Verse 3. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. No doubt the surrounding nations imagined Jehovah to be a merely local deity, the god of a small nation, and therefore one of the inferior deities; the psalmist utterly repudiates such an idea. Idolaters tolerated gods many and lords many, giving to each a certain measure of respect; the monotheism of the Jews was not content with this concession, it rightly claimed for Jehovah the chief place, and the supreme power. He is great, for he is all in all; he is a great King above all other powers and dignitaries, whether angels or princes, for they owe their existence to him; as for the idol gods, they are not worthy to be mentioned. This verse and the following supply some of the reasons for worship, drawn from the being, greatness, and sovereign dominion of the Lord.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 3. He that hath a mind to praise God, shall not want matter of praise, as they who come before princes do, who for want of true grounds of praise in them, do give them flattering words; for the Lord is a great God, for power and preeminence, for strength and continuance. --David Dickson.
Verse 3. The Supreme Being has three names here: la El, hwhy Jehovah, ~yhla Elohim, and we should apply none of them to false gods. The first implies his strength; the second, his being and essence; the third, his covenant relation to mankind. In public worship these are the views we should entertain of the Divine Being. --Adam Clarke.
Verse 3. Above all gods. When He is called a great God and King above all gods, we may justly imagine that the reference is to the angels who are wont to be introduced absolutely under this name, and to the supreme Judges in the land, who also wear this title, as we have it in Psalms 82:1-8 . --Venema.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The greatness of God as god. He is to be conceived of as great in goodness, power, glory, etc.
- His dominion over all other powers in heaven or earth.
- The worship which is consequently due to him.