After he has laughed he shall _speak_; he needs not smite; the breath of his lips is enough. At the moment when their power is at its height, and their fury most violent, _then_ shall his Word go forth against them. And what is it that he says?–it is a very galling sentence–“_Yet_,” says he, “despite your malice, despite your tumultuous gatherings, despite the wisdom of your counsels, despite the craft of your lawgivers, ‘_yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion_.'” Is not that a grand exclamation! He has already done that which the enemy seeks to prevent. While they are proposing, he has disposed the matter. Jehovah’s will is done, and man’s will frets and raves in vain. God’s Anointed is appointed, and shall not be disappointed. Look back through all the ages of infidelity, hearken to the high and hard things which men have spoken against the Most High, listen to the rolling thunder of earth’s volleys against the Majesty of heaven, and then think that God is saying all the while, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” Yet Jesus reigns, yet he sees of the travail of his soul, and “his unsuffering kingdom yet shall come” when he shall take unto himself his great power, and reign from the river unto the ends of the earth. Even now he reigns in Zion, and our glad lips sound forth the praises of the Prince of Peace. Greater conflicts may here be foretold, but we may be confident that victory will be given to our Lord and King. Glorious triumphs are yet to come; hasten them, we pray thee, O Lord! It is Zion’s glory and joy that her King is in her, guarding her from foes, and filling her with good things. Jesus sits upon the throne of grace, and the throne of power in the midst of his church. In him is Zion’s best safeguard; let her citizens be glad in him. “Thy walls are strength, and at thy gates A guard of heavenly warriors waits; Nor shall thy deep foundations move, Fixed on his counsels and his love. Thy foes in vain designs engage; Against his throne in vain they rage, Like rising waves, with angry roar, That dash and die upon the shore.” EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS. Verse 5.–“_Vex them_;” either by horror of conscience,
or corporal plagues; one way or the other he will have his pennyworths of them, as he always has had of the persecutors of his people.–^John Trapp.
Verses 5,9.–It is easy for God to destroy his foes … Behold Pharaoh, his wise men, his hosts, and his horses plouting and plunging, and sinking like lead in the Red sea. Here is the end of one of the greatest plots ever formed against God’s chosen. Of thirty Roman emperors, governors of provinces, and others high in office, who distinguished themselves by their zeal and bitterness in persecuting the early Christians, one became speedily deranged after some atrocious cruelty, one was slain by his own son, one became blind, the eyes of one started out of his head, one was drowned, one was strangled, one died in a miserable captivity, one fell dead in a manner that will not bear recital, one died of so loathsome a disease that several of his physicians were put to death because they could not abide the stench that filled his room, two committed suicide, a third attempted it, but had to call for help to finish the work, five were assassinated by their own people or servants, five others died the most miserable and excruciating deaths, several of them having an untold complication of diseases, and eight were killed in battle, or after being taken prisoners. Among these was Julian the apostate. In the days of his prosperity he is said to have pointed his dagger to heaven defying the Son of God, whom he commonly called the Galilean. But when he was wounded in battle, he saw that all was over with him, and he gathered up his clotted blood, and threw it into the air, exclaiming, “Thou hast conquered, O thou Galilean.” Voltaire has told us of the agonies of Charles IX. of France, which drove the blood through the pores of the skin of that miserable monarch, after his cruelties and treachery to the Huguenots.–^William S. Plummer, D.D., LL.D., 1867.
Verse 6.–“_Yet have I set my King_.” Notice–1. The royal office and character of our glorious Redeemer: he is a King, “This name he hath on his vesture and on his thigh.” #Re 19:16|. 2. The authority by which he reigns; he is “_my King_,” says God the Father, and I have set him up from everlasting: “The Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” The world disowns his authority, but I own it; I have set him, I have “given him to be head over all things to the church.” 3. His particular kingdom over which he rules; it is over “_my holy hill of Zion_”– an eminent type of the gospel church. The temple was built upon Mount Zion and therefore called a _holy hill_. Christ’s throne is in his church, it is his head-quarters, and the place of his peculiar residence. Notice the firmness of the divine purpose with respect unto this matter. “_Yet have I set_” him “_King_;” i.e., whatever be the plots of hell and earth to the contrary, he reigns by his Father’s ordination.–^Stephen Charnock, 1628–1680.
Verse 6.–“_Yet have I set my KING_,” etc.–Jesus Christ is a threefold King. _First_, his enemies’ King; _secondly_, his saints’ King; _thirdly_, his Father’s King.
_First_. Christ is his enemies’ King, that is, he is King over his enemies. Christ is a King above all kings. What are all the mighty men, the great, the honourable men of the earth to Jesus Christ? They are but like a little bubble in the water; for if all the nations, in comparison to God, be but as the drop of the bucket, or the dust of the balance, as the prophet speaks in #Isa 40:15|, how little then must be the kings of the earth! Nay, beloved, Christ Jesus is not only higher than kings, but he is higher than the angels; yea, he is the head of angels; and, therefore, all the angels in heaven are commanded to worship him. #Col 2:12; Heb 1:6| … He is King over all kingdoms, over all nations, over all governments, over all powers, over all people #Da 7:14| … The very heathen are given to Christ, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. #Ps 2:8|.
_Secondly_. Jesus Christ is his saints’ King. He is King of the bad, and of the good; but as for the wicked, he rules over them by his power and might; but the saints, he rules in them by his Spirit and graces. Oh! this is Christ’s spiritual kingdom, and here he rules in the hearts of his people, here he rules over their consciences, over their wills, over their affections, over their judgments and understandings, and nobody hath anything to do here but Christ. Christ is not only the King of nations, but the King of saints; the one he rules over, the other he rules in.
_Thirdly_. Jesus Christ is his Father’s King too, and so his Father calls him: “_I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion_.” Well may he be our King, when he is God’s King. But you may say, how is Christ the Father’s King? Because he rules for his Father. There is a twofold kingdom of God committed to Jesus Christ; _first_, a spiritual kingdom, by which he rules in the hearts of his people, and so is King of saints; and, _secondly_, a providential kingdom, by which he rules the affairs of this world, and so he is King of nations.–^Condensed from William Dyer’s Christ’s Famous Titles, 1665.
Verse 6.–“_Zion_.” The _name_ “Zion” signifies a “distant view” (_speculam_.)] And the church is called “a distant view” (_specula_), not only because it views God and heavenly things by faith (that is, afar off), being wise unto the things that are above, not unto those that are on the earth: but also, because there are within her true viewers, or seers, and watchmen in the spirit, whose office it is to take charge of the people under them, and to watch against the snares of enemies and sins; and such are called in the Greek bishops (episk