Psalm 116:18

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 18. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people. He repeats the declaration. A good thing is worth saying twice. He thus stirs himself up to greater heartiness, earnestness, and diligence in keeping his vow, -- really paying it at the very moment that he is declaring his resolution to do so. The mercy came in secret, but the praise is rendered in public; the company was, however, select; he did not cast his pearls before swine, but delivered his testimony before those who could understand and appreciate it.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 18. Vows. Are well composed vows such promoters of religion? and are they to be made so warily? and do they bind so strictly? Then be sure to wait until God give you just and fit seasons for vowing. Be not over hasty to vow: it is an inconsiderate and foolish haste of Christians to make more occasions of vowing than God doth make for them. Make your vows, and spare not, so often as God bids you; but do not do it oftener. You would wonder I should dissuade you from vowing often, when you have such constant mercies; and wonder well you might, if God did expect your extraordinary bond and security for every ordinary mercy: but he requires it not; he is content with ordinary security of gratitude for ordinary mercies; when he calls for extraordinary security and acknowledgment, by giving extraordinary mercies, then give it and do it. Henry Hurst.

Verse 18. Now. God gave an order that no part of the thank offering should be kept till the third day, to teach us to present our praises when benefits are newly received, which else would soon wax stale and putrefy as fish doth. "I will pay my vows now," saith David. Samuel Clarke (1599-1682) in "A Mirror or Looking glass, both for Saints and Sinners."

Verse 18. In the presence of all his people. For good example's sake. This also was prince like, Ezekiel 46:10 . The king's seat in the sanctuary was open, that all might see him there, 2 Kings 11:14 , and 2 Kings 23:3 . John Trapp.

Verse 18. In the presence of all his people. Be bold, be bold, ye servants of the Lord, in sounding forth the praises of your God. Go into presses of people; and in the midst of them praise the Lord. Wicked men are over bold in pouring forth their blasphemies to the dishonour of God; they care not who hear them. They stick not to do it in the midst of cities. Shall they be more audacious to dishonour God, than ye zealous to honour him? Assuredly Christ will shew himself as forward to confess you, as you are, or can be to confess him. Matthew 10:32 . This holy boldness is the ready way to glory. William Gouge.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 18.

  1. How vows may be paid in public. By going to public worship as the first thing we do when health is restored. By uniting heartily in the song. By coming to the communion. By special thank offering. By using fit opportunities for open testimony to the Lord's goodness.
  2. The special difficulty in the matter. To pay them to the Lord, and not in ostentation or as an empty form.
  3. The peculiar usefulness of the public act. It interests others, touches their hearts, reproves, encourages, etc.