Verse 6. Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains. He, as it were, fixed them in their sockets, and preserved them from falling by earthquake or storm. The firmest owe their stability to him. Philosophers of the forget God school are too much engrossed with their laws of upheaval to think of the Upheaver. Their theories of volcanic action and glacier action, etc., etc., are frequently used as bolts and bars to shut the Lord out of his own world. Our poet is of another mind, and sees God's hand settling Alps and Andes on their bases, and therefore he sings in his praise. Let me for ever be just such an unphilosophical simpleton as David was, for he was nearer akin to Solomon than any of our modern theorists.
Being girded with power. The Lord is so himself, and he therefore casts a girdle of strength around the hills, and there they stand, braced, belted, and bulwarked with his might. The poetry is such as would naturally suggest itself to one familiar with mountain scenery; power everywhere meets you, sublimity, massive grandeur, and stupendous force are all around you; and God is there, the author and source of all. Let us learn that we poor puny ones, if we wish for true establishment, must go to the strong for strength. Without him, the everlasting hills would crumble; how much more shall all our plans, projects, and labours come to decay. Repose, O believer, where the mountains find their bases -- viz., in the undiminished might of the Lord God.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 5-8. The divine watering of the earth is obviously symbolical of the descent of the Holy Spirit after Christ's ascension; and when on the great day of Pentecost the devout Jews, "out of every nation under heaven," heard the apostle speaking in their several tongues the wonderful works of God, it was a testimony that God was beginning spiritually to make the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. To God, which stilleth the noise of the waves and the tumult of the people, the apostles betook themselves in prayer after their first conflict with Jewish authorities, the first conflict of the infant Christian community with the powers of this world: the language of the Psalm (Ps 65:5), O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea, is reflected in the opening words of their prayer on that occasion ( Acts 4:24 ), "Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is;" and if, when they prayed, "the place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost," it was no idle sign that by terrible things in righteousness were they being answered by the God of their salvation. These are, of course, mere illustrations of the inner harmony of Scripture; but, as such, they may not be without their value. Joseph Francis Thrupp.
Verse 6. Setteth fast the mountains. It is by thy strength they have been raised, and by thy power they are girded about and preserved. He represents the mountains as being formed and pitched into their proper places by the mighty hand of God; and shows that they are preserved from splitting, falling down, or moulding away, as it were, by a girdle by which they are surrounded. The image is very fine. They were hooped about by the divine power. Adam Clarke.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS