God the Protector of His Church.
To the chief musician on Neginoth, to be sung in public worship to the accompaniment of stringed instruments, a psalm or song of Asaph, another hymn commemorating God’s deliverance of His people by a miraculous interposition of His power. V. 1. In Judah, where the central Sanctuary of Jehovah had been established, is God known, having revealed Himself to His people; His name is great in Israel, having been magnified by the proclamation of His servants throughout the nation. V. 2. In Salem, the city of Jerusalem, also is His Tabernacle, the dwelling of His tent, the central Sanctuary, and His dwelling-place in Zion, on whose summit the Tabernacle had been erected by David, the ancient tent of Moses being at that time still at Gibeon. V. 3. There brake He the arrows of the bow, literally, the lightnings of the bow, the weapons with which the enemies intended to attack the Church, the shield and the sword and the battle, war being used for the weapons of war. Selah. V. 4. Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey, literally, “Full of splendor art Thou, glorious from the mountains of spoil,” that is, the Lord is infinitely more glorious and splendid than all the powers of the enemy, of Satan and the world, who eagerly desire to spoil the Church, to rob it of its beauty. V. 5. The stouthearted are spoiled, forced to deliver their weapons to the Lord, standing disarmed and disgraced, they have slept their sleep, fallen into the sleep of death; and none of the men of might have found their hands, they are helpless, they are unable to use their hands, to grasp their weapons for the purpose of continuing their warfare against the Church of God. V. 6. At Thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, at His almighty threat, by virtue of the power of His Word, both the chariot and horse, here used as types of the weapons and the attack of the enemies, are cast into a dead sleep, rendered helpless forever. Cp. Is. 43, 17. V. 7. Thou, even Thou, stated with the greatest emphasis, art to be feared; and who may stand in Thy sight when once Thou art angry? The answer is obvious: It is impossible for any man to stand before the almighty power of Jehovah; no enemy, no matter how powerful, can carry out his hostile designs without Jehovah’s permission. V. 8. Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven, Jehovah Himself speaking the decisive word against the tumult of the hostile world; the earth feared and was still, its tumult being constrained to die down into silence, v. 9. when God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth, His people, suffering from the oppression of the enemies. Selah. V. 10. Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee, bound finally to tend to the glorification of Jehovah, obliged, in its own despite, to show forth God’s glory in its own ruin; the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain, or, while Thou girdest Thyself with the remainder of wrath, that is, after men have exhaused their rage against Jehovah, He makes use of His store of divine wrath, the result being the complete overthrow of all enemies, as pictured above. The psalmist, therefore, turns to the people of the Lord in a final admonition. V. 11. Vow and pay unto the Lord, your God, being sure to fulfill what they promised Jehovah in recognition of His deliverance; let all that be round about Him, all the surrounding nations, bring presents unto Him, as a tribute to His almighty power, that ought to be feared, He being the essence of all that inspires reverence. V. 12. He shall cut off the spirit of princes, taking away their snorting, putting an end to their arrogance; He is terrible to the kings of the earth, feared, if not revered, by them all, for those who will not accept Him as their Redeemer must acknowledge Him the almighty Ruler of the universe. The enemies are judged; the Church is delivered, and the glory of God stands revealed before all man.