By Henry Law
God's never-failing care demands unfailing praise. Sheltered beneath the refuge of His wings, may we sing gratefully!
1, 2. "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad."
We hear the voice of Jesus. On earth He dwelt in prayer and praise. Shall the Head thus speak, and shall not each member lengthen out the strain? No moment comes which bears not blessings on its wings. Let each moment carry back thanksgivings. We should be ceaseless in telling out our mercies, that the lowly sons of God may be witnesses of our joys.
3, 4, 5, 6. "O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were lightened; and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles."
This precious record of experience is common to the whole family of faith. They have the common portion of fear and trouble; but in all distress their course is the same. They seek the Lord. They turn their eyes to Him. To Him they raise the suppliant cry. They all are gladdened by the like result. They are all heard--relieved, delivered, saved. They never hang their heads depressed in shame. Oh! happy people! happy lot! One, also, is their grateful task. They call on all around to swell their praise.
7. "The angel of the Lord encamps round about those who fear Him, and delivers them."
If eyes were opened to behold surrounding scenes, what companies of heavenly guards would brightly shine around! Their ministering aid averts innumerable evils. They were sent in support to our glorious Head. Unseen, as truly their camp defends us.
8, 9, 10. "O taste and see that the Lord is good! blessed is the man who trusts in Him. O fear the Lord, you His saints; for there is no lack to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing."
Heavenly counsels call us to know by glad experience the goodness of the Lord. The cup is brought to our very lips. We are invited to exhaust these waters of delight. The strongest in their strength may suffer famine; but all abundance of real food is the rich table of the humble saint.
11. "Come, you children, listen to Me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord."
The heart of Jesus calls us children. He bids us to sit as children at His feet. Blessed are the lessons of His lips! The foremost is the fear of God. Oh, may we truly learn that fear!
12, 13, 14. "What man is he who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it."
The love of earthly life is natural to man; but life eternal is to see the goodness and the glory of the Lord. This is the result of grace. Where grace is freely given, the evidence is surely seen. It is no barren tree. The lips are guarded. The tongue is free from deceit. The ways of the Lord are diligently sought. The peaceable fruits of righteousness abound.
15, 16, 17, 18. "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who are of a broken heart; and saves such as are of a contrite spirit."
Delight in prayer is evidence of grace. The righteous cannot be silent. The watchful Lord hears every movement of their humble spirits. He quickly comes to bind up the mourning heart, and to deliver from the grasp of sorrow.
How sad is the reverse of this sweet picture! There is a multitude who throng the paths of evil. The Lord's averted look to them is misery and death.
19, 20. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all His bones; not one of them is broken."
Jesus at once appears. We learn from this particular, to seek Him throughout these hymns. He never is far distant from the eye of faith. When He was lifted up on the cross, the soldiers drew near to break His legs; but He was marvelously dead, and so they touched Him not. He drank to the dregs the cup of sorrow; but sorrow issued in eternal joy.
Believers tread, also, the path of countless sorrows, but they lead to everlasting rest. No vital injury ensues. The Lord restrains the malice of the foe. There may be many wounds, but they are not to death.
21 ,22. "Evil shall slay the wicked; and those who hate the righteous shall be desolate. The Lord redeems the soul of His servants; and none of those who trust in Him shall be desolate."
The wicked embrace evil. It is a viper which will suck their blood. They greedily drink the cup, but it is deadly poison. Oh! seek the Lord. He gives His Son to be complete redemption. He gives the joy of His presence now. There is now no lonely day, and soon there will be union to the vast company of the countless saved. May we be there!