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12. Songs of Praise

And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. 2Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 3Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 4And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. 5Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. 6Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

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A Song of Praise. (b. c. 740.)

4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.   5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.   6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

This is the second part of this evangelical song, and to the same purport with the former; there believers stir up themselves to praise God, here they invite and encourage one another to do it, and are contriving to spread his praise and draw in others to join with them in it. Observe,

I. Who are here called upon to praise God—the inhabitants of Zion and Jerusalem, whom God had in a particular manner protected from Sennacherib's violence, v. 6. Those that have received distinguishing favours from God ought to be most forward and zealous in praising him. The gospel church is Zion. Christ is Zion's King. Those that have a place and a name in the church should lay out themselves to diffuse the knowledge of Christ and to bring many to him. Thou inhabitress of Zion; the word is feminine. Let the weaker sex be strong in the Lord, and out of their mouth praise shall be perfected.

II. How they must praise the Lord. 1. By prayer: Call upon his name. As giving thanks for former mercy is a decent way of begging further mercy, so begging further mercy is graciously accepted as a thankful acknowledgment of the mercies we have received. In calling upon God's name we give unto him some of the glory that is due to his name as our powerful and bountiful benefactor. 2. By preaching and writing. We must not only speak to God, but speak to others concerning him, not only call upon his name, but (as the margin reads it) proclaim his name; let others know something more from us than they did before concerning God, and those things whereby he has made himself known. Declare his doings, his counsels (so some read it); the work of redemption is according to the counsel of his will, and in that and other wonderful works that he has done we must take notice of his thoughts which are to us-ward, Ps. xl. 5. Declare these among the people, among the heathen, that they may be brought into communion with Israel and the God of Israel. When the apostles preached the gospel to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, then this scripture was fulfilled, that his doings should be declared among the people and that what he has done should be known in all the earth. 3. By a holy exultation and transport of joy: "Cry out and shout; welcome the gospel to yourselves and publish it to others with huzzas and loud acclamations, as those that shout for victory (Exod. xxxii. 18) or for the coronation of a king," Num. xxiii. 21.

III. For what they must praise the Lord. 1. Because he has glorified himself. Remember it yourselves, and make mention of it to others, that his name is exalted, has become more illustrious and more conspicuous; in this every good man rejoices. 2. Because he has magnified his people: He has done excellent things for them, which make them look great and considerable. 3. Because he is, and will be, great among them: Great is the Holy One, for he is glorious in holiness; therefore great, because holy. True goodness is true greatness. He is great as the Holy One of Israel, and in the midst of them, praised by them (Ps. lxxvi. 1), manifesting himself among them, and appearing gloriously in their behalf. It is the honour and happiness of Israel that the God who is in covenant with them, and in the midst of them, is infinitely great.




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