Verse 5. Exalt ye the LORD our God. If no others adore him, let his own people render to him the most ardent worship. Infinite condescension makes him stoop to be called our God, and truth and faithfulness bind him to maintain that covenant relationship; and surely we, to whom by grace he so lovingly gives himself, should exalt him with all our hearts. He shines upon us from under the veiling wings of cherubim, and above the seat of mercy, therefore let us come and worship at his footstool. When he reveals himself in Christ Jesus, as our reconciled God, who allows us to approach even to his throne, it becomes us to unite earnestness and humility, joy and adoration, and, while we exalt him, prostrate ourselves in the dust before him. Do we need to be thus excited to worship? How much ought we to blush for such backwardness! It ought to be our daily delight to magnify so good and great a God.
For he is holy. A second time the note rings out, and as the ark, which was the divine footstool, has just been mentioned, the voice seems to sound forth from the cherubim where the Lord sitteth, who continually do cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy. Lord God of Sabaoth!" Holiness is the harmony of all the virtues. The Lord has not one glorious attribute alone, or in excess, but all glories are in him as a whole; this is the crown of his honour and the honour of his crown. His power is not his choicest jewel, nor his sovereignty, but his holiness. In this all comprehensive moral excellence he would have his creatures take delight, and when they do so their delight is evidence that their hearts have been renewed, and they themselves have been made partakers of his holiness. The gods of the heathen were, according to their own votaries, lustful, cruel, and brutish; their only claim to reverence lay in their supposed potency over human destinies: who would not far rather adore Jehovah, whose character is unsullied purity, unswerving justice, unbending truth, unbounded love, in a word, perfect holiness?
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 5 (second elause). Mark the peculiar expression, Worship at his footstool. What humility and subjection does it imply! It is the worship of one whose heart has been subdued by divine grace. W. Wilson.
Verse 5. Bishop Horsley thus renders this verse:
"Exalt ye Jehovah our God,
And make prostration before his foostool;
It is holy."
Thus he connects "hory" with Jehovah's footstool, mentioned in the preceding clause. There appears to me great propriety and beauty in this construction, which divides the poem into three members. Of these the first terminates with ascribing "holiness" to the name of Jehovah: the second, with ascribing the same property to his abode: and then, at the conclusion of the hymn, "holiness," essential holiness, is ascribed to Jehovah himself. Our Bible marginal translation recognizes this construction of the 5th verse. Richard Mant.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 5. Exalt the Lord your God.
- Why? For what he is to you. For what he has done for you. For what he has told you.
- How? In your affection. In your meditation. In your supplication. In your conversation. In your profession. In your consecration. In your co-operation. In your expectation. W. J.
- The loyal enthusiasln of worship, it exalts the Lord.
- The humble diffidence of worship, not aspiring to his exaltation it kneels at his footstool.
- The good reason for worship. -- "He is holy." C. D.