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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 96

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


Here is a new and repeated call to praise Jehovah; and, like the former Psalm, chiefly on account of redemption. It is altogether a gospel Psalm. Blessed the soul that in reading or singing it finds the Holy Ghost pointing to Christ, and enjoys Christ in it.

Verses 1-2

I beg the Reader to remark the threefold call to praise Jehovah. And is not this with reference to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Especially, as this is a Psalm in honour of redemption, is it not as if the sacred writer was calling upon the Church to give to each Person of the Godhead, and to all collectively, the praises due for their joint love, mercy; and power, in this act of sovereign grace? Do observe, that both Jew and Gentile are invited to the celebration of the honour due unto the glorious name of Jehovah! The song itself is a new song, such as the redeemed in heaven are said to sing, and which none could sing but the redeemed from the earth. Revelation 14:3 . So that upon every account this lovely Psalm comes home to our hearts, and seems to demand an interest in everyone that hears it. Reader! let us pause over this opening of it, and ask ourselves, whether we can sing this new song with a new heart in Christ Jesus?

Verse 3

Here we have the subject-matter of the song: It is Jesus. His glory, his name, his praise, his wonders of redemption, every day, and all the day, let them be proclaimed.

Verses 4-5

In order to heighten the praises of Jehovah, let his salvation be preached among the Gentiles. Let the dunghill gods of the heathen fall down, as Dagon did before the ark. 1 Samuel 5:3 .

Verse 6

We have no conception of the splendour and glory with which the church above is blessed, in the immediate contemplation of God and the Lamb. The prophet gives us some faint idea of it, when saying, In that day shall the moon be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously. Isaiah 24:23 . And the apostle follows up the same idea, when, in his account of the New Jerusalem, he saith, The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it, for the glory of the Lord doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. Revelation 21:22 .

Verses 7-10

It is impossible sufficiently to celebrate the glories of Christ in his kingdom. All divine perfections are his; all spiritual, temporal, eternal dominion belongs to him, both by virtue of his Father's gift, his own right of purchase , and the conquests of his Spirit. Therefore (saith the Psalmist) tell it out at large who Jesus is, how sure, how certain, how durable and eternal, his kingdom. As I live, saith the Lord, I have strove by myself; the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return; that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Isaiah 45:23 . Hence the earnest exhortation of the Psalmist, Psalms 2:12 .

Verses 11-12

In these verses, the soul of the inspired writer is so lifted up, that he even calls upon the inanimate parts of creation to join in celebrating the glorious king Messiah's praises. The heavens and the earth, the sea and its fulness, the fields and the trees of the wood, all shall manifest, by tokens, joy in the glories of their Creator. For as the whole creation groaneth by reason of the fall, so in redemption everything shall bear a part in holy joy.

Verse 13

All the redeemed of God are uniformly represented as looking unto, and longing for, the second coming of Christ. How the Church longed for Christ's first coming, is often represented in scripture. And Jesus comforted his disciples with the blessed prospect, when from signs and tokens they were to lift up their heads, when their redemption drew nigh; Luke 21:28 . Hence, when Jesus, at the close of the canon of scripture, saith, Behold, I come quickly, the Church with one voice is represented as crying out, Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20 .


READER! we have been attending to this gospel Psalm, this new song of the church, in honour of her Redeemer: but can we truly and heartily join in it? Is it not the same new song, or to the same effect, as John heard the redeemed in heaven sing? Indeed, how should it be otherwise; for it is wholly of salvation? And if the church above sing it, ought not the church below? And if every individual of that church, at the fountain-head of bliss, sing it, ought not every individual of the church, though in a wilderness-state below, to sing the same? Reader! have we learned it? Can we sing it? Do we live in it, and delight in it? Yes! yes! if Jesus be precious, surely we shall at least lisp out the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light; and the song of Moses and the Lamb will be our daily song in this house of our pilgrimage.

Precious Author of all our joy, Jesus, by that endearing name would my soul look up to thee, and sing of thee, and of thy praise, all the day long! As the thirsty earth receives the falling shower; as the darkened land rejoiceth in the opening day; so let my soul wait and long for thee, and welcome thee and thy coming, every day, and all the day, in songs of the most sublime adoration, love, and praise. And while enjoying thee and thy presence in my own soul, I would declare thy glory among the heathen. I would tell of the wonders of thy love among all people. And though full well I know, blessed Jesus, that all praise must fall infinitely short of thine excellent greatness, yet would I put forth all my strength, and call upon all the heathen to rejoice, at the blessed thought that Christ reigneth. And, Lord, while singing thy praises, this should swell my joyful song, that Jesus cometh, and is coming, and will come, to judge the earth, to take to himself his great name, and live, and love, and rule forever. Oh, Lord! may it form a sweet and harmonious note in my song, that Jesus, who cometh as the judge of all the earth, cometh also as the Lord and Saviour of his people. He is coming to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. Come then, Lord Jesus! come, and be glorified in my soul, and be glorified in my salvation! For surely I know, and believe, that every knee shall bow before thee, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 96". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-96.html. 1828.
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