Psalm 97:8

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 8. Zion heard, and was glad. While the heathen are confounded the people of God are made to triumph, for they love to see their God exalted. The day shall come when the literal Zion, so long forsaken, shall joy in the common salvation. It did so at the first when the apostles dwelt at Jerusalem, and the good days will come back again.

And the daughters of Judah rejoiced. Each individual believer is glad when he sees false systems broken up and idol gods broken down; the judgments of the Lord afford unalloyed delight to those who worship the true God in spirit and in truth. In the first ages of Christianity the believing Israel rejoiced to see Christ's kingdom victorious among the heathen, and even yet, though for a while turning aside, the daughters of Judah will sympathise in the wide spread reign of Jehovah their God, through the gospel of his dear Son. As the women of Judah went forth to meet David in the dance, singing his victory over the Philistine, so shall they chant the triumphs of David's son and Lord.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 8. Zion heard, etc. But why, it may be asked, does he speak of those things being heard, rather than seen? Two reasons may be given for this. First, he would have God's believing people anticipate the blessing by hope, ere the consummation of it arrived; and, again, the language intimates, that the glory of the Gospel would be spread to such distant quarters, that the Jews would rather hear of it by report, than witness it with their own eyes. --John Calvin.

Verse 8. The daughters of Judah rejoiced. David alludes to a custom familiar in Judea, of forming choral bands of maidens after a victory or some happy circumstance. Thus after the passage of the Red Sea, when the Egyptians were drowned and the people of God brought in safety to the farthest shore, Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her with timbrels and dancing, saying, Let us sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. When Goliath was slain by David, it is said 1 Samuel 18:6-7 , "When David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music. And the women sang as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." --Le Blanc.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 8.

  1. The world is terrified at the divine judgments.
  2. The church rejoices in them, "Zion heard", etc.; or,
  3. When the world is glad the church is sad.
  4. When the world is sad the church is glad.

--G.R.