Verse 12. Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous. The psalmist had bidden the earth rejoice, and here he turns to the excellent of the earth and bids them lead the song. If all others fail to praise the Lord, the godly must not. To them God is peculiarly revealed, by them he should be specially adored.
And give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness -- which is the harmony of all his attributes, the superlative wholeness of his character. This is a terror to the wicked, and a cause of thankfulness to the gracious. To remember that Jehovah is holy is becoming in those who dwell in his courts, to give thanks in consequence of that remembrance is the sure index of their fitness to abide in his presence. In reference to the triumphs of the gospel, this text teaches us to rejoice greatly in its purifying effect; it is the death of sin and the life of virtue. An unholy gospel is no gospel. The holiness of the religion of Jesus is its glory, it is that which makes it glad tidings, since while man is left in his sins no bliss can be his portion. Salvation from sin is the priceless gift of our thrice holy God, therefore let us magnify him for ever and ever. He will fill the world with holiness, and so with happiness, therefore let us glory in his holy name, world without end. Amen.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 12. Rejoice in the LORD. We must "rejoice evermore"; for even holy mourning hath the seed of joy in it, which the soul finds by that time it is over, if not in it. -- William Cooper, in the "Morning Exercises."
Verse 12. Rejoice in the Lord.
Verse 12. Rejoice ... and give thanks. Two things are to be observed: One, that he unites joy in the Lord and praise of God. Rightly: for it is not possible for a man to praise the Lord truly and from the soul, unless he rejoices in Him. Another, that he connects the praise of God with the remembrance of his holiness. And with good reason: for it is the chief use of divine praise, that by the exercise thereof, we should keep fresh in our souls the remembrance of God and of all the blessings received from Him. Thus this verse contains the root and fruit of divine praise. The root is joy in God; the fruit is the remembrance of God and his goodness. --Musculus.
Verse 12. Ye righteous ... all ye that are upright in heart. Some may say the just or the righteous man may thus rejoice; but where are any such? "Who can say", saith Solomon, "I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?" No; "There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." A vain thing may as seem then to exhort men to rejoice, when the condition annexed is such as excludes all from rejoicing To what end is it to incite the just to rejoice when there are none such that may rejoice? The answer is ready at hand in the latter part of the verse. By just are meant all such as are "upright in heart", which clause is added partly to exclude the hypocrite, and partly to temper and qualify the rigour of the term before used, if it were strictly and exactly taken. So that it is a note as well of extent, as of restraint.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 12. Give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. Be thankful for --