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Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 57

Parker's The People's BibleParker's The People's Bible

Verse 10

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds." Psa 57:10

The Psalmist sings of mercy and truth. Rightly analysed, there are no other elements in the great songs of the Church. We here come upon a noble strain. It is right that in the growth and expansion of our religious life we should frequently accustom ourselves to the contemplation of that which is grand and majestic. It is of course right that we should always think of God as merciful, tender, gentle, condescending, and the like; but along with this series of thoughts we should encourage lofty and humbling contemplations of the majesty and awful-ness of the divine name and character. Whilst we exalt the Cross (God forbid that we should ever cease to do so!) we should also fix our attention upon the throne, the crown, the sceptre, the symbols of ineffable and incomprehensible majesty. The Psalmist appears to follow this inspiration in the text; when he speaks of God's mercy, it fills all heaven with its brightness; and when he turns to God's truth, he finds it reaching up unto the clouds and filling the firmament with its glory. A decay of reverence is also a decay of tenderness. It is possible to look upon majesty until tears overflow the eyes. One might suppose that the contemplation of majesty would simply lead to intellectual delight and growing intellectual strength. It is true that such a contemplation may be so used, but when it is properly associated we shall find that a right contemplation of God's majesty bows us down in tenderness, affecting not only the mind but the heart, and leading us to cry out, "Now mine eye seeth thee, I abhor myself in dust and ashes." We should often allow the soul to express itself in the most rapturous terms. Religion is nothing if it be expressible wholly in words. Occasionally we leave the region of words and pass into the higher region of feeling, ecstasy, unutterable delight and thanksgiving. Here it is that religion assists the expression of the highest life. We leave the words altogether and feel that in sounds of melody alone can we begin to express the higher and tenderer emotions of the soul. Beautiful is it to hear the Psalmist praising the kindness of God, and equally beautiful and grand is it to hear him exclaim, "Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth."

Bibliographical Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 57". Parker's The People's Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jpb/psalms-57.html. 1885-95.
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