Verse 171. My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught we thy statutes. He will not always be pleading for himself, he will rise above all selfishness, and render thanks for the benefit received. He promises to praise God when he has obtained practical instruction in the life of godliness: this is something to praise for, no blessing is more precious. The best possible praise is that which proceeds from men who honour God, not only with their lips, but in their lives. We learn the music of heaven in the school of holy living. He whose life honours the Lord is sure to be a man of praise. David would not only be grateful in silence, but he would express that gratitude in appropriate terms: his lips would utter what his life had practised. Eminent disciples are wont to speak well of the master who instructed them, and this holy man, when taught the statutes of the Lord, promises to give all the glory to him to whom it is due.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 171. -- My lips shall utter praise. You have stood at the fountain head of a stream of water, and admired while it bubbled up, and ran down in a clear little rivulet, till at length it swelled the mighty river. Such is the allusion here. The heart taught of God, cannot contain itself, but breaks out in praise and singing. This would be the effect of divine illumination, and this would be felt to be a privilege, yea, and a high duty. Have you not found so, believers, specially on common occasions? Be assured, such utterances are the sign of a renewed heart; yea, of a heart filled with all gratitude of right feeling. -- John Stephen.
Verse 171. -- My lips shall utter praise, etc.
O make me, Lord, thy statutes learn!
Keep in thy ways my feet,
Then shall my lips divinely burn;
Then shall my songs be sweet.
Each sin I cast away shall make
My soul more strong to soar;
Each deed of holiness shall wake
A strain divine the more.
My voice shall more delight thine ear
The more I wait on time;
The service bring my song more near
The angelic harmony.
T. H. Gill, in "Breathings of the Better Life" 1881.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 171. -- Taught; taught to praise; praising; praising for being taught.
Verse 171. -- Learning to sing by learning to obey.
Verse 171. -- The Happy Scholar.
- He rejoices in the lesson he has learnt.
- In the Teacher who has taught him.
- Looks forward to the end of his lesson as the time for the full singing of his song. -- C.A.D.
Verse 171. -- Lessons in Praise. --
- It is saints' work.
- It is sacred work, not to be hurriedly rushed into.
- It needs Spirit instructed singers. --W.B.H.