Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
The expression seems to refer rather to the selection and constitution of Israel as the people of Jehovah than to the act of creation. By the restoration from Babylon, Israel had been appropriated anew in this special character; made or constituted a nation. It was in the restored and renewed national life that the people so greatly rejoiced.
I. GOD MAKES FAMILIES. It is well for us to see distinctly what is the Divine order for humanity. God made man in his image as a Father; gave him a helpmeet, through whom a family was to gather round him. That family was to be trained by Personal influence for an independent family life, into which its members would pass; and so families would reproduce families, and by means of families the whole earth would be peopled, and the moral perfection of the entire family of God attained. This, God's ideal, man's self will and passion have spoiled.
II. MAN-MADE NATIONS. Cowper says, "God made the country, and man made the town." It is answering fact to say, "God made the family, and man made the nation." It is full of significance that the aggregation of men for mutual protection, out of which nations and civil governments have been evolved, was a device of the sons of Cain; i.e. of those who, in some sense, had been "driven out from the presence of the Lord." It is easy to see that, had God's family idea been preserved, no schemes for mutual protection would have been necessary, no walled cities, no government, no army, no police; for brothers in a family would never think of injuring brothers, and the family feeling would also save the relations of families.
III. GOD OVERRULES THE MAKING OF NATIONS. He, in a way, accepts as facts, and use's for his purposes, the conditions in which man has set himself. He lets man have what has been called a "free experiment;" and as it pleases man to create nations, God is pleased to deal with nations as such, using them for his purposes, even as he uses individuals. And nations really are aggregations of men in which personal individualities are sunk in order to construct a composite individuality. God deals with that individuality, and uses it. We call it the "national genius." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.