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thereof, are, or, were, dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it.
Civil distractions, and the continual irruptions of foreign enemies, had thrown the Israelitish affairs into confusion, and "dissolved" the frame of government; until, by the re-establishment of royal authority, countenance and support were again given to all the subordinate magistrates; who are, in their respective stations, the "pillars" of a community. Such was the universal corruption and dissolution of manners both among Jews and Gentiles, when Messias, entering upon his regal office, reformed the world, raised the glorious fabric of the church, and made his apostles and their successors the "pillars" of his spiritual kingdom. Let men support religion, and God will support them.
4. I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly; and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: 5. Lift not up your horn on high; speak not with a stiff neck.
"Where the word of a king is, there is power." The Prophet addresses himself to the opposers of his government, and the disturbers of Israel: he urges the "folly" of exalting themselves against their prince; and exhorts them, for their own sakes, to humility and obedience. Is not this the very message which the ministers of Christ have received from their King, and are commanded to deliver to the world?
6. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south; 7. But God is the judge; he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
The opposition, mentioned in the preceding verse, was called "folly." In these verses it is proved to be such; as being an opposition, in effect, to the counsels of heaven; for, not by worldly power or craft, but by the designation and providence of God himself, the supreme judge of princes, and disposer of kingdoms, was the house of Saul" put down," and the house of David "set up." And are not, then, the enemies of the Son of God in arms against the Father; who, according to the promises going before concerning him, hath highly exalted him; hath committed all power and judgement to him; and hath put all things under his feet? Yea, and the hour is coming, when he shall put down all rule, and all authority, and power, and the Lord Jesus alone shall be exalted in that day. What will then be the portion of his impenitent adversaries, the next verse will inform us.
8. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.
As the choicest of heavenly blessings are frequently in Scripture represented by the salutary effects of wine, a cup of which the master of the family is supposed to hold in his hand, ready to distribute due portions of it to those around him; so from the noxious and intoxicating qualities of that liquor, when drunk strong, and in too large a quantity, is borrowed a most tremendous image of the wrath and indignation of Almighty God. Calamity and sorrow,
fear and trembling, infatuation and despair, the evils of the present life, and of that which is to come, are the bitter ingredients which compose this most horrible cup of mixture. It is entirely in the hand and disposal of God, who, through every age, has been pouring out, and administering of its contents, more or less, in proportion to the sins of men. But much of the strength and power of the liquor still remains behind, until the day of final vengeance. It will be then exhausted, even to the dregs, by unrepenting rebels ; when “ burning coals, fire, and brimstone,” and eternal “ tempest,” shall be “ the portion of “their cup." Ps. xi. 6.
9. But I will declare for ever ; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
These dispensations of mercy and judgement the Prophet resolves to “declare” to the world for ever, by thus “ singing" the works and the “ praises” of God, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs. And while we now sing them, we declare our resolution to be the same with his.
10. All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.
He determines likewise, as every good governor should do, to exert the authority with which he was intrusted ; to break the power of triumphant wickedness, and to exalt that righteousness which exalteth a nation ; hereby rendering himself a fit image of Him, who hath since done away transgression, and brought in everlasting righteousness, who will one day turn the wicked into hell, and exalt his faithful servants to reign with him in heaven. Already he reigns in them upon earth ; causing “all carnal af“ fections to die in them, and all things belonging to “ the Spirit to live and grow in them.”
It is obvious, at first sight, to any one who reads
this Psalm, that it was composed, as a thanksgiving hymn, on account of some great deliverance, wrought for his people, by the immediate hand of God. The miraculous destruction of the Assyrian army by the angel, in the days of king Hezekiah, is generally pitched upon, as the subject of it, and affirmed to be so by the ancient Greek inscription prefixed to it in the LXX version. The Prophet, 1, 2. declares the glory which God hath gotten him in Israel; 3-6. describes the circumstances of the deliverance, with, 7. a reflection thereupon; 8-10. he mentions the effects it had produced among the nations, and, 11, 12. those which it ought to produce in Israelitish hearts. The ideas are to be transferred to the salvation of the church universal, by the destruction of sin and Satan, and the overthrow of the persecuting powers.
1. In Judah is God known ; his name is great in Israel. 2. In Saleni also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Sion.
On occasion of some great deliverance, the Prophet speaks in transport concerning that presence and protection of God, which the highly favoured Judah once enjoyed. She enjoyed them while she continued faithful, and really was what she professed to be. But, on account of her infidelity, and rejec+ tion of her Messiah, an alteration of circumstances has taken place. They are no longer Jews, who are such outwardly; nor is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh; but they are Jews, who believe in the Son of God; and they are of the circumcision, who are cleansed by him from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. The Gentile Christian church hath succeeded to the privileges of the Israelitish. In her now God is known" by the Gospel; and "his Name is great" in her, by reason of all the mighty wonders which he hath wrought for her: she is the true " Salem," or city of peace; she is the true "Sion," the spiritual, holy, and beloved hill ; and in her is the "tabernacle" and "dwelling place" of God her Saviour, by the Spirit.
3. There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle.
When God appeared in the defence of his ancient people, the weapons of their enemies were at once blunted and broken, and all the formidable apparatus of war became, in a moment, utterly useless. Such was the event, when the holy Jesus entered the lists against our spiritual adversaries, "for" us; and such ever will be the event, when he engages them "in" us.