The Church Praises the Nearness of Godís Judgment.
To the chief musician, for use in the liturgical part of public worship, Al-taschith, according to the melody ďDestroy Not,Ē a psalm or song of Asaph, this hymn sounding like a continuation of the preceding psalm, the believers anticipating relief in view of Godís righteous government. V. 1. Unto Thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto Thee do we give thanks, the repetition serving to emphasize the willingness of the congregation to acknowledge the blessings of Jehovah; for that Thy name is near Thy wondrous works declare, Godís name, the revelation of His essence and attributes in His Word, is in the midst of His congregation; His wondrous works, the miracle of His grace, are recounted by believers everywhere. V. 2. When I shall receive the congregation, rather, the occasion, the time appointed in Godís counsel for the execution of His judgment, I will judge uprightly. It is Jehovah Himself who here speaks. When the time selected by Him comes, then God will take hold of it with all energy, His judgment following the highest norm of righteousness. V. 3. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved, when all men are discouraged and at the point of dissolution on account of oppression and violence of the wicked; I bear up the pillars of it, placing them upright once more, bringing back order into the confusion obtaining in the world. Selah. The Lord now sets forth the manner of His acting in doing away with chaotic conditions in the world. V. 4. I said unto the fools, to the vain boasters, Deal not foolishly, in boasting so proudly; and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn, this being an emblem of unjustified pride; v. 5. lift not up your horn on high, in displaying the instruments of violence, in brandishing them for the attack upon the righteous; speak not with a stiff neck, with insolence and presumption. V. 6. For promotion cometh neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south, from the mountainous desert, no earthly power can bring either oppression or redemption without Godís will or permission. V. 7. But God is the Judge, stated with emphasis; He putteth down one, humiliating and treading under foot the wicked, and setteth up another, exalting the righteous. V. 8. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, that of Godís wrath, cp. Is. 51, 17, and the wine is red, foaming and frothing with its strength; it is full of mixture, God Himself having prepared the fermenting liquid; and He poureth out of the same, serving it with His own hand while it is foaming; but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out and drink them, the guilty being constrained to drink the entire cup of Godís wrath without intermission, the mention of the dregs signifying the thoroughness with which God would carry out His punishment. This statement having been made, the psalmist again takes up the strain of his praise. V. 9. But I will declare forever, proclaiming the name of Jehovah; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob, the one true God. V. 10. All the horns of the wicked, their pride with their instruments of violence, also will I cut off, in the power of God, which is made perfect in his weakness; but the horns of the righteous, as instruments of righteous warfare, emblems of the right trust in God, shall be exalted. All the powers of the enemies are bound to be overthrown, while the Church of Christ will triumph at the last.