And, Thou, Lord - This is an address to the Son as the Creator, see Hebrews 1:2; for this is implied in laying the foundation of the earth. The heavens, which are the work of his hands, point out his infinite wisdom and skill.
And - That is, “To add another instance;” or, “to the Son he saith in another place, or in the following language.” This is connected with Hebrews 1:8. “Unto the Son he saith Hebrews 1:8, Thy throne,” etc. - and Hebrews 1:10 he “also” saith, “Thou Lord,” etc. That this is the meaning is apparent, because:
(1) the “object” of the whole quotation is to show the exalted character of the Son of God, and,
(2) an address here to Yahweh would be wholly irrelevant. Why, in an argument designed to prove that the Son of God was superior to the angels, should the writer break out in an address to Yahweh in view of the fact that he had laid the foundations of the world, and that he himself would continue to live when the heavens should be rolled up and pass away? Such is not the manner of Paul or of any other good writer, and it is clear that the writer here designed to adduce this as applicable to the Messiah. Whatever difficulties there may be about the principles on which it is done, and the reason why This passage was selected for the purpose, there can be no doubt about the design of the writer. He meant to be understood as applying it to the Messiah beyond all question, or the quotation is wholly irrelevant, and it is inconceivable why it should have been made. “Thou Lord.” This is taken from Psalm 102:25-27. The quotation is made from the Septuagint with only a slight variation, and is an accurate translation of the Hebrew. In the Psalm, there can be no doubt that Yahweh is intended. This is apparent on the face of the Psalm, and particularly because the “name” Yahweh is introduced in Hebrews 1:10, and because He is addressed as the Creator of all things, and as immutable. No one, on reading the Psalm, ever would doubt that it referred to God, and if the apostle meant to apply it to the Lord Jesus it proves most conclusively that he is divine. In regard to the difficult inquiry why he applied this to the Messiah, or on what principle such an application can be vindicated, we may perhaps throw some light by the following remarks. It must be admitted that probably few persons, if any, on reading the “Psalm,” would suppose that it referred to the Messiah; but:
(1) the fact that the apostle thus employs it, proves that it was understood in his time to have such a reference, or at least that those to whom he wrote would admit that it had such a reference. On no other principle would he have used it in an argument. This is at least of some consequence in showing what the prevailing interpretation was.
(2) it cannot be demonstrated that it had no such reference, for such was the habit of the sacred writers in making the future Messiah the theme of their poetry, that no one can prove that the writer of this Psalm did not design that the Messiah should be the sub ject of his praise here.
(3) there is nothing in the Psalm which may not be applied to the Messiah; but there is much in it that is especially applicable to him. Suppose, for example, that the Psalmist Psalm 102:1-11, in his complaints, represents the people of God before the Redeemer appeared - as lowly, sad, dejected, and afflicted - speaking of himself as one of them, and as a fair representative of that people, the remainder of the Psalm will well agree with the promised redemption. Thus, having described the sadness and sorrow of the people of God, he speaks of the act that God would arise and have mercy upon Zion Psalm 102:13-14, that the pagan would fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth would see his glory Psalm 102:15, and that when the Lord should build up Zion, he would appear in his glory; Psalm 102:16. To whom else could this be so well applied as to the Messiah? To what time so well as to his time? Thus, too in Psalm 102:20, it is said that the Lord would look down from heaven “to hear the groaning of the prisoner, and to loose them that are appointed to death” - language remarkably resembling that used by Isaiah, Isaiah 61:1, which the Saviour applies to himself, in Luke 4:17-21. The passage then quoted by the apostle Psalm 102:25-27 is designed to denote the “immutability” of the Messiah, and the fact that in him all the interests of the church were safe. He would not change. He had formed all things, and he would remain the same. His kingdom would be permanent amidst all the changes occurring on earth, and his people had no cause of apprehension or alarm; Psalm 102:28.
(4) Paul applies this language to the Messiah in accordance with the doctrine which he had stated Hebrews 1:2, that it was by him that God “made the worlds.” Having stated that, he seems to have felt that it was not improper to apply to him the passages occurring in the Old Testament that speak of the work of creation. The argument is this, “He was in fact the creator of all things.” But to the Creator there is applied language in the Scriptures which shows that he was far exalted above the angels. He would remain the same, while the heavens and the earth should fade away. His years are enduring and eternal. “Such” a being must be superior to the angels; such a being must be divine. The words “Thou Lord” - σὺ Κύριε su Kurie- are not in the Hebrew of the Psalm, though they are in the Septuagint. In the Hebrew, in the Psalm (Psalm 102:24,), it is an address to God - “I said, O my God” - אלי 'Eeliy- but there can be no doubt that the Psalmist meant to address Yahweh, and that the word “God” is used in its proper sense, denoting divinity; see Hebrews 1:1, Hebrews 1:12, of the Psalm. “In the beginning;” see Genesis 1:1.
