Psalm 98:7

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 7. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Even its thunders will not be too grand for such a theme. Handel, in some of his sublime choruses, would have been glad of its aid to express his lofty conceptions, and assuredly the inspired psalmist did well to call in such infinite uproar. The sea is his, let it praise its Maker. Within and upon its bosom it bears a wealth of goodness, why should it be denied a place in the orchestra of nature? Its deep bass will excellently suit the mystery of the divine glory.

The world, and they that dwell therein. The land should be in harmony with the ocean. Its mountains and plains, cities and villages, should prolong the voice of jubilee which welcomes the Lord of all. Nothing can be more sublime than this verse; the muses of Parnassus cannot rival the muse of Zion, the Castallan fount never sparkled like that "fount of every blessing" to which sacred bands are wont to ascribe their inspiration. Yet no song is equal to the majesty of the theme when Jehovah, the King, is to be extolled.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 7-8. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands.


And thou, majestic main!
A secret world of wonders in thyself,
Sound his stupendous praise, whose greater voice
Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall. James Thomson.

Verse 7-8. These appeals to nature in her great departments -- of the sea in its mighty amplitude, and the earth with its floods and hills -- form, not a warrant, but a call on Christian ministers to recognise God more in their prayers and sermons as the God of Creation, instead of restricting themselves so exclusively to the peculiar doctrines of Christianity. Do the one, and not leave the other undone. Thomas Chalmers.

Verse 7-8. The setting forth the praise of Christ for the redemption of sinners, may not only furnish work to all reasonable creatures; but also if every drop of water in the sea, and in every river and flood, every fish in the sea, every fowl of the air, every living creature on the earth, and whatsoever else is in the world: if they all had reason and ability to express themselves; yea, and if all the hills were able by motion and gesticulation to communicate their joy one to another; there is work for them all to set out the praise of Christ. David Dickson.

Verse 7-9. Matthew Henry on these verses quotes from Virgil's 4th Eclogue the verses (of which we subjoin Dryden's translation) in which the poet, he says, "either ignorantly or basely applies to Asinius Pollio the ancient prophecies which at that time were expected to be fulfilled;" adding that Ludovicus Vives thinks that these and many other things which Virgil says of this long looked for child "are applicable to Christ."

O of celestial seed! O foster son of Jove!
See, lab'ring Nature calls thee to sustain
The nodding frame of heaven, and earth, and main!
See to their base restored, earth, seas, and air;
And joyful ages, from behind, in crowding ranks appear.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 7-8. Nature at worship. The congregation is

  1. Vast. Sea, earth, rivers, hills.
  2. Varied. Diverse in character, word, aspect, each from each other, constant and alike in this alone, that all, always worship God.
  3. Happy. In this like the worshippers in heaven, and for the same reason -- sin is absent. E.G.G.