Verse 14. He also exalteth the horn of his people. He hath made them strong, famous, and victorious. His goodness to all his creatures does not prevent his having a special favour to his chosen nation: he is good to all, but he is God to his people. He lifts up the down trodden, but he in a peculiar manner lifts up his people. When they are brought low he raises up a horn for them by sending them a deliverer; when they are in conflict he gives them courage and strength, so that they lift up their horn amid the fray; and when all is peaceful around them, he fills their horn with plenty, and they lift it up with delight.
The praise of all his saints. He is their glory: to him they render praise; and he by his mercy to them evermore gives them further reasons for praise, and higher motives for adoration. He lifts up their horn, and they lift up his praise. He exalts them, and they exalt him. The Holy One is praised by holy ones. He is their God, and they are his saints; he makes them blessed, and they bless him in return.
Even of the children of Israel. The Lord knoweth them that are his. He knows the name of him with whom he made a covenant, and how he came by that name, and who his children are, and where they are. All nations are bidden in Psalms 148:11 to praise the Lord; but here the call is specially addressed to his elect people, who know him beyond all others. Those who are children of privilege should be children of praise.
A people near unto him, near by kin, and near by care; near as to manifestation and near as to affection. This is a highly honourable description of the beloved race; and it is true even more emphatically of the spiritual Israel, the believing seed. This nearness should prompt us to perpetual adoration. The Lord's elect are the children of his love, the courtiers of his palace, the priests of his temple, and therefore they are bound beyond all others to be filled with reverence for him, and delight in him.
Praise ye the Lord, or, Hallelujah. This should be the Alpha and Omega of a good man's life. Let us praise God to the end, world without end. The field of praise which lies before us in this Psalm is bounded at beginning and end by landmarks in the form of Hallelujahs, and all that lieth between them is every word of it to the Lord's honour. Amen.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 14. His people, the praise of all his saints. But among all, one class in particular is called on to praise him, for they have an additional motive for so doing, namely, "his people", and "his saints." As man above all the creatures, so among men his elect or chosen, who are the objects of his special grace, and, above all, of his redeeming love. He also exalteth the horn of his people -- exalts them, one and all, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, and consequent on this, from the dust of earth to the glory of heaven. "The praise of all his saints"; and, yet again, among them, of one people in particular -- "even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him." "Near to him" of old, and yet again to be -- yea, nearest of all the peoples of the earth -- when he recalls them from their dispersion, and again places his name and his throne among them. HALLELUJAH -- PRAISE YE THE LORD. --William De Burgh.
Verse 14. A people near unto him. Jesus took our nature, and became one with us; thus he is "near" unto us; he gives us his Holy Spirit, brings us into union with himself, and thus we are near to him. This is our highest honour, an unfailing source of happiness and peace. We are near to him in point of relation, being his children; near to him in point of affection, being loved with an everlasting love; we are near to him in point of union, being members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones; we are near to him in point of fellowship, walking with him as a man walketh with his friend; we are near to him in point of attention, being the objects of his daily, hourly, tender care; we shall soon be near to him in point of locality, when our mansion is prepared, for we shall depart to be with Christ, which is far better. We are near to him when poor, and when deeply tried; and if ever nearer at one time than another, we shall be nearest to him in death. If we are near unto him, he will sympathize with us in all our sorrows, assist us in all our trials, protect us in all our dangers, hold intercourse with us in all our lonely hours, provide for us in all seasons of necessity, and honourably introduce us to glory. Let us realize this fact daily -- we are near and dear to our God. --James Smith.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 14. The Favoured People and their God.
- What he does for them.
- What he makes them: "Saints."
- Who they are: "Children of Israel."
- Where they are: "Near unto him."
- What they do for him: "Praise ye the Lord."