Verse 7. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness. They shall pour forth grateful memories even as springs gush with water, plenteously, spontaneously, constantly, joyously. The Lord's redeemed people having been filled with his great goodness, shall retain the happy recollection of it, and shall be moved often and often to utter those recollections. Not content with a scanty mention of such amazing love, they shall go on to an abundant utterance of such abundant favour. It shall be their delight to speak with one another of God's dealings with them, and to compare notes of their experiences. God has done nothing stintedly; all his goodness is great goodness, all worthy to be remembered, all suggestive of holy discourse. Upon this subject there is no scarcity of matter, and when the heart is right there is no need to stop from want of facts to tell. Oh, that there were more of these memories and utterances, for it is not meet that the goodness of the living God should be buried in the cemetery of silence, in the grave of ingratitude.
And shall sing of thy righteousness. They shall say and then sing. And what is the theme which impels them to leave the pulpit for the orchestra? What do they sing of? They sing of that righteousness which is the sinner's terror, which even good men mention with deep solemnity. Righteousness received by gospel light is in reality the secret foundation of the believer's hope. God's covenant of grace is our strong consolation, because he who made it is righteous, and will not run back from it. Since Jesus died as our substitute, righteousness requires and secures the salvation of all the redeemed. This attribute is our best friend, and therefore we sing of it.
Modern thinkers would fain expunge the idea of righteousness from their notion of God; but converted men would not. It is a sign of growth in cation when we rejoice in the justice, rectitude, and holiness of our God. Even a rebel may rejoice in mercy, which he looks upon as laxity; but a loyal rejoices when he learns that God is so just that not even to save his own would he consent to violate the righteousness of his moral government. Few men will shout for joy at the righteousness of Jehovah, but those who do so his chosen, in whom his soul delighteth.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 7. There is an extensive and an intensive greatness, and both must be found in our praises of God. First, an extensive greatness in regard of their number; we must be frequent and plentiful in the duty: we must "Abundantly utter the memory of God's great goodness." Secondly, there must be an intensive greatness in our praises, in regard of the degree, fervour and heat of them. They must be high, and vehement, fervent, flaming, zealous and affectionate, full of life and rigour; our spirits must be raised, our hearts and tongues enlarged in the performance of this duty. God's glorious name, as it is in Nehemiah 9:5 , "is exalted above all blessing and praise", above our most devout and most zealous praises; and therefore surely faint, heartless, and lifeless praises are so far from reaching him, as that they may seem to be meant of another, and a lower object. God then is not praised at all if he be not greatly praised. Weak and dull praises are dispraises; for a person or thing is not honoured or praised, unless there be some proportion between the honour and praise and the worthiness of the person or thing honoured and praised. --Henry Jeanes, in "The Works of Heaven upon Earth", 1649.
Verse 7. Abundantly utter. The word contains the idea of boiling or bubbling up like a fountain. It signifies, a holy fluency about the mercy of God. We have quite enough fluent people about, but they are many of them idlers for whom Satan finds abundant work to do. The Lord deliver us from the noise of fluent women; but it matters not how fluent men and women are if they will be fluent on the topic now before us. Open your mouths; let the praise pour forth; let it come, rivers of it. Stream away! Gush away, all that you possibly can. "They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness." Do not stop the joyful speakers, let them go on for ever. They do not exaggerate, they cannot. You say they are enthusiastic, but they are not half up to the pitch yet; bid them become more excited and speak yet more fervently. Go on, brother, go on; pile it up; say something greater, grander, and more fiery still I You cannot exceed the truth. You have come to a theme where your most fluent powers will fail in utterance. The text calls for a sacred fluency, and I would exhort you liberally to exercise it when you are speaking on the goodness of God. --C. H. S.
Verse 7. Too many witnesses of God's goodness are silent witnesses. Men do not enough speak out the testimonies that they might bear in this matter. The reason that I love the Methodists -- good ones -- is, that they have a tongue to their piety. They fulfil the command of God, -- to be fervent in spirit. --Henry Ward Beecher.
Verse 7. --
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
--William Wordsworth, 1770-1805.
Verse 7. They shall sing of thy righteousness, or justice. To sing of goodness, mercy, forgiveness, is natural; but a song of justice is singular. Here is the beauty of David's praise, that he sees subject of delight as much in the righteousness of God as in his mercy. --John Lorinus.
Verse 7. They shall sing of thy righteousness. The righteousness of God, whereby he justifieth sinners, and sanctifieth the justified, and executeth judgment for his reconciled people, is the sweetest object of the church's joy. --David Dickson.
Verse 7. Thy righteousness (read in connection with next verse). It is an easy thing to conceive the glory of the Creator, manifested in the good of an innocent creature; but the glory of the righteous Judge, manifested in the good of the guilty criminal, is the peculiar, mysterious wisdom of the Cross. It is easy to perceive God's righteousness declared in the punishment of sins; the Cross alone declares "His righteousness for the remission of sins." It magnifies justice in the way of pardoning sin, and mercy in the way of punishing it. -- John M'Laurin 1693-1754.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 7. See "Spurgeon's Sermons", No. 1468: "The Philosophy and Propriety of Abundant Praise."