When the world was made; compare notes on John 1:1, where the same phrase is applied to the Messiah - “In the beginning was the word, where the same phrase is applied to the Messiah - “In the beginning was the word.” “Hast laid the foundation of the earth.” Hast made the earth. This language is such as is common in the Scriptures, where the earth is represented as laid on a foundation, or as supported. It is figurative language, derived from the act of rearing an edifice. The meaning here is, that the Son of God was the original creator or founder of the universe. He did not merely arrange it out of pre-existing materials, but he was properly its creator or founder. “And the heavens are the works of thine hands.” This must demonstrate the Lord Jesus to be divine. He that made the vast heavens must be God. No creature could perform a work like that; nor can we conceive that power to create the vast array of distant worlds could possibly be delegated. If that power could be delegated, there is not an attribute of Deity which may not be, and thus all our notions of what constitutes divinity would be utterly confounded. The word “heavens” here, must mean all parts of the universe except the earth; see Genesis 1:1. The word “hands” is used, because it is by the hands that we usually perform any work.
God speaks to us in nature. It is His voice we hear as we gaze upon the beauty and richness of the natural world. We view His glory in the beauteous things His hand has made. We stand and behold His works without a veil between. God has given us these things that in beholding the works of His hands, we may learn of Him. TDG 241.2Read in context »
He who taught Adam and Eve in Eden how to tend the garden, desires to instruct men today. There is wisdom for him who drives the plow and sows the seed. Before those who trust and obey Him, God will open ways of advance. Let them move forward courageously, trusting in Him to supply their needs according to the riches of His goodness. MH 200.1
He who fed the multitude with five loaves and two small fishes is able today to give us the fruit of our labor. He who said to the fishers of Galilee, “Let down your nets for a draft,” and who, as they obeyed, filled their nets till they broke, desires His people to see in this an evidence of what He will do for them today. The God who in the wilderness gave the children of Israel manna from heaven still lives and reigns. He will guide His people and give skill and understanding in the work they are called to do. He will give wisdom to those who strive to do their duty conscientiously and intelligently. He who owns the world is rich in resources, and will bless everyone who is seeking to bless others. MH 200.2
We need to look heavenward in faith. We are not to be discouraged because of apparent failure, nor should we be disheartened by delay. We should work cheerfully, hopefully, gratefully, believing that the earth holds in her bosom rich treasures for the faithful worker to garner, stores richer than gold or silver. The mountains and hills are changing; the earth is waxing old like a garment; but the blessing of God, which spreads for His people a table in the wilderness, will never cease. MH 200.3Read in context »
It reveals cowardice to move so slowly and uncertainly in the labor line—that line which will give the very best kind of education. Look at nature. There is room within her vast boundaries for schools to be established where grounds can be cleared and land cultivated. This work is essential to the education most favorable to spiritual advancement; for nature's voice is the voice of Christ, teaching us innumerable lessons of love and power and submission and perseverance. Some do not appreciate the value of agricultural work. These should not plan for our schools, for they will hold everything from advancing in right lines. In the past their influence has been a hindrance. 6T 178.1
If the land is cultivated, it will, with the blessing of God, supply our necessities. We are not to be discouraged about temporal things because of apparent failures, nor should we be disheartened by delay. We should work the soil cheerfully, hopefully, gratefully, believing that the earth holds in her bosom rich stores for the faithful worker to garner, stores richer than gold or silver. The niggardliness laid to her charge is false witness. With proper, intelligent cultivation the earth will yield its treasures for the benefit of man. The mountains and hills are changing; the earth is waxing old like a garment; but the blessing of God, which spreads a table for His people in the wilderness, will never cease. 6T 178.2
Serious times are before us, and there is great need for families to get out of the cities into the country, that the truth may be carried into the byways as well as the highways of the earth. Much depends upon laying our plans according to the word of the Lord and with persevering energy carrying them out. More depends upon consecrated activity and perseverance than upon genius and book learning. All the talents and ability given to human agents, if unused, are of little value. 6T 178.3Read in context »