Psalm 89:7
God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
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(7) It is better to take this verse in apposition with the foregoing:

“God sublime in the council of the holy ones,

And terrible among those surrounding him.”

For a picture of the court of heaven see Job 1:6.

89:5-14 The more God's works are known, the more they are admired. And to praise the Lord, is to acknowledge him to be such a one that there is none like him. Surely then we should feel and express reverence when we worship God. But how little of this appears in our congregations, and how much cause have we to humble ourselves on this account! That almighty power which smote Egypt, will scatter the enemies of the church, while all who trust in God's mercy will rejoice in his name; for mercy and truth direct all he does. His counsels from eternity, and their consequences to eternity, are all justice and judgment.God is greatly to be feared - There is that in him which is suited to fill the mind with solemn feelings, and this is a proper state of mind with which to come before him. Nature teaches us that God should be approached with awe; and all the teachings of revelation confirm this. His power is to be feared; his justice is to be feared; his holiness is to be feared; and there is much also in his goodness, his benevolence, his mercy, to fill the mind with solemn emotions.

In the assembly of the saints - The assembly of the holy; the assembly that is convened for his worship. The reference here may be either to worshippers on earth or in heaven. Wherever, and whenever, in this world or in other worlds, creatures are engaged in the worship of God, there should be deep solemnity and reverence. On the word rendered "assembly" here - סוד sôd - a council, or assemblage for counsel, see Psalm 25:14, note; Psalm 64:2, note; compare Job 15:8. The idea here is founded on what is said in the previous verse, that none can be compared with God.

And to be had in reverence - In fear; in awe.

Of all them that are about him - That approach him; that are in his presence. The conscious presence of God should fill the mind with awe. When we feel that his eye is upon us, when we know that he sees us, how can we trifle and be thoughtless? How can we then be sinful?

6, 7. This is worthy of our belief, for His faithfulness (is praised) by the congregation of saints or holy ones; that is, angels (compare De 33:2; Da 8:13).

sons of the mighty—(compare Ps 29:1). So is He to be admired on earth.

God is greatly to be feared; with a fear of reverence; for dread and terror have no place in those blessed mansions and holy spirits.

In the assembly of the saints; to the whole society of angels, called saints, as Psalm 89:5.

Them that are about him; the angels, which are always in his presence, and encompass his throne.

God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints,.... Which Jarchi and Kimchi understand of angels again, and render it "God is to be feared in the great assembly of them"; for they are a very large number, even an innumerable company, in and by whom the Lord is feared and worshipped, Hebrews 12:21, but rather an assembly or congregation of holy men are designed: it is the duty of such to assemble together publicly for religious worship; they ought to do it on account of the Lord, who requires it, and encourages it by his presence, he has promised; on the account of themselves, it being for their profit and pleasure; and on the account of others, for their conversion and comfort; and in imitation of the people of God, in all ages; nor should they forsake the assembling of themselves: the word rendered "assembly", signifies "counsel" or "secret"; see Genesis 49:6 and so the Targum,

"God is mighty in the secrets of the saints, sitting on a throne of glory;''

in the assembly of the saints, the secrets of God's love are disclosed unto them; the doctrines and mysteries of his grace, called the whole counsel of God, Acts 20:27 are there made known; and the ordinances of the Gospel, which also are styled the counsel of God, Luke 7:30, are there administered: now, where all this is done,

God is greatly feared herein; not with a slavish fear, a fear of hell and damnation, such as may be in devils; nor with an hypocritical fear, such as is taught by the precepts of men; but with a filial, godly fear, such as is peculiar to the children of God; with an holy and humble fear, with a fiducial and fearless one; with a reverential affection for the Divine Being, and such as includes all worship of him, internal and external: and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him; which the Targum paraphrases

"and is to be feared above all the angels that stand round about him''

and so Kimchi interprets it; see Revelation 5:11, but the same thing, in different words, is meant, as in the preceding clause.

God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the {h} saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

(h) If the angels tremble before God's majesty and infinite justice, what earthly creature by oppressing the Church dares to set himself against God?

Verse 7. - God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints; rather, in the council of the holy ones (see the Revised Version). And to be had in reverence of all them that are about him; or, above all them, etc. Psalm 89:7At the close of the promises in Psalm 89:4-5 the music is to become forte. And ויודוּ attaches itself to this jubilant Sela. In Psalm 89:6-19 there follows a hymnic description of the exalted majesty of God, more especially of His omnipotence and faithfulness, because the value of the promise is measured by the character of the person who promises. The God of the promise is He who is praised by the heavens and the holy ones above. His way of acting is פלא, of a transcendent, paradoxical, wondrous order, and as such the heavens praise it; it is praised (יודו, according to Ges. 137, 3) in the assembly of the holy ones, i.e., of the spirits in the other world, the angels (as in Job 5:1; Job 15:15, cf. Deuteronomy 33:2), for He is peerlessly exalted above the heavens and the angels. שׁחק, poetic singular instead of שׁחקים (vid., supra on Psalm 77:18), which is in itself already poetical; and ערך, not, as e.g., in Isaiah 40:18, in the signification to co-ordinate, but in the medial sense: to rank with, be equal to. Concerning בּני אלים, vid., on Psalm 29:1. In the great council (concerning סוד, of both genders, perhaps like כּוס, vid., on Psalm 25:14) of the holy ones also, Jahve is terrible; He towers above all who are about Him (1 Kings 22:19, cf. Daniel 7:10) in terrible majesty. רבּה might, according to Psalm 62:3; Psalm 78:15, be an adverb, but according to the order of the words it may more appropriately be regarded as an adjective; cf. Job 31:34, כּי אערץ המון רבּה, "when I feared the great multitude." In Psalm 89:9 He is apostrophized with אלהי צבאות as being the One exalted above the heavens and the angels. The question "Who is as Thou?" takes its origin from Exodus 15:11. חסין is not the construct form, but the principal form, like גּביר, ידיד, עויל ,יד, and is a Syriasm; for the verbal stem Syr. hṣan is native to the Aramaic, in which Syr. haṣı̄nā' equals שׁדּי. In יהּ, what God is is reduced to the briefest possible expression (vid., Psalm 68:19). In the words, "Thy faithfulness compasseth Thee round about," the primary thought of the poet again breaks through. Such a God it is who has the faithfulness with which He fulfils all His promises, and the promises given to the house of David also, as His constant surrounding. His glory would only strike one with terror; but the faithfulness which encompasses Him softens the sunlike brilliancy of His glory, and awakens trust in so majestic a Ruler.
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