Verse 5. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty. 'Tis fit a king should speak of the majesty of the King of kings. David cannot give over the worship of God into the hands of others, even though all generations should undertake to perpetuate it: he must have his own individual share in it, and so he saith, "I will speak." What a speaker! for he no sooner begins than he heaps up words of honour -- "the glorious honour of thy majesty", or "the beauty of the honour of thy majesty." His language labours to express his meaning; he multiplies the terms by which he would extol Jehovah, his King. Everything which has to do with the Great King is majestic, honourable, glorious. His least is greater than man's greatest, his lowest is higher than man's highest. There is nothing about the infinite Lord which is unworthy of his royalty; and, on the other hand, nothing is wanting to the splendour of his reign: his majesty is honourable, and his honour is glorious: he is altogether wonderful.
And of thy wondrous works. All the works of God among men are Godlike, but certain of them are specially calculated to create surprise. Many works of power, of justice, of wisdom, are wonderful; and his work of grace is wondrous above all. This specially, and all the rest proportionately, should be spoken of by holy men, by experienced men, and by men who have the ability to speak with power. These things must not be permitted to pass away in silence; if others do not remember them, representative men like David must make a point of conversing upon them in private, and speaking of them in public. Let it be the delight of each one of us according to our position to speak lovingly of our Lord.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 5. I will speak of the glorious honour, etc. The word which we here translate "speak", is considered by Hebrew critics to include also the idea of "expatiating", "speaking at large"; not merely "alluding to incidentally", but "entering into particulars"; as though one took delight in speaking upon the matter in hand. Now there is something very satisfactory in entering into particulars; we can often gather light upon a great truth by having had set before us some of the particulars connected with it; we can often understand what is too high for us, in itself and by itself, by some examples which bring it within reach of our dull understandings. We are like men who want to attain a height, who have not wings to fly up to it, but who can reach it by going up a ladder step by step. Particulars are often like the rounds of a ladder, little, it may be, in themselves, but very helpful to us; and to dwell upon particulars is often of use to ourselves; it certainly is to many with whom we converse.
Let us remember, that circumstanced as we are in our present state, we have no faculties for grasping in its simple grandeur the glorious honour of the majesty of God. We know most of God from what we know of his doings amongst the children of men. Hereafter, the Lord's people shall, no doubt, have much revealed to them of the glorious honour of the majesty of God, which they could now neither bear nor understand; meanwhile they have to know him chiefly by what he has said and done; and if only our eyes be open, we shall be at no loss to recognise in these the glorious honour of his majesty. --Philip Bennett Power.
Verse 5. I will speak, etc. I will "muse" is better than "speak", as being the primary and more usual sense of the Hebrew word. It suggests that these glorious qualities of God's character and deeds should be not merely talked about and extolled in song, but be deeply pondered, laid close upon our very heart, so that the legitimate impression may be wrought into our very soul, and may mould our whole spirit and character into God's own moral image. --Henry Cowles.
Verse 5. With what a cumulus of glowing terms does Holy Writ seek to display the excellence of Deity! By these descriptions, those attributes which are feebly imitated or reflected in what we call good among created things are declared to exist in God, infinitely, immutably, ineffably. --Martin Geier.
Verse 5. Thy wonderful works. Heb.: "the words of thy wonderful works." Thus the Psalmist declares that the records left of God's olden doings in the history of Israel are very precious. He has heard them. Moses and Aaron and others spoke them. He delights in them; he will sing them again on his own harp. --Hermann Venema.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 5-7. The Antiphon.
- To praise God is a personal duty: "I will."
- Its right performance will excite others to engage in it: "And men shall."
- The accompaniment of others in praise will react upon ourselves. "And I will"; "And they shall abundantly", etc.
- Such praise widens and expands a it rolls along. Beginning with God's majesty and works, it extends to his acts, greatness, goodness, and righteousness. --C. A. D.
- Subjects for praise.
- Divine majesty.
- Divine works.
- Divine judgments.
- Divine greatness.
- Divine goodness.
- Divine righteousness.
- Of whom is it required.
- Personal; "I will speak."
- Universal; "men shall speak." --G. R.