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Tue Psalmist invites all the world to join with the
Israelites, in the service of him who was kind and gracious to them beyond expression. Accordingly, we Christians now properly use this Psalm in acknowledgment of God's wonderful love to us in Christ; by whom we offer up continually spiritual sacrifices, for redeeming us by the sacrifice which he made of himself; for making the world anew, and creating us again unto good works; according to his faithful promises, which we may depend upon
1. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands : 2. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
The prophet addresses himself to all lands, or to all the earth; to Gentiles, as well as Jews. He exhorts them to make a joyful noise, a noise like that of the trumpets at the time of jubilee, a sound of universal triumph and exultation, in honour of Jehovah, now become their Lord and Saviour. The service of this our Master is perfect freedom; it is a service of love, a freedom from Pharaoh and the task-masters, from Satan and our own imperious lusts; it is a redemption
from the most cruel bondage, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Let us therefore serve the Lord with gladness; and when we come before his presence, let it be with singing to the praise and glory of our Redeemer. Thus he is served in heaven, and thus he delights to be served on earth.
3. Know ye that the Lord he is God, it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves: we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Or, He hath made us, and we are his, his people, and the sheep of his fiasture.
The motives here urged for serving and praising Jehovah are the same with those above, in Psalm xcv. namely, that he is our God, engaged by covenant on our behalf; that his hands created us, and have since new-created us; that we stand in the peculiar relation of his people, whom he hath chosen to himself, and over whom he presides as king; that we are the sheep of his pasture, for whom the good Shepherd laid down his life, and whom he nourishes unto eternal life. These are points which every Christian ought to know and believe, unto his soul's health. . And whoever doth know them aright, will ever be ready, with heart and voice, to obey the injunction which follows in the next verse.
4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise : be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
The Christian church is a temple, whose gates stand continually open, for the admission of the nations from all the foúr quarters of the world. Into the courts of this temple, which are now truly courts
of the Gentiles, all men are invited to come, and offer their evangelical sacrifices of confession and praise ; to express their gratitude to their Saviour, and bless his gracious and hallowed name. How glorious will be that day, which shall behold the everlasting gates of heaven lifting up their heads, and disclosing to view those courts above, into which the children of the resurrection are to enter, there, with angels and archangels, to dwell and sing for evermore!
5. For the Lord is good ; his mercy is everlasting : and his truth endureth to all generations.
Jehovah is good: he is the source of all beauty and perfection in the creature; how altogether lovely must he needs be in himself! His mercy is everlasting, extending through time into eternity; and his truth, or fidelity in accomplishing his promises, endureth to all generations, evidenced to the whole race of mankind, from Adam to his last-born son. The Psalms which celebrate these attributes, will never, therefore, be out of date, but each successive generation will chant them with fresh propriety, and fresh delight, until by saints and angels they are sung new in the kingdom of God.
In this evangelical and most comfortable hymn, Da
vid, after exciting himself to the work, praises Jehovah for the mercies of redemption; celebrates his goodness to Moses and Israel; sets forth the divine philanthropy, under various beautiful expressions and images; describes, in a manner wonderfully affecting, man's frail and perishable state; but leads him, for consolation, to the everlasting mercy of God in Christ, the stability of whose throne and kingdom he declares, and calls upon heaven and earth to join with him, in blessing and praising his holy name.
1. Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
The Psalmist, about to utter a song of praise, first endeavours to awaken and stir up his soul to the joyful task. He calls forth all his powers and faculties, all that is within him, that every part of his frame may glorify its Saviour; that the understanding may know him, the will choose him, the affections delight in him, the heart believe in him, and the tongue confess him. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”
2. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
Thanksgiving cannot be sincere and hearty, unless a man bear impressed upon his mind, at the time, a quick sense of benefits received; and benefits we are most of us apt to forget; those, especially, which are conferred upon us by God. Therefore David repeats his self-awakening call, and summons all his powers of recollection, that none of the divine favours might continue unnoticed and unacknowledged. A catalogue of such particular mercies, temporal and spiritual, as each individual has experienced through life, might be of service, to refresh the memory, upon this important head.
3. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities: who healeth all thine infirmities.
At the head of God's mercies must for ever stand remission of sin, or that full and free pardon purchased for us by Jesus Christ, whereby, if we truly repent and believe in him, our transgressions, though ever so many, and ever so great, are done away, and become as if they had never been; from a state of guilt we pass into one of justification, from a state of enmity into one of reconciliation, from a state of servitude into one of liberty and sonship. Next to the pardon of sin, considered as a crime, we are to commemorate the cure of it, considered as a disease, or indeed as a complication of diseases- Who healeth all thine infirmities." The body experiences the melancholy consequences of Adam's offence, and is subject to many infirmities; but the soul is subject to as many. W