Untitled Sermon (7)
1. My lord and brother Severus still defers the pleasure we shall feel in his discourse, which he oweth us; for he acknowledgeth, that he is held a debtor. For all the Churches through which he hath passed, by his tongue the lord hath gladdened: much more therefore ought that Church to be rejoiced, out of which the Lord hath propagated his preaching among the rest. But what shall we do, but obey his will? I said, however, brethren, that he deferred, not that he defrauded us. Therefore let us keep him as a debtor bound, and release him not until he hath paid. Attend therefore, beloved: as far as the Lord alloweth, let us say somewhat of this Psalm, which indeed you already know; for the fresh mention of truth is sweet. Possibly when its title was pronounced, some heard it with wonder. For the Psalm is inscribed: “When the house was being built after the Captivity.” This title having been prefixed, ye were perhaps expecting in the text of the Psalm to hear what stones were hewn from the mountains, what masses were drawn to the spot, what foundations were laid, what beams were placed on high, what columns raised. Its song is of nothing of this kind.… It is no such house that is in building; for behold where it is built, not in one spot, not in any particular region. For thus he beginneth:—
96:1–3 The psalmist repeats the Hebrew phrase shiru layhwh (“sing to Yahweh”) three times in vv. 1–2. The earth is the only identified audience of the series of commands. The psalmist then commands Yahweh’s people, the Israelites, to declare His miraculous actions to the foreign peoples (or nations) around them.
96:4–6 The psalmist asserts that people should declare God’s glory because He is the only deity worth praising. He made the heavens, and His greatness and beauty are obvious.
96:7–10 The psalmist issues a series of commands about what should be ascribed to Yahweh—what belongs to Him (vv. 7–8, compare vv. 1–3). In doing so, he asserts Yahweh’s superiority over all the earth and that all should worship Him. The psalmist seems to envision people from other nations coming to Jerusalem to worship Yahweh.
96:11–13 The psalmist describes personified creation as looking forward to Yahweh’s judgment, which will be right and fair. As Yahweh’s reign is fully established over everything in the way that it should be—with justice and equality (righteousness)—everything on heaven and earth that knows Yahweh will rejoice.