Psalm 96:6

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 6. Honour and majesty are before him. Men can but mimic these things; their pompous pageants are but the pretence of greatness. Honour and majesty are with him and with him alone. In the presence of Jehovah real glory and sovereignty abide, as constant attendants.

Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. In him are combined all that is mighty and lovely, powerful and resplendent. We have seen rugged strength devoid of beauty, we have also seen elegance without strength; the union of the two is greatly to be admired. Do we desire to see the "sublime and beautiful" at one glance? Then we must look to the eternal throne. In the Chronicles we read strength and gladness; and the two renderings do not disagree in sense, for in the highest degree in this instance it is true that "a thing of beauty is a joy for ever." Not in outward show or parade of costly robes does the glory of God consist; such things are tricks of state with which the ignorant are dazzled; holiness, justice, wisdom, grace, these are the splendours of Jehovah's courts, these the jewels and the gold, the regalia, and the pomp of the courts of heaven.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 6. Beauty... in his sanctuary.

Oh, if so much of beauty doth reveal
Itself in every vein of life and nature,
How beautiful must be the Source itself,
The Ever Bright One! Esaias Tegner, 1782- 1847.

Verse 6. In his sanctuary. That is to say

  1. his ark, tabernacle, or temple, as many writers consider. Kimchi, as quoted by Muis, suggests that where joy or beauty is mentioned as being in his temple, it is set in opposition to the perpetual grief of the Philistines when the ark was in their cities. They saw the Lord's strength, but not his beauty.
  2. Others refer the word sanctuary to the church of Christ, which, as Munster remarks, is adorned with heavenly ornaments, and was typified by the magnificence of Solomon's temple. Certainly it is in the church that the spiritual power and beauty of the Lord are to be most clearly seen.
  3. The passage may refer to heaven, where the divine presence is more peculiarly manifest. C. H. S.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 6. Honour and majesty are before him.

  1. As emanations from him.
  2. As excellencies ascribed to him.
  3. As characteristics of what is done by him.
  4. As marks of all that dwell near him. W. Jackson.

Verse 6. (latter clause). -- What we may see in God's sanctuary (strength, and beauty). What we may obtain there, Psalms 90:17 (strength and beauty). C. D.