A Psalm of Asaph.
This psalm may be considered as a rebuke to the carnal Jews who rested in, and boasted of their external ceremonies in worship, to the neglect of the weightier matters of the law mercy, judgment, and faith; or as a prediction of the coming of Christ, to abolish the ceremonial worship, eject the Jews from his church, and establish a more pure and spiritual form of worship under the gospel: or, in fine, as a representation of the last judgment; in which Christ shall come, to render to every man according to his deeds. Observe, (1.) The awful appearance of God our Redeemer, in the flesh, in power, or in the clouds; with the gathering of the people to him, ver. 1-6. (2.) An engaging admonition to improve God’s new-covenant grant of himself to be our God, as an excitement to exchange legal ceremonies into prayer, thanksgiving and holy obedience; or, at least, to give a remarkable preference to the latter, ver. 7-15. (3.) A terrible charge of hypocrisy, slander, contempt of God’s word, and of atheistical imaginations concerning God, laid against the wicked, with a fearful sentence of condemnation founded thereon, ver. 16-22. (4.) An alarming warning of danger to the forgetters of God, and an encouraging promise to such as study to glorify him by a holy conversation, ver. 22-23.
Sing this, my soul, with solemn awe, assisted before the great Searcher of hearts, and as by faith beholding Jesus in my nature, sitting on his great white throne, gathering the nations to his bar, opening the books, and judging mankind out of the things found written therein.