Verse 11. Observe the contrast, God takes away the mourning of his people; and what does he give them instead of it? Quiet and peace? Aye, and a great deal more than that. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing. He makes their hearts to dance at the sound of his name. He takes off their sackcloth. That is good. What a delight to be rid of the habiliments of woe! But what then? He clothes us. And how? With some common dress? Nay, but with that royal vestment which is the array of glorified spirits in heaven. Thou hast girded me with gladness. This is better than to wear garments of silk or cloth of gold, bedight with embroidery and bespangled with gems. Many a poor man wears this heavenly apparel wrapped around his heart, though fustian and corduroy are his only outward garb; and such a man needs not envy the emperor in all his pomp. Glory be to thee, O God, if, by a sense of full forgiveness and present justification, thou hast enriched my spiritual nature, and filled me with all the fulness of God.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 11. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness. This might be true of David, delivered from his calamity; it was true of Christ, arising from the tomb, to die no more; it is true of the penitent, exchanging his sackcloth for the garments of salvation; and it will be verified in all us, at the last day, when we shall put off the dishonours of the grave, to shine in glory everlasting. George Horne.
Verse 11. Thou hast turned. I do so like the ups and downs in the Psalms. Adelaide Newton.
Verse 11. Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness. I say with the apostle, "Overcome evil with good," sorrow with joy. Joy is the true remedy for sorrow. It never had, never could have any other. We must always give the soul that weeps reason to rejoice; all other consolation is utterly useless. Alexander Rodolph Vinet, D.D., 1797-1847.
Verse 11. Thou hast girded me with gladness. My "sackcloth" was but a loose garment about me, which might easily be put off at pleasure, but my "gladness" is girt about me, to be fast and sure, and cannot leave me though it would; at least none shall be able to take it from me. Sir Richard Baker.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 6-12. David's prosperity had lulled him into a state of undue security; God sent him this affliction to rouse him from it. The successive frames of his mind are here clearly marked; and must successively be considered as they are here presented to our view.
- His carnal security.
- His spiritual dereliction.
- His fervent prayers.
- His speedy recovery.
- His grateful acknowledgments.
Verse 11. Transformations. Sudden; complete; divine, thou; personal, "for me;" gracious.
Verse 11. Holy dancing: open up the metaphor.
Verse 11. The believer's change of raiment: illustrate by life of Mordecai or Joseph; mention all the garbs the believer is made to wear, as a mourner, a beggar, a criminal, &c.