Verse 2. While I live will I praise the LORD. I shall not live here for ever. This mortal life will find a finis in death; but while it lasts I will laud the Lord my God. I cannot tell how long or short my life may be; but every hour of it shall be given to the praises of my God. While I live I'll love; and while I breathe I'll bless. It is but for a while, and I will not while that time away in idleness, but consecrate it to that same service which shall occupy eternity. As our life is the gift of God's mercy, it should be used for his glory.
I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. When I am no longer in being on earth, I hope to have a higher being in heaven, and there I will not only praise, but sing praises. Here I have to sigh and praise, but there I shall only sing and praise. This "while I have any being" will be a great while, but the whole of it shall be filled up with adoration; for the glorious Jehovah is my God, my own God by covenant, and by blood relationship in Christ Jesus. I have no being apart from my God, therefore, I will not attempt to enjoy my being otherwise than by singing to his honour. Twice the Psalmist says "I will"; here first thoughts and second thoughts are alike good. We cannot be too firm in the holy resolve to praise God, for it is the chief end of our living and being that we should glorify God and enjoy him for ever.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 2. While I live will I praise the LORD. Mr. John Janeway on his deathbed cried out thus, -- "Come, help me with praises, yet all is too little. Come, help me, all ye mighty and glorious angels, who are so well skilled in the heavenly work of praise! Praise him, all ye creatures upon earth; let every thing that hath being help me to praise God. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise is now my work, and I shall be engaged in this sweet work now and for ever. Bring the Bible; turn to David's Psalms, and let us sing a Psalm of praise. Come, let us lift up our voices in the praises of the Most High. I will sing with you as long as my breath doth last, and when I have none, I shall do it better."
Verse 2. While live will I praise the LORD. George Carpenter, the Bavarian martyr, being desired by some godly brethren, that when he was burning in the fire he would give them same sign of his constancy, answered, "Let this be a sure sign unto you of my faith and perseverance in the truth, that so long as I am able to hold open my mouth, or to whisper, I will never cease to praise God, and to profess his truth"; the which also he did, saith mine author; and so did many other martyrs besides. --John Trapp.
Verse 2. I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. He had consecrated his entire earthly existence to the exercise of praise. And not only so, but he adds, I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. In which expression we may fairly conclude that the Psalmist stretches his thoughts beyond the limits of time, and contemplates that scene of eternal praise which shall succeed the less perfect songs of the church below. -- John Morison.
Verse 2. Unto my God. Then praise is most pleasant, when in praising God we have an eye to him as ours, whom we have an interest in, and stand in relation to. -- Matthew Henry.
Verse 2. While I have any being. Praise God for deliverances constantly. Some will be thankful while the memory of a deliverance is fresh, and then leave off. The Carthaginians used, at first, to send the tenth of their yearly revenue to Hercules; and then by degrees they grew weary, and left off sending; but we must be constant in our eucharistic sacrifice, or thank offering. The motion of our praise must be like the motion of our pulse, which beats as long as life lasts. --Thomas Watson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 2. Work for here and hereafter.
- "While I live"; or a period of uncertainty and mystery.
- "I will praise the Lord"; or a service definite, determined, due, and delightful. Certainty amid uncertainty.
- "While I have any being"; or an enthusiastic pre-engagement of eternity. -- W.B.H.