Verse 34. My meditation of him shall be sweet. Sweet both to him and to me. I shall be delighted thus to survey his works and think of his person, and he will graciously accept my notes of praise. Meditation is the soul of religion. It is the tree of life in the midst of the garden of piety, and very refreshing is its fruit to the soul which feeds thereon. And as it is good towards man, so is it towards God. As the fat of the sacrifice was the Lord's portion, so are our best meditations due to the Most High and are most acceptable to him. We ought, therefore, both for our own good and for the Lord's honour to be much occupied with meditation, and that meditation should chiefly dwell upon the Lord himself: it should be "meditation of him." For want of it much communion is lost and much happiness is missed.
I will be glad in the Lord. To the meditative mind every thought of God is full of joy. Each one of the divine attributes is a well spring of delight now that in Christ Jesus we are reconciled unto God.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 34 -- My meditation of him shall be sweet. A Christian needs to study nothing but Christ, there is enough in Christ to take up his study and contemplation all his days; and the more we study Christ, the more we may study him; there will be new wonders still appearing in him. --John Pox, 1680.
Verse 34. -- My meditation of him shall be sweet. The last words ever written by Henry Martyn, dying among Mohammedans in Persia, was: I sat in the orchard and thought with sweet comfort and peace of my God, in solitude my company, my Friend and Comforter.
Verse 34. -- My meditation of him shall be sweet. I must meditate on Christ. Let philosophers soar in their contemplations, and walk among the stars; what are the stars to Christ, the Sun of righteousness, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person? God manifest in the flesh is a theme which angela rejoice to contemplate. --Samuel Lavington.
Verse 34. -- My meditation of him shall be sweet. First. Take this as an assertion. The meditation on God is sweet. And the sweetness of it should stir us up to the putting of it in practice. Secondly. Take it as a resolution -- that he would make it for his own practice; that is, that he would comfort himself in such performances as these are; whilst others took pleasure in other things, he would please himself in communion with God, this should be his solace and delight upon all occasions. David promises himself a great deal of contentment in this exercise of divine meditation which he undertook with much delight: and so likewise do others of God's servants of the same nature and disposition with him in the like undertakings. Thirdly. Take it as a prayer and petition. It "shall be," that is, let it be, the future put for the imperative, as it frequently uses to be; and so the word "gnatam" is to be translated, not, of God, but to God. Let my meditation, or prayer, or converse, be sweet unto him. Place at "illi meditatio mea", so some good authors interpret it. The English translation, "Let my words be acceptable," and the other before that, "Oh, that my words might please him," which comes to one and the same effect, all taking it in the notion of a prayer: this is that which the servants of God have still thought to be most necessary for them (as indeed it is); God's acceptance of the performances which have been presented by them. --Condensed from Thomas Horton.
Verse 34. (first clause) -- All the ancients join in understanding it thus, "My meditation shall be sweet to him," or, as the Jewish Arab, hdg[ with him, according to that of the Psalmist, Psalms 14:14 "Let the meditation of my heart be always acceptable in thy sight." Thus the Chaldee here, ywmrq, before him; the LXXII hdcny[ih antw, "Let it be sweet to him"; the Syriac to him, and so the others also. And so $[ signifies to as well as on. --Henry Hammond.
Verse 34 -- I will be glad in the Lord. Compare this with verse 31, and observe the mutual and reciprocal pleasure and delight between God who is praised and the soul that praises him. God, who rejoices in his works, takes the highest delight in man, the compendium of his other works, and in that work, than which none more excellent can be pursued by man, the work of praising God in which the blessed are employed. Thus in this very praise of God which is so pleasing to him, David professes to be evermore willing to take delight. My beloved is mine, sings the Spouse, and I am his. --Lorinus.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 34. --
- David's contemplation.
- David's exultation. --Thomas Horton.