Verse 4. For thy mercy is great above the heavens, and therefore there must be no limit of time, or place, or people, when that mercy is to be extolled. As the heavens over arch the whole earth, and from above mercy pours down upon men, so shalt thou be praised everywhere beneath the sky. Mercy is greater than the mountains, though they pierce the clouds; earth cannot hold it all, it is so vast, so boundless, so exceeding high that the heavens themselves are over topped thereby.
And thy truth teacheth unto the clouds. As far as we can see we behold thy truth and faithfulness, and there is much beyond which lies shrouded in cloud, but we are sure that it is all mercy, though it be far above and out of our sight. Therefore shall the song be lifted high and the psalm shall peal forth without stint of far resounding music. Here is ample space for the loudest chorus, and a subject which deserves thunders of praise.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 4. For thy mercy is great, etc. His mercy is great -- that mercy sung of lately (Ps 107:1,43). It is "from above the heavens" (~ymfl[m); i.e., coming down to us as do drops of a fertilizing shower; even as the "Peace on earth", of Luke 2:14 , was first "peace in heaven" ( Luke 19:38 ). --Andrew A. Bonar.
Verse 4. The mercy of God was then great above the heavens, when the God man, Christ Jesus, was raised to the highest heavens, and the truth of our salvation established on the very throne of God. --W. Wilson.
Verse 4-5. There is more stuff and substance of good in the Lord's promises than the sharpest sighted saint did or can perceive; for when we have followed the promise, to find out all the truth which is in it, we meet with a cloud of unsearchable riches, and are forced to leave it there; for so much is included in this, Thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. The height of our praising of God is to put the work of praising God upon himself, and to point him out unto others as going about the magnifying of his own name, and to be glad for it, as here; Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; and thy glory above all the earth. -- David Dickson.
Verse 4-6. There is great confidence here, and, as ever, mercy to the soul which knows itself and comes before truth. But, then, for its own deliverance and blessing it looks to the exalting of God. This shows it must be a holy, righteous exalting. "Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth; that thy beloved may be delivered." It is a blessed thought, and this is what faith has to lay hold of now, even in the time of trial, that our blessing and God's glory are one, only we must put his glory first. --J.N. Darby.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 4-5. The greatness of mercy, the height of truth, and the immensity of the Divine praise.