Page images
PDF
EPUB

O Jehovah God of Israel, thou art righteous : for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day : behold, we are before thee in our trespasses : for we cannot stand before thee because of this."

Ezra ix. 6-15. “ Thou art Jehovah the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous : And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;

“But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

“Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets : yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands. Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God. Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly.”

Nehemiah, ix. 7-9, 16, 17, 30-33.

M

162

CHAPTER XV.

NOTIONS CONCERNING GOD CONTAINED IN THE LATER

PSALMS.

The Psalms of David and his contemporaries contain many beautiful descriptions of God and of his attributes, but the ideas which are embodied in the later Psalms, written dur. ing or after the captivity, are still more just and elevated; and yet in these many expressions are found which clearly show that the author retained the cherished belief of his nation, that Jehovah is the God of his people Israel.

[ocr errors]

Representations of God.
The representations of God are poetical and sublime.

“ O Jehovah my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed
with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as
with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain :
Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who
maketh the clouds his chariot : who walketh upon the wings of
the wind.

The glory of Jehovah shall endure for ever: Jehovah shall rejoice in his works. He looketh on the earth and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.”—

Psalm civ. 1-3, 31, 32. The idols of silver and gold are no Gods—Jehovah is the God of Gods. He dwelleth on his throne in the heavens.

“ Jehovah hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.”—Psalm ciii. 19.

The heaven, even the heavens, are Jehovah's : but the earth hath he given to the children of men.”—Psalm cxv. 16.

“ Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God ? But our God is in the heavens : he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither

speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.”—

Psalm cxv. 2-8. “ For I know that Jehovah is great, and that our Jehovah is above all Gods.” Psalm cxxxv. 5.

“ O give thanks unto the God of Gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to Jehovah of Jehovah's : for his mercy endureth for ever."- Psalm cxxxvi. 2, 3. But Jehovah is the God of Jacob, the God of Zion.

“ Jehovah hath chosen Jacob unto himself and Israel for his peculiar treasure.”Psalm cxxxv. 4.

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Jehovah his God : Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is : which keepeth truth for ever."

Psalm cxlvi. 5, 6. “Jehovah shall reign for ever, even thy God O Zion unto all generations.”Psalm cxlvii. 20.

Attributes of God. God's wisdom and eternity, his omniscience and omnipresence, his mercy and loving-kindness are beautifully portrayed.

“ O Jehovah, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.”

Psalm civ. 24. “ Great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised ; and his greatness is unsearchable."--Psalm cxlv. 3.

“ Great is our Jehovah and of great power: his understanding is infinite.”Psalm cxlvii. 5.

“For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so Jehovah pitieth them that fear him.”—Psalm ciii. 11-13.

• Whither shall I go from thy spirit ? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea ; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day : the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

Psalm cxxxix. 7-12. “Men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the

memory of the great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. Jehovah is gracious, and full of compassion ; slow to anger, and of great mercy. Jehovah is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee 0 Jehovah ; and thy saints shall bless thee.”

Psalm cxlv. 6-10.

Government and Providence of God. God's tender Providence is extended over all his works, he openeth his hand, and filleth all things living with plenteousness. But it is to his chosen people that he is peculiarly gracious, rewarding such as keep his covenant and remember his commandments to do them, and punishing those who are wicked.

“ Jehovah upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. Jehovah is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Jehovah is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. Jehovah preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.”Psalm cxlv. 14-20.

“ But the mercy of Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children: to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember bis commandments to do them.”—Psalm ciii. 17, 18.

“ Jehovah hath been mindful of us : he will bless us : he will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless them that fear Jehovah both small and great. Jehovah shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ye are the blessed of Jehovah which made heaven and earth.'—Psalm cxv. 12-15.

“ He sheweth his words unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation : and as for his judgments they have not known them.”

Psalm cxlvii. 19, 20. Not only are angels introduced as the host of heaven and the messengers of Jehovah, but the natural and inanimate agents of God's providence, such as fire and lightning, snow and hail, are also called his messengers or angels. The diseases and plagues which befel the Egyptians are said to be evil angels sent from Jehovah.

“Bless Jehovah ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye Jehovah all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.”Psalm ciii. 20, 21.

“Who maketh his angels spirits ; his ministers a flaming fire.”Psalm civ. 4.

“ Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. “ Fire, and hail ; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word.”—Psalm cxlviji 2 and 8.

“ There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”.

Psalm xci, 10-12. “ He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them. He made a way to his anger: he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence: And smote all the firstborn in Egypt.”—Psalm lxxviii. 49-51.

« PreviousContinue »