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The author of this Psalm and the occasion on which it was written are unknown.
“The sum and substance of this Psalm,” says Perowne, “is contained in the eighth verse of the preceding Psalm. It celebrates the majesty of Jehovah as Ruler of the universe. He is Creator of the world. He has been its King from everlasting: it rests upon Him and is stayed by His might. All the powers of nature obey Him, however lawless they may seem, as all the swelling and rage of men, of which those are but a figure, must obey Him. But His majesty and His glory are seen, not only in controlling the powers of nature and whatsoever exalteth and opposeth itself against Him, but in the faithfulness of His word, and in the holiness of His house.”
As to the date of the composition it appears from Psalms 93:5 that it was composed after the building of the Temple, and probably before its destruction by the Chaldeans.
JEHOVAH THE KING
The opening words of the Psalm, as Hengstenberg has pointed out, do not refer to the constant government of God, but to a new and glorious manifestation of His dominion. “The Lord reigneth” is a similar form of expression to that which the Jews used to announce the ascent to the throne of a new sovereign (2 Samuel 15:10; 2 Kings 9:13). It refers to the coming of the Lord in His kingdom; and might have been used with great propriety at the destruction of Babylon and the emancipation of Israel. But when His glory and sovereignty shall be fully displayed and acknowledged, the expression shall be used with an emphasis and fulness of meaning unknown before. (See Revelation 11:15; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 19:6.) The Poet seta before us—
I. The majesty of the King. “The Lord reigneth, He is clothed with majesty.” The glory with which Jehovah clothes Himself forms the opposition to the pomp and pride of earthly kings, and is an antidote against the fear of them. The glory of earthly sovereigns is as nothing in comparison with His. His is the majesty of meekness, the glory of grace, the beauty of holiness. He reigns in righteousness and love to bless and save men. Yet He is terrible to His foes. Let not His loyal subjects fear the pomp and glory of their enemies; for He has but to manifest His majesty, and theirs shall vanish.
II. The might of the King. “The Lord is clothed with strength,” &c. Perowne: “ ‘Jehovah hath clothed, He hath girded Himself with strength.’ In the second member of the verse, the verb is rythmically repeated, and the noun ‘strength’ really belongs to both verbs.” The strength of the king is manifested—
1. In the stability of the world. “The world also is established that it cannot be moved.” The stability of the world is regarded as the effect of the Divine rule and power. The same power which created the world sustains it in its regularity and stability. The “sure and firm set earth” is an emblem of the moral government of God in its firmness and security. So in the time of peril and opposition the people of God need not fear, for no violence can shake His throne. “That there is any stability, either in the world or in the Church, is the Lord’s doings, and He is to be adored for it.”
2. In the subjugation of His enemies. “The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice,” &c. (Psalms 93:3-4). We have here
(1) The tumultuous opposers of His reign. “The floods” are introduced as the symbol of the tumultuous nations and peoples which lift themselves up against the government of God. Like angry waves of the sea men have raged against the anointed King. As the breakers roar in thunder and dash in fury against the shore, so devils and men have hurled defiance at the throne of God. The heathen still rage against the Lord and against His Anointed and against His Church.
(2) The calm Sovereign. “The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.” The construction of the fourth verse is not very clear. Perowne has a valuable critical note on it. The translation which he adopts is: “More than the voices of many waters, the glorious breakers of the sea, Jehovah on high is glorious.” Hengstenberg: “Than the voice of many waters, than the glorious waves of the sea, more glorious in the height is the Lord.” However we construe the verse the main idea is the same. As the furious waves dash against the rocky shore and fall back spent, while the shore remains calm and unmoved, so Jehovah is unmoved by all the fierce opposition of all the rebels against His government. He is greater, stronger, more glorious than all the powers arrayed against Him and His Church. The Lord is calm in His assured right to reign. He has no misgivings as to the authority by which He governs. Earthly sovereigns may doubt the validity of their authority, but Jehovah never can do so. The Lord is calm in His assured power to reign. With infinite ease He can control and, if He see fit, entirely quell every storm in His universe. Let not the Church, then, fear the might of the world. High over it all, ruling it as He pleases, is the Lord omnipotent and all-glorious.
III. The eternity of the King and of His kingdom. “Thy throne is established of old; Thou art from everlasting.” Margin: “Thy throne is established from then.” Hengstenberg: “The throne of wickedness has no ‘then’; it is of yesterday, like a mushroom sprung out of the earth.” God’s throne is eternal. In earthly kingdoms and empires the throne is frequently shaken to its base. By the death of kings, or of their wise advisers, or because of the attacks of foes, earthly governments and dynasties are sometimes overthrown. But the throne of God is from everlasting to everlasting. The King also is eternal. “Thou art from everlasting.” This eternity includes omnipotence. He who is “from everlasting” is also “to everlasting.” When human crowns and thrones have crumbled into dust He shall reign in glory. (See remark on Psalms 90:2.)
IV. The truth of His testimonies. “Thy testimonies are very sure.” Perowne: “The transition is abrupt, from the majesty of God as seen in His dominion in the world of nature, to His revelation of Himself in His Word. At the same time there is a connection between the two, as in Psalms 19:0. God who rules the world, He whose are the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever, has given His testimonies to His people, a sure and faithful word.” His testimonies in this place are especially His promises of salvation and victory to His people. The promises of so majestic and mighty a Sovereign cannot fail. “The testimony of the Lord is sure.” The truth of His testimonies is.
1. A rebuke to the unbelief of His subjects.
2. An encouragement to their faith.
3. A warning to rebels against His government.
V. The purity of His court. “Holiness becometh Thine house, O Lord, for ever.” The King has Himself come to dwell among His people, making them and His house holy. The Church of God should be cleansed from all sin and fully consecrated to Him. In His heavenly court the purity is perfect and perpetual; and ultimately the earthly court will be absorbed into the heavenly, which will abide for ever.
1. Let the people of God trust and rejoice in their King. He reigns securely, gloriously, eternally, for their salvation.
2. Let His enemies submit themselves to Him. “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,” &c.
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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Psalms 93". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent