Verse 17. For thou art the glory of their strength. Surely in the Lord Jehovah have we both righteousness and strength. He is our beauty and glory when we are strong in him, as well as our comfort and sustenance when we tremble because of conscious weakness in ourselves. No man whom the Lord makes strong may dare to glory in himself, he must ascribe all honour to the Lord alone; we have neither strength nor beauty apart from him.
And in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. By the use of the word our the Psalmist identifies himself with the blessed people, and this indicates how much sweeter it is to sing in the first person than concerning others. May we have grace to claim a place among those in covenant with God, in Christ Jesus, for then a sense of divine favour will make us also bold and joyous. A creature full of strength and courage lifts up its horn, and so also does a believer become potent, valiant, and daring. The horn was an eastern ornament, worn by men and women, or at least is so at this day, and by the uplifting of this the wearer showed himself to be in good spirits, and in a confident frame of mind: we wear no such outward vanities, but our inward soul is adorned and made bravely triumphant when the favour of God is felt by us. Worldly men need outward prosperity to make them lift up their heads, but the saints find more than enough encouragement in the secret love of God.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 17. In thy favour our horn shall be exalted. A man of lofty bearing is said to carry his horn very high. To him who is proudly interfering with the affairs of another it will be said, "Why show your kombu", "horn", "here?" "See that fellow, what a fine horn he has; he will make the people run." "Truly, my lord, you have a great horn." "Chinnan has lost his money; aye, and his hornship too." "Alas, alas! I am like the deer, whose horns have fallen off." --Joseph Roberts "Oriental Illustrations."
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The blessedness of the righteous.
- Their internal glory. Reliance upon divine strength.
- Their internal honour. "In thy favour", etc.
- The participation in that blessedness. The their of the people of God becomes our. Their strength our horn. Happy they, who, with respect to all the privileges of the saints, can thus turn their into our.
- Consider our natural weakness.
- Consider our strength in God.
- Give God the glory of it.