Psalm 96:7

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 7. The first six verses commenced with an exhortation to sing, three times repeated, with the name of the Lord thrice mentioned; here we meet with the expression

Give unto the Lord, used in the same triple manner. This is after the manner of those poets whose flaming sonnets have best won the ear of, the people, they reiterate choice words till they penetrate the soul and fire the heart. The invocation of the sweet singer is still addressed to all mankind, to whom he speaks as

Ye kindreds of the people. Divided into tribes and families, we are called in our courses and order to appear before him and ascribe to him all honour. "All worship be to God only," is the motto of one of our City companies, and it may well be the motto of all the families upon earth. Family worship is peculiarly pleasing unto him who is the God of all the families of Israel.

Give unto the LORD glory and strength, that is to say, recognise the glory and power of Jehovah, and ascribe them unto him in your solemn hymns. Who is glorious but the Lord? Who is strong, save our God? Ye great nations who count yourselves both famous and mighty, cease your boastings! Ye monarchs, who are styled imperial and puissant, humble yourselves in the dust before the only Potentate. Glory and strength are nowhere to be found, save with the Lord, all others possess but the semblance thereof. Well did Massilion declare, "God alone is great."

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 7 Ye kindreds of the people. There is a peculiar force, observes an early commentator Cassiodorus, in this phrase, "kindreds of the people," much more than if we had the word "peoples" alone; for in every nation there are at all times strangers, aliens, sojourners abiding permanently or for a time, but not reckoned among the natives; while the phrase here includes all such, and provides that none shall be shut out because of his origin. Neale and Littledale.

Verse 7. Ye kindreds of the people. He calls upon them to come in kindreds or families, in allusion to the Jewish custom of families coming by themselves, on the several festival days to worship in Jerusalem; and the Holy Ghost gives us here to understand that such custom was to serve as a model for Christians, whose families should unite in coming to the church to give glory and honour to God for all the wonderful things he accomplished in the redemption of man; for it was not by our own industry, or by our merits, that we have come to grace, and to be the adopted children of God, but through God's mercy, to whom, therefore, is due all honour and glory. Bellarmine.