Verse 13. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name. The former Psalm had its "surely", but this is a more pleasing one. As surely as God will slay the wicked he will save the oppressed, and fill their hearts and mouths with praises. Whoever else may be silent, the righteous will give thanks; and whatever they may suffer, the matter will end ill their living through the trial, and magnifying the Lord for his delivering grace. On earth ere long, and in heaven for ever, the pure in heart shall sing unto the Lord. How loud and sweet will be the songs of the redeemed in the millennial age, when the meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace!
The upright shall dwell in thy presence. Thus shall they give thanks in the truest and fullest manner. This abiding before the Lord shall render to him "songs without words", and therefore all the more spiritual and true. Their living and walking with their God shall be their practical form of gratitude. Sitting down in holy peace, like children at their father's table, their joyful looks and language shall speak their high esteem and fervent love to him who has become their dwelling place. How high have we climbed in this Psalm -- from being hunted by the evil man to dwelling in the divine presence; so doth faith upraise the saint from the lowest depths to heights of peaceful repose. Well might the song be studded with Selahs, or uplifters.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 13. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name, etc. Teacheth us two things, first, that it becometh the godly to show themselves continually thankful, because God is continually merciful to them; secondly, what is the excellent estate and condition of God's children, which, though it do not yet appear, yet shall it in the end break forth with fulness of glory." --Thomas Witcocks.
Verse 13. The upright shall dwell in thy presence. "Sit in thy presence", as thy friends or guests or favoured servants. Perhaps it may mean sit (enthroned) before thee. Compare Matthew 19:28 . Some understand the sense to be shall dwell (in the land) before thee, i.e., under thy protection and inspection. --Joseph Addison Alexander.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 13. One of the noblest forms of praise, -- dwelling in the presence of God. Or, reverent regard to God's presence, holy communion with the Lord, confiding rest in God's dealings, obedient doing of the heavenly will -- the best way of giving thanks to God.
Verse 13. Two assertions beyond contradiction.
- The righteous are sure to give thanks to God, let others be as thankless as they will. For,
- They recognise all their good as coming from God.
- They realise themselves as unworthy of the good they receive.
- They are anxious to do right, because they are righteous; and that involves thanksgiving.
- Thankfulness is a part of the joy derived from what they enjoy.
- The upright are sure to dwell in God's presence.
- In the sense of setting the Lord before them.
- In the sense of an abiding present fellowship with God.
- In the sense of enjoying God's approval.
- In the sense of dwelling in heaven for ever. --J. F.