By Henry Law
Praise is the one theme of this enrapturing Psalm. Various motives call to this homage. May they all excite response in our adoring hearts!
1. "Praise the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation."
Praise is the tribute which never can be fully paid. Beginning in time, it will swell throughout eternity. Not only should our lips rejoice in this grace; we should exhort others to the godly exercise. Precept should enforce the duty; example should mark out the path. This praise should issue from hearts overflowing with grateful love. Shame on all meager utterance and all cold expression! The whole heart, with every affection, should be rapturously engaged. We should thus testify our love, not only in seasons of retirement, but publicly in the assemblies of the sanctuary.
2-4. "The works of the Lord are great, sought out by all those who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious; and His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious, and full of compassion."
Calls to praise exceed all number. The works of His hands ever supply matter. They are a treasure-house of wonders. They are worthy of our constant study. The more we discover, the more we shall find fullness of delight. As our pleasure expands, the more praise should blaze as a flaming torch. His works, also, are all worthy of Himself. They reflect the glory of His righteousness. This feature is indelibly stamped on all. As time rolls on these works endure. The remembrance of them has immortal life. From generation to generation they declare His essence, and testify that grace and tenderness ever flow from His throne.
5-6. "He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant. He has shown His people the power of His works, that He may give them the heritage of the heathen."
Ample provision satisfies the needs of His people. Tender care watches over them. In all this marvelous arrangement, these gracious dealings proclaim Him as our faithful Father. The everlasting covenant in Christ secures unfailing blessings. This covenant never can be broken. Therefore the stream of blessings never can be stopped. Special wonders were exhibited to His chosen people of old. The heathen were driven out, that His people might occupy the promised inheritance.
7-8. "The works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness."
The works of the Lord are echoes to the glories of His word. They are the accomplishment of His sure promises. They are bright mirrors in which we may read His verity and judgment. No power of opposing foes can contravene His decrees. While we read His truth in all the wonders of His hand, let us abound more in grateful thanksgiving.
9-10. "He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever; holy and reverend is His name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever."
The bright crown of His works is the redemption of His people. This is the substance of His everlasting covenant. It is our wisdom to regard with awe the marvels of His dealings. Let us fear and love. Let us love and praise.