Verse 15. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. None can gladden the heart as thou canst, O Lord, therefore as thou hast made us sad be pleased to make us glad. Fill the other scale. Proportion thy dispensations. Give us the lamb, since thou has sent us the bitter herbs. Make our days as long as our nights. The prayer is original, childlike, and full of meaning; it is moreover based upon a great principle in providential goodness, by which the Lord puts the good over against the evil in due measure. Great trial enables us to bear great joy, and may be regarded as the herald of extraordinary grace. God's dealings are according to scale; small lives are small throughout; and great histories are great both in sorrow and happiness. Where there are high hills there are also deep valleys. As God provides the sea for leviathan, so does he find a pool for the minnow; in the sea all things are in fit proportion for the mighty monster, while in the little brook all things befit the tiny fish. If we have fierce afflictions we may look for overflowing delights, and our faith may boldly ask for them. God who is great in justice when he chastens will not be little in mercy when he blesses, he will be great all through: let us appeal to him with unstaggering faith.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The joy of faith is in proportion to the sorrow of repentance.
- The joy of consolation is in proportion to suffering in affliction.
- The joy of the returning smiles of God is in proportion to the terror of his frowns. --G.R.
Verse 15. The Balance of life, or the manner in which our joys are set over against our sorrows.