Psalm 89:16

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 16. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day. And good cause they have for so doing, for to the soul which, in Christ Jesus, has entered into covenant with God, every attribute is a fountain of delight. There is no hour in the day, and no day in our life, in which we may not rejoice in the name, person, and character of the Lord. We need no other reason for rejoicing. As philosophers could make merry without music, so can we rejoice without carnal comforts; the Lord All sufficient is an all sufficient source of joy.

And in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. By the Lord's righteous dealings the saints are uplifted in due time, however great may have been the oppression and the depression from which they may have suffered. In the righteousness which the covenant supplies, which is entirely of the Lord, believers are set on high in a secure and blessed position, so that they are full of sacred happiness. If God were unjust, or if he regarded us as being without righteousness, we must be filled with misery, but as neither of these things are so, we are exalted indeed, and would extol the name of the Lord.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 16. And in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. In these words briefly we may notice,

  1. The believer's promotion; he is exalted. In the first Adam we were debased unto the lowest hell, the crown having fallen from our heads; but in Christ, the second Adam, we are again exalted; yea, exalted as high as heaven, for we "sit together with him in heavenly places", says the apostle. This is an incredible paradox to a blind world, that the believer who is sitting at this moment upon the dunghill of this earth, should at the same time be sitting in heaven in Christ, his glorious Head and representative, Ephesians 2:6 .
  2. We have the ground of the believer's preferment and exaltation; it is in thy righteousness. It is not in any righteousness of his own; no, this he utterly disclaims, reckoning it but "dung and loss", "filthy rags", dogs' meat: but it is in thy righteousness; that is, the righteousness of God, as the apostle calls it: Romans 1:17 Php 3:9. The righteousness of God is variously taken in Scripture. Sometimes for the infinite rectitude and equity of his nature: Psalms 11:7 , "The righteous Lord loveth righteousness." Sometimes for his rectorial equity, or distributive justice which he exerciseth in the government of the world, rewarding the good and punishing evil doers: Psalms 97:2 , "Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne." Sometimes it is put for his veracity and faithfulness in accomplishing his word of promise, or in executing his word of threatening: Psalms 36:5-6 , "Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds: thy righteousness is like the great mountains." Sometimes it is put for the perfect righteousness which Christ the Son of God, as our Surety and Mediator, brought in, by his obedience to the law, and death on the cross, for the justification of guilty sinners: and this as I said, is frequently called the righteousness of God; and in this sense I understand it here in the text: "In thy righteousness shall they be exalted." --Ebenezer Erskine.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 16. --

  1. Exultation.

    1. "In thy name", etc., as rich in mercy as the God of salvation -- of all grace -- of all consolation.
    2. At what season -- "all the day", morning, noon, and night.
  2. Exaltation. "In thy righteousness", etc.
    1. How not exalted. Not in their own righteousness.
    2. How exalted. "In thy", etc. Procured for them -- by a divine person (th
    3. -- imputed to them. Ours, though thine. The righteousness of God as God could not exalt us, but his righteousness as God man can. Exalted above hell, above earth, above Paradise, above angels. Exalted to friends of God -- children of God -- one with God, to heaven.

Verse 16. (second clause). -- Consider,

  1. What the believer is exalted above or from, by God's righteousness.

    1. It exalts him above the law.
    2. Above the world.
    3. Above the power and malice of Satan.
    4. Above death.
    5. Above all accusations ( Romans 8:33-34 .)
  2. To what happiness or dignity the believer is exalted by virtue of that righteousness.
    1. To a state of peace and reconciliation with God.
    2. To sonship.
    3. To fellowship and familiarity with God, and access to him.
    4. And finally, to a state of endless glory.

--E. Erskine.