Verse 25. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth. Creation is no new work with God, and therefore to "create Jerusalem a praise in the earth" will not be difficult to him. Long ere the holy city was laid in ruins the Lord made a world out of nothing, and it will be no labour to him to raise the walls from their heaps and replace the stones in their courses. We can neither continue our own existence nor give being to others; but the Lord not only is, but he is the Maker of all things that are; hence, when our affairs are at the very lowest ebb we are not at all despairing, because the Almighty and Eternal Lord can yet restore us.
And the heavens are the work of thine hands. Thou canst therefore not merely lay the foundations of Zion, but complete its roof, even as thou hast arched in the world with its ceiling of blue; the loftiest stories of thine earthly palace shall be piled on high without difficulty when thou dost undertake the building thereof, since thou art architect of the stars, and the spheres in which they move. When a great labour is to be performed it is eminently reassuring to contemplate the power of him who has undertaken to accomplish it; and when our own strength is exhausted it is supremely cheering to see the unfailing energy which is still engaged on our behalf.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 25. Earth. Heavens. He names here the most stable parts of the world, and the most beautiful parts of the creation, those that are freest from corruptibility and change, to illustrate thereby the immutability of God, that though the heavens and earth have a prerogative of fixedness above other parts of the world, and the creatures that reside below, the heavens remain the same as they were created, and the centre of the earth retains its fixedness, and are as beautiful and fresh in their age as they were in their youth many years ago, notwithstanding the change of the elements, fire and water being often turned into air, so that there may remain but little of that air which was first created, by reason of the continual transmutation; yet this firmness of the earth and heavens is not to be regarded in comparison of the unmoveableness and fixedness of the being of God. As their beauty comes short of the glory of his being, so doth their firmness come short of his stability. Stephen Charnock.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The unchangeableness of God amidst past changes: "of old," etc.
- He was the same before as after he had laid the foundations of the earth.
- He was the same after as before.
- The unchangeableness of God amidst future changes. "They shall perish," etc.
- The same before they perish as after.
- After as before.
- The unchangeableness of God in the past and the future. "Thou art the same," etc. G. R.