Psalm 97:6

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 6. The heavens declare his righteousness. It is as conspicuous as if written across the skies, both the celestial and the terrestrial globes shine in its light. It is the manner of the inspired poets to picture the whole creation as in sympathy with the glory of God, and indeed it is not mere poetry, for a great truth underlies it, the whole creation has been made to groan through man's sin, and it is yet to share in the joy of his restoration.

And all the people see his glory. The glorious gospel became so well known and widely promulgated, that it seemed to be proclaimed by every star, and published by the very skies themselves, therefore all races of men became acquainted with it, and were made to see the exceeding glory of the grace of God which is resplendent therein. May it come to pass ere long that, by a revival of the old missionary ardour, the glad tidings may yet be carried to every tribe of Adam's race, and once again all flesh may see the glory of Jehovah. It must be so, therefore let us rejoice before the Lord.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 6. The heavens declare, etc. He does not say, the heavens exercise, but they declare his righteousness. To the eyes of the wicked the righteousness of God is hidden, until it is made manifest by an astonishing miracle.

"The heavens." This phrase is not, God declares, but the heavens declare his righteousness. The creature is the servant and revealer of the righteousness of God.

"His righteousness." He says not, the heavens declare our righteousness, but his righteousness. They testify that God is the righteous judge, rather than that the saints themselves are righteous.

"All the people." Not only do the wicked, those oppressive monsters, see, but "all the people." God so reveals his glory that not only the wicked who are punished may see it, but also other mortals to their edification.

"And shall see." They shall not simply hear or know, but they shall see. This at last is a powerful and convincing demonstration of the righteousness of God, which is put before their eyes.

"His glory." Not merely the destruction of the wicked and vengeance on the enemies of God, but his glory; for in the destruction of the wicked, and the deliverance of the innocent, the glory of God is declared. Thus the prophet rejoices not so much concerning the destruction of the wicked as concerning the glory of God.

--Musculus.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 6. The confusion of heart which will ensue from idolatrous worship, even if it be only spiritual. Breaking of the idol, disappointment in it, injury by it, removal from it, etc.