Verse 5. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee. Having spoken of the blessedness of those who reside in the house of God, he now speaks of those who are favoured to visit it at appointed seasons, going upon pilgrimage with their devout brethren: he is not, however, indiscriminate in his eulogy, but speaks only of those who heartily attend to the sacred festivals. The blessedness of sacred worship belongs not to half hearted, listless worshippers, but to those who throw all their energies into it. Neither prayer, nor praise, nor the hearing of the word will be pleasant or profitable to persons who have left their hearts behind them. A company of pilgrims who had left their hearts at home would be no better than a caravan of carcasses, quite unfit to blend with living saints in adoring the living God.
In whose heart are the ways of them, or far better, in whose heart are thy ways. Those who love the ways of God are blessed. When we have God's ways in our hearts, and our heart in his ways, we are what and where we should be, and hence we shall enjoy the divine approval.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 5. In whose heart are thy ways. That is, who love the ways that lead to thy house. Earnest Hawkins.
Verse 5. In whose heart are the ways of them. Literally, The steeps are on their hearts. The steep ascents on which the tabernacle stood. Horsley renders, They are bent on climbing the steep ascents. Perhaps the (Heb.) were more properly the raised causeways or stairs leading up to Mount Zion, or all through the mountain country on the road to Jerusalem. John Fry.
Verse 5. In whose heart are the ways. The natural heart is a pathless wilderness, full of cliffs and precipices. When the heart is renewed by grace, a road is made, a highway is prepared for our God. See Isaiah 40:3-4 . Frederick Fysh.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 5. Man is blessed,
- When his strength is in God. Strength to believe,
strength to obey, strength to suffer.
- When God's ways are in him. In whose heart, etc.
When the doctrines, precepts, and promises of God are
deeply engraved upon the heart. G. R.
Verse 5. The preciousness of intensity and enthusiasm in religious belief, worship, and life.
Verse 5-7. The blessed people are described,