on Psalms 50 :1
The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken - Here the essential names of God are used: אל אלהים יהוה El, Elohim, Yehovah, hath spoken. The six first verses of this Psalm seem to contain a description of the great judgment: to any minor consideration or fact it seems impossible, with any propriety, to restrain them. In this light I shall consider this part of the Psalm, and show: -
First, The preparatives to the coming of the great Judge. El Elohim Jehovah hath spoken, and called the earth - all the children of men from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, (מכלל יפי michlal yophi, the beauty where all perfection is comprised), God hath shined, Psalm 50:1, Psalm 50:2.
1. He has sent his Spirit to convince men of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
2. He has sent his Word; has made a revelation of himself; and has declared both his law and his Gospel to mankind: "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined," Psalm 50:2. For out of Zion the law was to go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Isaiah 2:3.
Secondly, The accompaniments.
1. His approach is proclaimed, Psalm 50:3 : "Our God shall come."
2. The trumpet proclaims his approach: "He shall not keep silence."
3. Universal nature shall be shaken, and the earth and its works be burnt up: "A fire shall devour before him and it shall be very tempestuous round about him," Psalm 50:3.
Thirdly, The witnesses are summoned and collected, and collected from all quarters; some from heaven, and some from earth.
1. Guardian angels.
2. Human associates: "He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people," Psalm 50:4.
Fourthly, The procedure. As far as it respects the righteous, orders are issued: "Gather my saints," those who are saved from their sins and made holy, "together unto me." And that the word saints might not be misunderstood it is explained by "those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice;" those who have entered into union with God, through the sacrificial offering of the Lord Jesus Christ. All the rest are passed over in silence. We are told who they are that shall enter into the joy of their Lord, viz., only the saints, those who have made a covenant with God by sacrifice. All, therefore, who do not answer this description are excluded from glory.
Fifthly, The final issue: all the angelic hosts and all the redeemed of the Lord, join in applauding acclamation at the decision of the Supreme Judge. The heavens (for the earth is no more, it is burnt up) shall declare his righteousness, the exact justice of the whole procedure, where justice alone has been done without partiality, and without severity, nor could it be otherwise, for God is Judge himself. Thus the assembly is dissolved; the righteous are received into everlasting glory, and the wicked turned into hell, with all those who forget God. Some think that the sentence against the wicked is that which is contained, Psalm 50:16-22. See the analysis at the end, and particularly on the six first verses, in which a somewhat different view of the subject is taken.
on Psalms 50 :1
The mighty God, even the Lord - Even "Yahweh," for this is the original word. The Septuagint and Vulgate render this "The God of gods, the Lord." DeWette renders it, "God, God Jehovah, speaks." Prof. Alexander, "The Almighty, God, Jehovah, speaks;" and remarks that the word "mighty" is not an adjective agreeing with the next word ("the mighty God"), but a substantive in apposition with it. The idea is, that he who speaks is the true God; the Supreme Ruler of the universe. It is "that" God who has a right to call the world to judgment, and who has power to execute his will.
Hath spoken - Or rather, "speaks." That is, the psalmist represents him as now speaking, and as calling the world to judgment.
And called the earth - Addressed all the inhabitants of the world; all dwellers on the earth.
From the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof - From the place where the sun seems to rise, to the place where it seems to set; that is, all the world. Compare the notes at Isaiah 59:19. See also Malachi 1:11; Psalm 113:3. The call is made to all the earth; to all the human race. The scene is imaginary as represented by the psalmist, but it is founded on a true representation of what will occur - of the universal judgment, when all nations shall be summoned to appear before the final Judge. See Matthew 25:32; Revelation 20:11-14.
on Psalms 50 :1
50:1 Called - All the inhabitants of the earth, from one end to the other: whom he here summons to be witnesses of his proceedings in this solemn judgment, between him and his people, which is here poetically represented. For here is a tribunal erected, the judge coming to it, the witnesses and delinquents summoned, and at last the sentence given.