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Saturday, July 13th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 99

Smith's WritingsSmith's Writings

Verses 1-9


Jehovah, the King, having come to reign, is presented as great in Zion and dwelling between the cherubim in the midst of a worshipping people (vv. 1-5); God's ways in grace and government through which His purposes have been brought to pass (vv. 6-9).

(v. 1-3) In the previous psalm the King is presented as coming; in this psalm He has come and taken His place between the cherubim, and is great in Zion, His rule extending over all peoples. The only right response from all nations is to praise His great and terrible name, for it is holy.

(vv. 4-5) These verses present the character of His rule. His name is great and holy; His reign, in accord with His name, will be marked by power exercised in righteous judgment. Might and right, so often divorced by man, are at last brought together under the rule of Christ, the King. The glory of the One who rules calls not only for submission, but for worship at the footstool of His throne, and again we are reminded He is holy.

(vv. 6-8) In these verses we are reminded that the ways of God, in bringing the nation into blessing, are similar to, and therefore illustrated by, His dealings with the nation in the past. Israel's history had been one long story of sin and failure; nevertheless there had ever been a godly remnant in the midst of this failing people. Moses and Aaron among the priests, and Samuel among the prophets, are outstanding examples of this godly remnant who, in the midst of the greatest failure, has interceded for the people ( Exo_17:11-12 ; Num_12:13 ; 1Sa_7:5-9 ). These leaders of the people called upon God in the day of trial, and God answered and spoke to them in the cloudy pillar, and they obeyed His word.

Because of this godly remnant, who walked in dependence and obedience, God acted in grace and government towards those who were under them, and for whom they interceded. God forgave Israel's sins in grace; but God took “vengeance of their doings” in government. In grace they were forgiven; in government they had to suffer for their sins.

Thus in the day to come the restoration of Israel is brought about by the grace of God that answers the call of the godly remnant ( Ps. 94 ; Psa_118:25-26 ; Luk_13:35 ; Joe_2:32 ; Rom_10:13 ). Nonetheless the nation has to suffer for its evil doings, and thus pass through the great tribulation.

(v. 9) The final result of all God's dealings in grace and government will be to surround Himself with a people who “worship at the hill of his holiness.” For the third time in the psalm we are reminded that “God is holy” (vv. 3, 5, 9). In heaven there will be a redeemed people “holy and without blame before him in love”; on earth there will be a company worshipping at His holy hill, made suited to His holy name.

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 99". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-99.html. 1832.
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