For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.
It is most difficult for us to realize that idea of Jehovah as the direct Ruler and Governor of a nation, which was the one characteristic thought of the Jews, and the great underlying idea of the Mosaic revelation. But this verse gives us most material help by setting out a threefold relation of God to men in the theocracy.
I. GOD IS THE LAW-MAKER. "The Lord is our Lawgiver." This is true in two senses.
1. God gave the formal laws from Mount Sinai, which were written down by Moses, and made the basis of the national covenant. Compare and illustrate by the work of Lycurgus and Justinian. God's laws, as arranged for the Hebrews, were only the adaptations to their national life of the conditions and rules under which God set humanity from the first. This should be made quite clear, lest a notion should prevail that God's Law to the Jew was his first revelation to men. It was the writing out of essential law for the practical use of one people.
2. God gives revelations of his will, which are law for all who receive them. There is no finality in the revelation of God's law, for the very reason that God maintains living relations with us, and those relations involve that the expression of his will is law to us at any given time. Illustrate by the prompt and entire obedience of the prophets to God's will, howsoever it may be revealed to them. Such revelations are made to us, and for us God's will is law.
II. GOD IS THE LAW-APPLIER. "The Lord is our Judge." This is precisely the work of the judge - to show how the principle and the comprehensive terms of the law bear on each particular case. Moses, Joshua, David, Samuel, and Hezekiah, referred each case of difficulty directly to the Divine Judge. But in just this Israel so often failed; and this we still find to be our supreme difficulty. We can accept the fact that law is from God, but we want to preside ourselves over all applications of law. What we need is the confirmed habit of referring all things to God our Judge.
III. GOD IS THE LAW-EXECUTOR. "The Lord is our King." The proper idea of a king is one entrusted with power to carry out the requirements of the national law. The king is the executive. God carries out his own laws. Scripture is full of striking instances which are designed to impress the general truth. Take such cases as Achan, Korah, Uzza, Ananias, and Sapphira. This phase of God's relation is not so difficult to apprehend as the previous one; and yet in these days we are in some danger of losing our sense of the directness of Divine judgments. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.