Verse 2. To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. He longed not so much to see the sanctuary as to see his God; he looked through the veil of ceremonies to the invisible One. Often had his heart been gladdened by communion with God in the outward ordinances, and for this great blessing he sighs again; as well he might, for it is the weightiest of all earth's sorrows for a Christian man to lose the conscious presence of his covenant God. He remembers and mentions the two attributes which had most impressed themselves upon his mind when he had been rapt in adoration in the holy place; upon these his mind had dwelt in the preceding Psalm, and the savour of that contemplation is evidently upon his heart when in the wilderness: these he desires to behold again in the place of his banishment. It is a precious thought that the divine power and glory are not confined in their manifestation to any places or localities; they are to be heard above the roaring of the sea, seen amid the glare of the tempest, felt in the forest and the prairie, and enjoyed wherever there is a heart that longs and thirsts to behold them. Our misery is that we thirst so little for these sublime things, and so much for the mocking trifles of time and sense. We are in very truth always in a weary land, for this is not our rest; and it is marvellous that believers do not more continuously thirst after their portion far beyond the river where they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; but shall see the face of their God, and his name shall be in their foreheads. David did not thirst for water or any earthly thing, but only for spiritual manifestations. The sight of God was enough for him, but nothing short of that would content him. How great a friend is he, the very sight of whom is consolation. Oh, my soul, imitate the psalmist, and let all thy desires ascend towards the highest good; longing here to see God, and having no higher joy even for eternity.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 1-2. O God, thou art my God. See Psalms on "Psalms 63:1" for further information.
Verse 2. To see thy power, etc.
- It is, or should be, the desire of every Christian to
see and enjoy more and more of the glory of God.
- That the accomplishment of this design is to be
sought by a devout and diligent attendance upon the
worship of the sanctuary. How is God's character in
the sanctuary manifested to believers?
- By the ministry of reconciliation -- by the exhibition of gospel truth.
- Believers grow in their knowledge of the divine character in the sanctuary, by observing and feeling the application of those great doctrines to the souls of men, by the power and influence of the Holy Spirit.
- The effects that result to the believer in his history and experience, from an increasing knowledge of the power and glory of God. The effects of this knowledge are great and manifold.
- The believer, by fresh displays of the divine glory, is disenchanted from the fascination of the world.
- Another effect of an increasing acquaintance with God, and of every view of the divine glory we obtain, is that the mind is disentangled from the embarrassments into which it is sometimes thrown by the aspect of providence.
- By seeing the divine power and glory in the sanctuary, we shall have our strength renewed to go on our Christian course afresh.
- A view of the divine glory crucifies our lusts, and puts the corruptions of our heart to death.
- Fresh views of the divine power and glory nourish our humility.
- These views of the divine glory in the sanctuary arm us for our conflict with the last enemy.
- That it is a characteristic of every good man, that he is devoutly attached to the solemnities of public worship.
- That his object in going to the sanctuary is definite and distinct. John Angell James.
Verse 2. So as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. To converse with ordinances, and not to converse with God; to have to do with ordinances, and not to have to do with God, alas! they are but dry breasts, and a miscarrying womb that will never bring forth the fruits of holiness. Ordinances without God are but like bones that have no marrow in them; they are but like shells without a kernel. Your hearing will be in vain; and your praying will be in vain; there will be no spirit moving, no voice answering, no heart warnings, no soul refreshing, no God meetings. William Strong (--1654), in the "Saints' Communion."
Verse 2. God's glory is in the firmament, in all the creatures, but more especially and fully in the church. Psalms 29:9 , "In his temple doth every one speak of his glory;" there it is most visible, affecting, and provoking of every one to speak. In the world few take notice of it, but in the temple every one sees it, and speaks of it. The world is God opened, and so glorious; the church is Christ opened, and so very glorious. This made David long to be in the sanctuary when he was in the wilderness; and why so? To see thy power and thy glory. Could not David see them in the heavens, in the mountains, in the goodly cedars, and other works of God? Yes, but not as in the sanctuary; and therefore he saith, To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary; there I have seen thee otherwise than ever elsewhere; there he saw the king upon his throne and in his glory. William Greenhill.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS