By Henry Law
A view is presented of the kingdom of Christ most gloriously established, and universal praises are evoked.
1, 2. "O clap your hands, all you people; shout to God with the voice of triumph. For the Lord most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth."
A note of rapturous prediction pervades this hymn. The day of glory is anticipated, when angels' voices shall proclaim that the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our God, and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. The word is now verified, "In You shall all the families of the earth be blessed." The Jewish Church shall expand her arms to embrace the called of the Gentiles--and they are received as fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ. The Lord is magnified in all His power and majesty--the terribleness of His vengeance over all who yielded not obedience to His sway is dreadfully displayed--and on His head are crowns of supremacy over all the earth. Oh! day of gladness, and unspeakable delight! The happy subjects of these joyful realms are stirred up to show their ecstasy by every sign. We, also, in prospect of such happiness, should shout our praises and proclaim our triumph.
3, 4. "He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved."
Many and mighty were the enemies of Christ's kingdom--long and fierce was the conflict. At times the ungodly seemed to prevail, and the palm of victory seemed to be in their hands. But now Christ is gloriously triumphant. His foes all lick the dust; the feet of His people trample upon the subjugated hosts.
The division of Canaan among the tribes was proof of His providential care. The same care still guards all temporal matters for us. As Jacob excelled Esau in his inherited blessings, so Christ's people inherit all good things--things present and things to come. Christ loves them with an everlasting love; He loves them and rejoices over them to do them good.
5, 6, 7. "God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with understanding."
Christ is now exhibited in another aspect of His glory, that thanksgiving may be more fervently awakened. He is presented to the eye of faith as ascending to the heaven of heavens, to take His seat on the right hand of the Majesty of high. Attending angels shout, and welcoming hosts re-echo the glad sound. Are conquerors thus welcomed when they return in triumph--and shall not all tokens of joy sound the praises of Jesus returning from His glorious victory?
Let us, for whom the victory is achieved, sing praises; yes, sing praises with understanding. Let us thoroughly discern the causes of our joy. It is because Jesus has vanquished our every foe; has gloriously accomplished our full redemption--has finished the undertaken work, and has saved us with an everlasting salvation. Let us ponder the work until its length and breadth be fully grasped; and let every discovery stir us up to sing praises with understanding.
8, 9. "God reigns over the heathen; God sits upon the throne of His holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham; for the kings of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted."
Joy would ever brighten in the dwellings of the righteous, if the truth were always before their eyes, that God sits supreme upon the throne of His holiness. The kings of the earth are mighty, but all their power is derived from Him. As shields they give protection, but His hand is over all. Greatly He is exalted. Let Him be greatly extolled. Let us sing praises, sing praises, with understanding.