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Bible Commentaries

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

Psalms 104

 

 

Verse 33-34

DISCOURSE: 675

THE DUTY OF PRAISING GOD

Psalms 104:33-34. I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.

IT is well that we have in the Holy Scriptures a record of the experience of former saints: for, on the one hand, we should be inclined to rest in low attainments, if we did not know to what heights others had attained; and, on the other hand, we should be condemned for aiming at such exalted frames as were possessed by them, if we had not the sanction of their high authority. However, whether the world be pleased or displeased, this, God helping me, shall be my resolution; and I recommend it to every one of you as your own; “I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being!”

From the words before us, we may learn,

I. What was the frame of David’s mind—

1. It was a frame most becoming—

[Such was the frame of man when he came out of his Creator’s hands: and such to this hour would it have continued, if he had not sinned. “Praise is comely for the upright [Note: Psalms 147:1.];” and “it becometh well the just to be thankful.” Such a state, as far as their nature will admit of it, befits every creature that God has formed. All the hosts of heaven, and all the inhabitants of the earth, every creature in the universe, rational and irrational, animate and inanimate, are distinctly called upon by the Psalmist, to present unto God, according to their capacity, their tribute of praise [Note: Psalms 148:1-13. Cite it at full length.] — — — And, if such a state becomes them as creatures, that are merely formed by God’s hand, and supported by his care, what should be our state, as redeemed by the blood of his only-begotten Son? Well may it be said, “Let them give thanks, whom the Lord hath redeemed.”]

2. It was a most delightful frame—

[We cannot conceive of David but as exquisitely happy, when he penned these memorable words. Indeed he tells us elsewhere, how rich a source of happiness he found it to his soul: “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips [Note: Psalms 63:5.].” It is, in truth, the felicity of heaven itself, where “they rest not day nor night, singing salvation to God and the Lamb for ever and ever.”

3. It was a frame which it is our bounden duty also to attain—

[The commands of God to this effect are clear and positive: “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice [Note: Philippians 4:4.].” “Rejoice evermore [Note: 1 Thessalonians 5:16.].” Provision was made for the exercise of this grace under the Jewish dispensation: feasts were appointed expressly for it; and every member of each family was to rejoice before the Lord, the old and the young, the master and the servant, and even the stranger that happened to be sojourning among them [Note: Deuteronomy 16:13-15.]. And ought not we, who live under the more liberal dispensation of the Gospel, to rejoice? Methinks there should be no end of our joy: the resolution of David in the text should be ours; and we should be carrying it into effect all the day long. Nor should untoward circumstances of any kind rob us of our joy; but we should say, with the Church of old, “Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the field shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation [Note: Habakkuk 3:17-18.].”]

Nor need we despair of resembling David; since he points out, in our text,

II. The way in which it may be attained—

As he attained it, so should we,

1. By meditation—

[His “meditations on God were sweet,” though in the psalm before us, they related only to the creation and providence of God. But the minuteness with which he describes all these things clearly shews what delight he found in surveying every particular which might illustrate his subject. What delight, then, should we feel in contemplating all the wonders of redemption! Of these there is no end. In meditating on these, we should soon be constrained to say, “How precious are thy thoughts to me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee [Note: Psalms 139:17-18.].” Let us, then, address ourselves to this holy employment. Let us say, with David, “I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings [Note: Psalms 77:11-12.].”]

2. By resolving to rest in nothing short of it—

[We do well to say, ‘I will fear the Lord;’ and well to say, ‘I will serve him.’ But these are far below our duty. We should aspire after higher attainments than these: we should say, with David, “I will be glad in the Lord;” ‘I will never be satisfied, till I have such views of his excellency, and such a sense of his love, that I can rejoice in him, yea, till I can rejoice in him all the day.’ Men attain not this, because they do not aim at it. They are contented with lower acquirements; and hence they know but little of delight in God. O beloved Brethren! I would have “your hearts to be lifted up in the ways of the Lord.” Why should any of you be strangers to this holy frame? Why should you not “sing in the ways of the Lord,” as others have done before you? I know, indeed, that you cannot of yourselves create these heavenly joys: but I know what God has said; “They shall praise the Lord that seek him:” and if you set yourselves in earnest to enjoy him, you shall receive from him “the Spirit of adoption,” whereby you shall be able to call him Father; and have “the witness of the Spirit,” whereby you shall know that you are his children. Thus walking in the light of his countenance here, you shall have an earnest and a foretaste of your heavenly bliss.]

Application—

[I beseech you, Brethren, live not so far below your privileges as Christians in general are wont to live. How much happier might you be, if you lived near to God in the contemplation of his excellencies, and in the delightful exercise of prayer and praise! This should be the very bent of your mind from day to day, and it should continue to be so to the latest hour of your life. True, indeed, this cannot be expected, unless you embrace him and cleave unto him as your God. First learn to say to him, “O God, thou art my God!” and then you will find no difficulty in adding, “Early will I seek thee [Note: Psalms 63:1.].” Then will praise be, as it were, the natural language of your heart, and the constant employment of your lives [Note: Psalms 145:1-2; Psalms 146:1-2.]. Then in death, also, will your soul be joyful in your God: and “an abundant entrance will be ministered unto you into the realms of bliss,” where, to all eternity, you shall know no other feeling than that of joy, no other language than that of praise.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Psalms 104:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/psalms-104.html. 1832.

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