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Sunday, June 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 97

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

Verse 1


The same subject that ran through the former Psalm is here continued: and Jesus, as the Christ of God, is the sum and substance of it. Very strong and solid reasons are given wherefore the Church should unceasingly rejoice in the contemplation of the Redeemer's reign; and well may she give her loudest response of Amen, to every part of it.

Psalms 97:1

What a sweet thought is it to consider the reign of Jesus, in grace here, in glory hereafter; in all the kingdoms of his government, temporal, spiritual, eternal, natural, moral, or spiritual; in providence or grace! Precious Lord! while my soul beholds thee in this glorious view, what occurrence can cast me down?

Verse 2

How blessedly doth this verse follow the former! Though clouds and darkness prevent my seeing at all times the way of his dispensations towards the church, and towards my soul; still do I not know that Jesus reigneth? Peace, then, my soul! I shall surely wade through every trouble, for Jesus leads, and Jesus is before. Psalms 79:13 .

Verses 3-5

The Psalmist, no doubt, alludes to the Lord's dealings with his people in the wilderness; but, spiritually considered, the subject ariseth to a greater degree of sublimity in the view of the conquests of the Lord, by his Spirit, in the hearts of his people. Here, it may be truly said, the fire of his sacred word hath a most powerful effect, to burn up all the briers and thorns that would oppose the Lord's way. The enlightening word of his grace, and the illumination of the Holy Ghost, open light in the soul, to make the sinner tremble; and the heart, like wax, is brought down, from hardness like a stone, to all the melting affections of the love of Jesus. See those scriptures, Jeremiah 23:29 ; Isa 27:4 ; 2 Corinthians 4:6 ; Psalms 68:2 ; Nahum 2:10 .

Verse 6

The Lord frequently refers to all creation in evidence of the righteousness of his reign; and eminently so will this be proved at that final day, when all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Isaiah 40:5 .

Verse 7

This is every day manifested in the kingdom of grace, when poor sinners are brought over from the worshipping of dumb idols, to serve the living and true God: and how eminently will it be displayed in the last day, in the kingdom of glory, when Christ shall be all in all!

Verses 8-9

Whatever effect the astonished nations of the earth now feel at the blessedness of Christ's church, his beloved Zion takes part in all that concerns our Lord. Tell a lover of Jesus that a nation is born at once, or that an individual poor sinner is recovered by grace to the Lord, and every citizen of Zion participates in the triumph. Blessed Jesus! I bless thee for this evidence of my being thine, that amidst all my undeservings, I do prefer Jerusalem above my chief joy. Psalms 137:6 . And as the soul of a believer rejoiceth in the conversion of every poor sinner, so is joy excited in the view of the judgments of God over the enemies of Christ, death, hell, and the grave. Reader! turn to the book of the Revelations, and behold the joy of the holy apostles and prophets, and of all heaven, in the destruction of mystic Babylon; Revelation 18:20 . And oh! what everlasting joy will burst forth from all the host, when all enemies shall he brought under Christ's feet!

Verse 10

A rule is here given to judge of real love. If I love Jesus, I shall love his people. If I love him, I love what he loves, and hate what he hates. See an appeal of this kind to the Lord, much in point, Psalms 34:21-22 .

Verse 11

This is a proper thought to be kept alive in the mind of a believer. Light is sown, not gathered, nor reaped, though sure. Hence the patience of the husbandman is recommended in waiting for it, James 5:7 ; Galatians 6:9 ; Psalms 27:14 .

Verse 12

No one but a believer can take pleasure in the recollection of God's holiness. Every unrenewed sinner must, if he thinks at all, be dreadfully alarmed at it. But to a soul, believing and trusting in Christ and his righteousness, the holiness of the Lord is as dear and precious as any other of the divine perfections; and for this plain reason: because in the person of Jesus, his glorious surety, he beholds a holiness every way equal to the demands of God's righteous law, and in that holiness he considers himself, both now in grace, and hereafter in glory, as appearing before God. Sweet thought! Lord, help me ever to give thanks at the remembrance of thy holiness, and be made a partaker of it in Christ Jesus! Hebrews 12:10 .


HALLELUJAH! The Lord God, even Jesus, omnipotent, reigneth! And while all the earth may find cause to be glad, and the multitude of the isles to rejoice, well may I, a poor inhabitant of these islands of darkness, born in sin, and by nature ignorant of Jesus and his reign, join the triumphant hymn of praise. And though a thousand obstructions of clouds and darkness prevent my perfect and clear knowledge how Jesus reigns; yet sure I am he doth reign in grace, and his kingdom shall be in everlasting glory.

Oh! let it please thee, thou almighty King of Zion, to go forth in the fire of thy word, in the hammer of thy law, in the melody of thy gospel, in the sword of thy Spirit, subduing the people to the sovereignty of thy grace, and bringing all thine enemies under thy footstool. Oh! shine, Lord, by thy word and Spirit, into the hearts and consciences of poor sinners; that their hearts may melt like wax before thee, and every knee bow unto thee, and every tongue be called forth in thy praise. And while waiting the precious fruits of that light which is sown for the righteous, give me to see that my path is the path of the justified soul in Christ Jesus, which shineth more and more unto a perfect day. Yes! my adorable Lord and Saviour! I will rejoice in thy righteousness. I will give thanks at the remembrance of thy holiness, without which no man can see the Lord. Such an High Priest, such an holy Surety, such an all pure, spotless, and undefiled Saviour, became poor sinners who had in themselves lost all holiness, and stood exposed thereby to the everlasting judgment and displeasure of almighty God. Well, therefore, may my soul rejoice in thee, who art the Lord my righteousness, and who art made of God to all thy redeemed, wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption; that according as is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. This therefore shall be my hallelujah song on earth, in the contemplation of this holiness, and my holiness in thee, until I come to the full enjoyment of thy presence, thy glory, and holiness, among the redeemed in heaven. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness: as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 97". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-97.html. 1828.
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