The Lord Jesus reigns in power that cannot be resisted. (1-7) His care of his people, and his provision for them. (8-12)
Verses 1-7 Though many have been made happy in Christ, still there is room. And all have reason to rejoice in Christ's government. There is a depth in his counsels, which we must not pretend to fathom; but still righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. Christ's government, though it might be matter of joy to all, will yet be matter of terror to some; but it is their own fault that it is so. The most resolute and daring opposition will be baffled at the presence of the Lord. And the Lord Jesus will ere long come, and put an end to idol worship of every kind.
Verses 8-12 The faithful servants of God may well rejoice and be glad, because he is glorified; and whatever tends to his honour, is his people's pleasure. Care is taken for their safety. But something more is meant than their lives. The Lord will preserve the souls of his saints from sin, from apostacy, and despair, under their greatest trials. He will deliver them out of the hands of the wicked one, and preserve them safe to his heavenly kingdom. And those that rejoice in Christ Jesus, and in his exaltation, have fountains of joy prepared for them. Those that sow in tears, shall reap in joy. Gladness is sure to the upright in heart; the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment. Sinners tremble, but saints rejoice at God's holiness. As he hates sin, yet freely loves the person of the repentant sinner who believes in Christ, he will make a final separation between the person he loves and the sin he hates, and sanctify his people wholly, body, soul, and spirit.
Psalms 97:1-12 . The writer celebrates the Lord's dominion over nations and nature, describes its effect on foes and friends, and exhorts and encourages the latter.
1, 2. This dominion is a cause of joy, because, even though our minds are oppressed with terror before the throne of the King of kings ( Exodus 19:16 , Deuteronomy 5:22 ), we know it is based on righteous principles and judgments which are according to truth.
3-5. The attending illustrations of God's awful justice on enemies ( Psalms 83:14 ) are seen in the disclosures of His almighty power on the elements of nature (compare Psalms 46:2 , 77:17 , Habakkuk 3:6 , &c.).
6. heavens--or, their inhabitants ( Psalms 50:6 ), as opposed to "nations" in the latter clause (compare Isaiah 40:5 , 66:18 ).
7. Idolaters are utterly put to shame, for if angels must worship Him, how much more those who worshipped them.
all ye gods--literally, "all ye angels" ( Psalms 8:5 , 138:1 , Hebrews 1:6 , 2:7 ). Paul quotes, not as a prophecy, but as language used in regard to the Lord Jehovah, who in the Old Testament theophania is the second person of the Godhead.
8, 9. The exaltation of Zion's king is joy to the righteous and sorrow to the wicked.
daughters of Judah--(Compare Psalms 48:11 ).
9. above all gods--( Psalms 95:3 ).
10-12. Let gratitude for the blessings of providence and grace incite saints ( Psalms 4:3 ) to holy living. Spiritual blessings are in store, represented by light ( Psalms 27:1 ) and gladness.
11. sown--to spring forth abundantly for such, who alone can and well may rejoice in the holy government of their sovereign Lord (compare Psalms 30:4 , 32:11 ).