Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
In this short but sweet Psalm, the nations of the earth are called upon to praise God for his mercy; and the people of God are more immediately urged to be active in this service.
I cannot find any authority to confirm the Jewish opinion that this Psalm is purposely limited to two verses, to intimate the two nations, Jews and Gentiles, that are to be both brought alike into the privileges of the Messiah's kingdom. But certain it is, some of the Jewish writers confessed that it contained a call to the Gentiles concerning the Messiah. And it is not a little remarkable, that of so short a psalm the apostle Paul should quote one whole verse of it, and make application of it to the Gentile church. See Romans 15:11. But passing by these considerations, it will be more immediately to our purpose to observe the great extent to which the glorious gospel of the ever blessed God is here directed. It is to all nations, agreeably to what our Lord commanded: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Now as God the Father promised his dear Son to give him for a light to the Gentiles, and to be his salvation unto the ends of the earth, here the blessed truth is explained. And his servant the apostle afterwards told the Ephesian church, that though the gospel, and the great design of it in its vast extension, was not made known unto the sons of men, as it was afterwards revealed unto the holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; yet certain it was, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ, by the gospel. Compare Mark 16:15; Isaiah 49:6; Ephesians 3:5-6. Here is also a particular call to his people Israel. And the foundation for both is one and the same; namely, God's merciful kindness; meaning salvation by Christ Jesus, the mercy promised from ages and generations; and in the everlasting nature, extent, and perpetuity of it, all nations and people have cause to rejoice. Hence therefore the psalm begins and ends with the same Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.
READER! contemplate the blessed contents of this psalm, and let the saving interest we as Gentiles bear in it, bring it home to our hearts with a tenfold joy and satisfaction. In order to see its blessedness as it concerns us, let it be only considered that by nature we were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. We knew nothing of the scriptures of truth; were strangers to the offers of grace, strangers to the very name of the Lord Jesus, and ignorant even of our want of his blood and righteousness. Oh! how happy to be brought nigh by the blood of Jesus; and to hear and know the joyful sound, and to walk in the light of God's countenance. And wilt thou not praise God for his mercy? Shall we not follow up the gracious call of this Psalm, and bend the knee in thankful remembrance for God's unspeakable gift? Blessed, forever blessed, be God for Jesus Christ!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 117 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-117.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent