Declare his glory. It is his glory which should be proclaimed, not the learning, ability, and eloquence of the orator who professes to speak for Him; it is his glory, the loving beauty, the attractiveness of his gospel, the lavish promises to repentant sinners, the blessedness of heaven, which should be the chief themes of discourse; not threats, menaces, sermons on hell or torment to affright men, and at best make them God's trembling slaves, not his loving friends. The preaching is to be unto all people, in obscure country districts, amongst unpolished and illiterate congregations, and not to be confined, as fashionable preachers like to confine it, to the cultivated and critical audiences of the capital. Hugo, quoted by Neale and Littledale.

Verse 3. His glory. What he had before called salvation, he now names glory, and afterwards wonders. And since this salvation, whereby the human race is redeemed from eternal death and damnation, is glorious and full of wonders, it is therefore worthy of admiration and praise. Mollerus.

Verse 3. His wonders. What a wonderful person he is, for he is God manifest in the flesh; what wonderful love he has shown in his incarnation, obedience, sufferings, and death; what amazing miracles he wrought, and what a wonderful work he performed; the work of our redemption, the wonder of men and angels; declare his wonderful resurrection from the dead, his ascension to heaven, sitting at the right hand of God, and intercession for his people; the wonderful effusion of his Spirit, and the conquests of his grace, and the enlargement of his kingdom in the world; as also what wonders will be wrought by him when he appears a second time; how the dead will be raised and all will be judged. John Gill.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 3. (first clause).

  1. Declare among the heathen the glory of God's perfections, that they may acknowledge him as the true God.
  2. Declare the glory of his salvation, that they may accept him as their only Redeemer.
  3. Declare the glory of his providence, that they may confide in him as their faithful guardian.
  4. Declare the glory of his word, that they may prize it as their chief treasure.
  5. Declare the glory of his service, that they may choose it as their noblest occupation.
  6. Declare the glory of his residence, that they may seek it as their best home. William Jackson.

Verse 3.

  1. What the gospel is, "God's glory," "his wonders."
  2. What shall we do with it -- declare it.
  3. To whom. "Among the heathen," all people.

Verse 3. (last clause). His wonders among the people.

  1. The wonders of his Being, to inspire them with awe.
  2. The wonders of his creation, to fill them with amazement.
  3. The wonders of his judgments, to restrain them with fear.
  4. The wonders of his grace, to allure them with love. W. Jackson.