Verse 2. To shew forth thy loving kindness in the morning. The day should begin with praise: no hour is too early for holy song. Loving kindness is a most appropriate theme for those dewy hours when morn is sowing all the earth with orient pearl. Eagerly and promptly should we magnify the Lord; we leave unpleasant tasks as long as we can, but our hearts are so engrossed with the adoration of God that we would rise betimes to attend to it. There is a peculiar freshness and charm about early morning praises; the day is loveliest when it first opens its eyelids, and God himself seems then to make distribution of the day's manna, which tastes most sweetly if gathered ere the sun is hot. It seems most meet that if our hearts and harps have been silent through the shades of night we should be eager again to take our place among the chosen choir who ceaselessly hymn the Eternal One.
And thy faithfulness every night. No hour is too late for praise, the end of the day must not be the end of gratitude. When nature seems in silent contemplation to adore its Maker, it ill becomes the children of God to refrain their thanksgiving. Evening is the time for retrospect, memory is busy with the experience of the day, hence the appropriate theme for song is the divine faithfulness, of which another day has furnished fresh evidences. When darkness has settled down over all things, "a shade immense", then there comes over wise men a congenial, meditative spirit, and it is most fitting that they should take an expanded view of the truth and goodness of Jehovah --
"This sacred shade and solitude, what is it?
It is the felt presence of the Deity."
"Every night," clouded or clear, moonlit or dark, calm or tempestuous, is alike suitable for a song upon the faithfulness of God, since in all seasons, and under all circumstances, it abides the same, and is the mainstay of the believer's consolation. Shame on us that we are so backward in magnifying the Lord, who in the daytime scatters bounteous love, and in the night season walks his rounds of watching care.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 2. In the morning. When indeed the mind after the rest of the night is more active, devoted and constant. In other parts of the day, as at noon, or in the afternoon, many sounds of business disturb, and greater lassitude oppresses. Compare Psalms 5:4 59:17 58:2 88:14 Psalms 119:147-148 , where this same part of the day is celebrated as the fittest for sacred meditations. However, this ought not to be taken exclusively, as if, in the morning alone, and not also at noon or in the evening, it was suitable to celebrate divine grace. -- Martin Geier.
Verse 2. In the morning. The Brahmins rise three hours before the sun, to pray. The Indians would esteem it a great sin to eat in the morning before praying to their gods. The ancient Romans considered it impious if they had not a little chamber, in their house, appropriated to prayer. Let us take a lesson from these Turks and heathen; their zealous ardour ought to shame us. Because we possess the true light, should their zeal surpass ours? --Frederic Arndt, in "Lights of the Morning", 1861.
Verse 2. To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning. Our praise ought to be suitably arranged. In the time of prosperity or the morning we should declare thy lovingkindness, because whatever of prosperity we have proceeds from the mercy and grace of God; and in the time of adversity or night, we should declare thy justice or faithfulness, because whatever adversity happens to us is ordained by the just judgment of God. --J. Turrecremata.
Verse 2. God's mercy is itself the morning ray, which scatters away darkness ( Psalms 3:5 59:16); his faithfulness the guardian, that assures us against night peril. --F. Delitzsch.
Verse 2. In the morning, and ... every night. God is Alpha and Omega. It is fit we should begin and end the day with his praise, who begins and ends it for us with mercy. Well, thou seest thy duty plainly laid before thee. As thou wouldst have God prosper thy labour in the day, and sweeten thy rest in the night, clasp them both together with thy morning and evening devotions. He that takes no care to set forth God's portion of time in the morning, doth not only rob God of his due, but is a thief to himself all the day after, by losing the blessing which a faithful prayer might bring from heaven on his undertakings. And he that closes his eyes at night without prayer, lies down before his bed is made. -- William Gurnall.
Verse 2. Thy faithfulness (Vulg. `veritas,') every night. Truth can be taken in its proper signification. Thus St. Jerome on our Psalm takes it, and says: "The truth of the Lord is announced in the night, as if it were wrapped up in some verbal obscurities. In an enigma it is spoken, and in parables; that seeing, they should not see, and hearing, they should not understand. Moses ascended Mount Sinai, Exodus 24:9 , and passed into the tempest and into the blackness and darkness, and there spake with the Lord." Thus Jerome. Christ brings back the light to us, as Lactantius teaches. Shall we wait, says he, till Socrates shall know something? Or Anaxagoras find light in the darkness? Or Democritus draw forth the truth from a well? Or till Empedocles expands the paths of his soul? Or Ascesilas and Carneades see, feel, and perceive? Behold a voice from heaven teaches us the truth, and reveals it more clearly to us than the sun himself ... In the night truth is to be shown forth, that the night may be turned into day. --Le Blanc.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- Our praises of God should be intelligent, declaring his varied attributes.
- Seasonable, declaring each attribute in appropriate time.
- Continual, every night, and every day.