Verse 2. That thy way may be known upon earth. As showers which first fall upon the hills afterwards run down in streams into the valleys, so the blessing of the Most High comes upon the world through the church. We are blessed for the sake of others as well as ourselves. God deals in a way of mercy with his saints, and then they make that way known far and wide, and the Lord's name is made famous in the earth. Ignorance of God is the great enemy of mankind, and the testimonies of the saints, experimental and grateful, overcome this deadly foe. God has set a way and method of dealing out mercy to men, and it is the duty and privilege of a revived church to make that way to be everywhere known.
Thy saving health among all nations, or, thy salvation. One likes the old words, "saving health," yet as they are not the words of the Spirit but only of our translators, they must be given up: the word is salvation, and nothing else. This all nations need, but many of them do not know it, desire it, or seek it; our prayer and labour should be, that the knowledge of salvation may become as universal as the light of the sun. Despite the gloomy notions of some, we cling to the belief that the kingdom of Christ will embrace the whole habitable globe, and that all flesh shall see the salvation of God: for this glorious consummation we agonize in prayer.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 1-2. See Psalms on "Psalms 67:1" for further information.
Verse 2. That thy way may be known, etc. The psalmist here supposes that there are certain rules or principles, in accordance with which God bestows blessings on mankind; and he prays that those rules and principles may be everywhere made known upon the earth. Albert Barnes.
Verse 2. That thy way may be known, etc. By nature we know little of God, and nothing of Christ, or the way of salvation by him. The eye of the creature, therefore, must be opened to see the way of life before he can by faith get into it. God doth not use to waft souls to heaven like passengers in a ship, who are shut under the hatches, and see nothing all the way they are sailing to their port; if so, that prayer might have been spared which the psalmist, inspired of God, breathes forth in the behalf of the blind Gentiles: That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. As faith is not a naked assent, with affiance and innitency (Act of leaning on) on Christ; so neither is it a blind assent, without some knowledge. If, therefore, you continue still in thy brutish ignorance, and knowest not so much as who Christ is, and what he hath done for the salvation of poor sinners, and what thou must do to get interest in him, thou art far enough from believing. If the day be not broke in thy soul, much less is the Sun of Righteousness arisen by faith in thy soul. William Gurnall.
Verse 2. That thy way may be known. The sinful Jew, obstinate in his unbelief, shall see and hate. He shall see, and be enraged at the salvation of the Gentiles; but let us see and know, that is, love. For to know is often put for to love, as in the passages -- "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them: I know mine, and am known of mine;" that is, I love my own sheep, and they love me... There is here a sudden transition from the third person to the second, that in speaking of God he might not say, "His way," or "his salvation," but Thy way, and Thy salvation setting forth the vehemence of an ardent suppliant, and the grace of God as he reveals himself to that suppliant while still pouring forth his prayers. Gerhohus (1093-1169).
Verse 2. That thy way may be known, etc. As light, so the participation of God's light is communicative: we must not pray for ourselves alone, but for all others, that God's way may be known upon earth, and his saving health among all nations. Thy way; that is, thy will, thy word, thy works. God's will must be known on earth, that it may be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Except we know our Master's will, how shall we do it? Ergo, first pray with David here: Let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth; and then, Let all the people praise thee. God's will is revealed in his word, and his word is his way wherein we must walk, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left. Or, Thy way; that is, thy works, as David elsewhere ( Psalms 25:10 ): "All thy ways of the Lord are mercy and truth." Or, as others (Augustine; Jerome; Hilary) most fitly: Thy way, that is, thy Christ; "Thy saving health," that is, thy Jesus: for "I am the way," saith our Saviour ( John 14:6 ): "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me;" wherefore, "Let thy Son be known upon earth; thy Jesus among all nations." John Boys.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 1-2. The prosperity of the church at home, the hope for missions abroad.
- The way of God towards the earth.
- A way of mercy.
- Of blessing.
- Of comfort.
- The knowledge of that way.
- By outward means.
- By inward teaching.
- The effect of that knowledge. Salvation among all
Verse 2. What is the true health of men?