A Sabbath Meditation.
A psalm or song for the Sabbath-day, used by the Jewish Church on the seventh day of the week, as one of the hymns of liturgical worship. V. 1. It is a good thing, a fine and proper custom, of benefit also to the worshiper, to give thanks unto the Lord and to sing praises, in joyful proclamation, unto Thy name, O Most High, making known Jehovahís perfections, especially in those attributes which are concerned in the salvation of mankind; v. 2. to show forth Thy loving-kindness in the morning, beginning to praise His grace with the very dawn of the morning, as the light of the Redeemer which penetrates the night of sin and condemnation, and Thy faithfulness, whereby He keeps the promises concerning our salvation, every night, for it is in the afflictions and terrors of the night that the thought of Godís unswerving faithfulness upholds the spirit, v. 3. upon an instrument of ten strings, the ten-stringed harp, or lyre, and upon the psaltery, in joyful improvisations dictated by his happy mood; upon the harp, a smaller, zitherlike instrument, with a solemn sound, in an instructive composition. V. 4. For Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work, particularly by the acts of His creation and His providence; I will triumph in the works of Thy hands, exulting with a loud voice over the entire revelation of God, in both the works of creation and of redemption. V. 5. O Lord, how great are Thy works! and Thy thoughts are very deep, powerfully deep, beyond the understanding of man, unless enlightened by the Spirit of the Lord. V. 6. A brutish man, one whose understanding does not go beyond the intelligence of beasts, in knowing only the desires of this life, knoweth not, neither doth a fool understand this, he cannot really enter into the spirit of the universe, because he does not realize that, in all its manifestations, it is the work of the all-wise and almighty Creator. V. 7. When the wicked spring as the grass, apparently in the greatest good fortune, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish, enjoying the fullness of all that this world has to offer; it is that they shall be destroyed forever, their punishment will overtake them in the world to come, in an eternity of damnation, if not before; v. 8. but Thou, Lord, art most high forevermore, exalted above all creatures in everlasting bliss, no matter what powerful and desperate efforts they make to overthrow His sovereignty. V. 9. For, lo, Thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, Thine enemies shall perish, be destroyed utterly; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered, literally, ďbe out of joint,Ē become disorganized. V. 10. But my horn, emblem of powerful strength, and at the same time of stately grace, shalt Thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn, the reference probably being to the antelope, symbol of graceful strength; I shall be anointed with fresh oil, a picture representing the feeling of eventual complete victory which fills the heart of the believers. V. 11. Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, witnessing their complete overthrow, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me, hearing that all their hopes of success have been disappointed. V. 12. The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree, princess of the trees of the plains and valleys; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon, the proudest and mightiest of the trees of the mountains, emblem of evergreen strength. V. 13. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord, the believers having been transplanted from the desert of the world to the rich garden of the Lordís Church, shall flourish in the courts of our God, bringing forth the rich fruits of good works growing out of faith. V. 14. They, unlike ordinary plants, shall still bring forth fruit in old age, their spiritual vitality undiminished in spite of the many vicissitudes of life, because the remembrance of Godís works of righteousness and grace is bound to renew their strength from day to day; they shall be fat, full of strength and vigor, and flourishing, yielding spiritual blossoms and fruit; v. 15. to show that the Lord is upright, straightforward and dependable in all His dealings; He is my Rock, the believerís place of refuge, and there is no unrighteousness in Him, He is righteous in all His ways. Cp. Deut. 32, 4. Thus the Christians praise the mercy and faithfulness of the Lord throughout their lives, in preparation for the endless songs of thanksgiving in heaven, where they will enjoy the realization of their hopes.