By Henry Law
An exhortation to praise is the herald of this Psalm. The blessedness of God's children is then set forth. May its bright colors reveal more of the happiness of those who by the faith of Jesus compose this family!
1. "Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments."
Let it be our hearts' constant effort to revel in thanksgivings. The matter can never be exhausted. It is the seed of a luxuriant crop. Let its measure be commensurate. Let us praise God that He is the Father of a blessed family. The main lineaments are the same in every child. Filial fear is the common feature. They love their Father, and they tremble lest they should offend. They love their Father, and therefore they delight greatly in obedience to His word.
2-3. "His seed shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house; and his righteousness endures forever."
The godly seed truly inherit the earth. It may be that gold and silver may not sparkle in their homes; but they are endowed with the treasures of peace and joy, compared with which earthly possessions are an empty show. The world may scorn them, but they are kings and priests unto God. Godliness is true greatness, which rust and moth destroy not, and spoilers cannot touch.
4-5. "Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man shows favor, and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion."
The heirs of heaven are not exempt from days of gloom. Shadows come over them, and bright rays fade. Such discipline is often needed. It restrains the erring steps. It draws to God's presence. It quickens faith and prayer. But transient are these seasons. Light soon breaks forth, and God's love brightly reappears. Every grace, also, is the inhabitant of the believer's heart. Especially he regards tenderly the need of others, and is ever ready, as his means enable, to extend aid. His heart, also, is the abode of the truest wisdom. They are the fools who neither seek nor serve the Lord. This wisdom is conspicuous in every transaction. He who serves God will not err in his daily matters.
6-8. "Surely he shall not be moved forever; the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he sees his desire upon his enemies."
He stands immovable as a rock. His confidence is firmly settled on his God. He trembles not lest messengers should announce calamities. He knows that all events are ordered by his heavenly Father, and therefore that all things must work together for his good. He fears not lest his foes should gain advantage, and extinguish his remembrance upon earth.
9-10. "He has dispersed, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn shall be exalted with honor. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away; the desire of the wicked shall perish."
While the righteous are thus blessed and exalted and glorified, there is a fearful counterpart. The ungodly see the issue. They writhe in anguish. Lord, give us our portion in the happy family of faith!