Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
This, like the foregoing, is a true gospel Psalm. Jesus is adored for the victories of his redemption; and the Church, both Jew and Gentile, is called upon to sing aloud the triumphs of his grace.
It may be truly said of our Jesus, that he alone hath gotten the victory, for of the people there was none with him; Isaiah 63:3. But what is this new song the church is called upon to sing? It can be none but that of redemption. For creation work had been long finished, and long and faithfully recorded: and ever is to be recorded as an ancient, lasting, eternal song. The morning stars then sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy. Job 38:7. But when redemption work came forward, and was perfected, a new note, a new song, was added to the subject, of mercy, and the church is called upon, as being most highly interested, to sing it. The song, and all the subject of it, is Jesus.
When we descend into particulars, how lovely is this song? The Lord hath made it known, and it contains most blessed things. It speaks of the marvellous things which he hath wrought, the victories Jesus! hath obtained, the grace he hath manifested, not only to his own people the Jews, but also to the Gentiles, and to all the earth; and of the extent of his empire of grace throughout the world; so that all people shall see his great Salvation. Reader! turn the subject in your mind, and see those illustrious proofs of divine grace, especially as exemplified in your own experience. Can you sing this new song? Hath the Lord made known his salvation unto you? If all the ends of the earth shall see it, well may every soul ask his own heart, Have I seen it? and am I a partaker of this unspeakable gift of God in Christ?
There can he no doubt but that when musical instruments are spoken of in the word of God, and in the Psalms more particularly, as we find them there more frequently mentioned, somewhat more is intended than the mere harps and cornets invented by men: I take it to mean, let all the chords of the heart be in unison of praise to the God of such rich mercies.
Here all inanimate creation is again called upon to join the song. For if men should be silent, the very stones of the earth would cry out. And this appeal to the silent heavens, and the noisy sea, plainly proves that what I remarked before, concerning stringed instruments, must imply somewhat more intelligent and higher. Indeed, as the song is not creation, but redemption; and as the whole creation groaneth and travaileth together in pain, in consequence of the fall; the recovery may be supposed to call forth everything that hath breath to praise the Lord. Romans 8:22. But, what a sweet thought! what, a reviving, blessed, precious, consolatory thought, is that with which the Psalm closeth; Jesus cometh to judge the earth. Oh! how delightful the consideration, that it is in his righteousness his people expect him. He shall come, saith one of the sacred writers, to be admired in his saints, and to be glorified in all them that believe. Then, saith another, in that day shall it be said, Lo! this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for him: we will be glad, and rejoice in his salvation. 2 Thessalonians 1:10; Isaiah 25:9.
How blessed the thought, how full of glory the meditation! Jesus hath conquered all the enemies of our salvation! Himself, our Jesus, our Brother, our Husband, our glorious Head, is he that hath gotten the victory. And what endears it yet more is, that he hath gotten it in our name, in our stead; for us, and for our salvation: and all he is, and all he hath wrought, and all he hath obtained, is ours. And, my soul, pause, and consider how the communication of those mercies is endeared to thee. Jesus hath not only conquered, but made known: He hath not only remembered his mercy, and accomplished salvation, both toward the house of Israel, and to all the ends of the earth; but he hath, by his blessed Spirit, taught the souls of his people to believe in him, and to depend upon him. Well may every redeemed soul sing unto the Lord the new song of redemption. Let the sea roar with echoing the same, and all the trees of the wood clap their hands!
But pause once more, my soul, and ask thine heart, Canst thou sing this new song? Hath the Lord brought thee out of the horrible pit, out of the mire and clay, even out of the ruins of nature, and sin, and Satan, and put thy feet upon the rock, and a new song, even the song of Moses and the Lamb, into thy mouth? Oh! for grace to sing this new song with a new heart: to make Jesus, in his person, in his love, offices, salvation, the everlasting melody of the heart, and the rejoicing forever. Oh! for grace, that in the review of all the covenant love of God in Christ, I may be looking unto, and waiting for, his coming. Haste, my beloved; let the shadows of night flee away; and be thou like a roe, or young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 98 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-98.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent