Verse 8. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house. Those who learn to put their trust in God shall be received into his house, and shall share in the provision laid up therein. The dwelling place of the Lord is not confined to any place, and hence reside where we may, we may regard our dwelling, if we be believers, as one room in the Lord's great house; and we shall, both in providence and grace, find a soul contenting store supplied to us as the result of living by faith in nearness to the Lord. If we regard the assembly of the saints as being peculiarly the house of God, believers shall, indeed, find in sacred worship the richest spiritual food. Happy is the soul that can drink in the sumptuous dainties of the gospel -- nothing can so completely fill the soul. And thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. As they have the fruits of Eden to feed on, so shall they have the river of Paradise to drink from. God's everlasting love bears to us a constant and ample comfort, of which grace makes us to drink by faith, and then our pleasure is of the richest kind. The Lord not only brings us to this river, but makes us drink: herein we see the condescension of divine love. Heaven will, in the fullest sense, fulfil these words; but they who trust in the Lord enjoy the antepast even here. The happiness given to the faithful is that of God himself; purified spirits joy with the same joy as the Lord himself. "That my joy may be in you, that your joy may be full."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 8. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house: and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. Mark, first, the excellency of the provision, fatness of thy house, the river of thy pleasures. The fattest is esteemed the fairest and the most excellent food; therefore the saint was enjoined to offer the fat in sacrifice under the law. As God expects the best from us, so he gives the best to us. This made David, when he had feasted so curiously, to sing so cheerfully. Fatness here is the top, the cream of all spiritual delicacies. "My soul is filled as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips." Psalms 63:5 . But, though God keeps so noble a house to satisfy his people's hunger, what special care doth he take to quench their thirst! Thou shalt make them drink of the rivers of thy pleasures. Oh, he drinks to them, and they pledge him in his own cup! Hath the child, then, any cause, when his Father keeps so rare and costly a table, to leave such dainties and go begging up and down the country for scraps and fragments? Oh, how much do these disgrace their Parent's provision, and their own discretion! But mark, reader, secondly, the plenty as well as the excellency of this provision. Here is fatness in the abstract, a river of pleasure; and so much as that they who enjoy is shall be satisfied, and abundantly satisfied. A river is overflowing and ever flowing; it communicates its water, and yet is never empty. It is fed with springs and fountains, and therefore it is no wonder if it always be full. They that are at such a well need not complain of want; but here are not only rivers and fatness, but of God's people it is said, they shall be abundantly satisfied. In the original it is inebriated. They shall have not only a sufficiency, but a redundancy of spiritual delights. The vessels of their souls shall be filled to the brim out of that river whose streams make glad the city of God. Surely, then, they who may have bread in such abundance, enough and to spare, in their Father's house, made of the kidneys of the wheat, of the finest flour, need not hanker after the world's homely fare. Our heavenly Father doth not keep so starveling a house that the world's scraps should go down with us. George Swinnock.
Verse 8. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house. I once heard a father tell, that when he removed his family to a new residence where the accommodation was much more ample, the substance much more rich and varied than that to which they had previously been accustomed, his youngest son, yet a lisping infant, ran round every room and scanned every article with ecstasy, calling out in childish wonder at every new sight, "Is this ours, father? and is this ours?" The child did not say "yours;" and I observed that the father while he told the story was not offended with the freedom. You could read in his glistening eye that the infant's confidence in appropriating as his own all that his father had, was an important element in his satisfaction. Such, I suppose, will be the surprise, and joy, and appropriating confidence with which the child of our Father's family will count all his own when he is removed from the comparatively mean condition of things present, and enters the infinite things to come. When the glories of heaven burst upon his view, he does not stand at a distance like a stranger saying, O God, these are thine. He bounds forward to touch and taste every provision which those blessed mansions contain, exclaiming as he looks in the Father's face, Father, this and this is ours! The dear child is glad of all the father's riches, and the Father is gladder of his dear child. William Arnot.
Verse 8. The fatness of thy house. If there is an allusion to the temple, as Hupfield thinks, fatness would equal "fat sacrifices." and men would be regarded as the priests in the house, after the analogy of Jeremiah 31:14 . J. J. Stewart Perowne.
Verse 8. The fatness of thy house. Fat was regarded among the Jews, as among all other nations of antiquity, as the richest part of animals, and therefore became synonymous with the first, the best, the prime of anything. Christian D. Ginsburg, LL.D., in Kitto's Cyclopedia.
Verse 8. Of thy house. This is emphatic, and means that which thou hast prepared for thine own household, thine own faithful domestics. Here is intended not the good things prepared for all men, but for the household retainer of God. John Piscator, 1546-1626, and D.H. Mollerus.
Verse 8. Pleasures. Delights, the same word as is translated "Eden" in Genesis, only it is here in the plural number. Dalman Hapstone, M.A.
Verse 8. And, saith one of the fathers, do you ask me what heaven is? Saith one, When I meet you there I will tell you. The world to come, say the Rabbins, is the world where all is well. I have read of one that would willingly swim through a sea of brimstone to get to heaven, for there, and only there, is perfection of happiness. What are the silks of Persia, the spices of Egypt, the gold of Ophir, and the treasures of both Indies, to the glory of another world? Augustine tells us that one day, when he was about to write something upon the eighth verse of the thirty-sixth Psalm, Thou shalt make them drink of the rivers of thy pleasures, and being almost swallowed up with the contemplation of heavenly joys, one called unto him very loud by his name; and, enquiring who it was, he answered, I am Jerome, with whom in my lifetime thou hadst so much conference concerning doubts in Scripture, and am now best experienced to resolve thee of any doubts concerning the joys of heaven; but only let me first ask thee this question -- Art thou able to put the whole earth, and all the eaters of the sea, into a little pot? Canst thou measure the waters in thy fist, and mete out heaven with thy span, or weigh the mountains in scales, or the hills in a balance? If not, no more is it possible that thy understanding should comprehend the least of the joys of heaven; and certainly the least of the joys of heaven are inconceivable and inexpressible. Thomas Brooks.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 7-8. Admiration! Confidence! Expectation! Realisation!
Verse 8. (first clause). The provisions of the Lord's house. What they are, their excellence and abundance, and for whom provided.
Verse 8. (second clause). The heavenly Hiddekel -- Its source, its flood, the happy drinkers, how they came to drink.