Verse 5. That I may see the good of thy chosen. His desire for the divine favour was excited by the hope that he might participate in all the good things which flow to the people of God through their election. The Father has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, according as he has chosen us in him, and in these precious gifts we desire to share through the saving visitation of the Lord. No other good do we wish to see, perceive, and apprehend, but that which is the peculiar treasure of the saints.
That I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation. The psalmist, having sought his portion in the good of the chosen, now also begs to be a partaker in their joy for of all the nations under heaven the Lord's true people are the happiest.
That I may glory with thine inheritance. He would have a part and lot in their honour as well as their joy. He was willing to find glory where saints find it, namely, in being reproached for truth's sake. To serve the Lord and endure shame for his sake is the glory of the saints below: Lord, let me rejoice to bear my part therein. To be with God above, for ever blessed in Christ Jesus, is the glory of saints above: O Lord, be pleased to allot me a place there also.
These introductory thanksgivings and supplications, though they occur first in the psalm, are doubtless the result of the contemplations which succeed them, and may be viewed not only as the preface, but also as the moral of the whole sacred song.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 5. -- We may note that the threefold nature of man prompts the union of the three petitions of this verse in one. "That I may see," is the prayer of the body, desiring the open vision of God; "and rejoice," is the wish of the soul or mind, that the affections may likewise be gratified; and vice thanks, as the spirit needs to pour itself out in worship. Further, there are three names here given to the saints, each for a reason of its own. They are God's "chosen," because of his predestinating grace, "according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love" ( Ephesians 1:4 ); they are his "nation," having one law and one worship under him as sole king, "And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law?" ( Deuteronomy 4:8 ) they are his "inheritance," for it is written, "I shall give the heathen for thine inheritance" ( Psalms 2:8 ). --Hugo Cardinalis and Albertus Magnus, in Neale and Littledale.
Verse 5. -- That I may see the good of thy chosen. That, having been predestined, and justified, we may come to see the good of thy chosen, which means that the very face of the Lord may be made conspicuous to us. ( 1 John 3:2 ). By the "good of thy chosen" we are not to understand their own probity or goodness, but the supreme happiness that is their lot. "That I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation." That we may partake in that unspeakable joy which arises from the beatific vision, which is the peculiar property of the chosen people, of which strangers cannot taste, of which the gospel says, "Enter into the joy of thy Lord." --Robert Bellarmine, 1542-1621.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The Persons: "Thy chosen"; "Thy nation"; "Thine inheritance."
- The Privileges: "The good of thy chosen"; "The gladness of thy nation"; "The glory of thine inheritance."
- The Pleas: "That I may see", etc. They were once as I am: make me what they are now.
- My salvation is everything to me. "That I may see", etc. "That I may rejoice", etc. They are many, I am but one. "That I may glory", etc.