|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:6-8 Wordly people inquire for good, not for the chief good; all they want is outward good, present good, partial good, good meat, good drink, a good trade, and a good estate; but what are all these worth? Any good will serve the turn of most men, but a gracious soul will not be put off so. Lord, let us have thy favour, and let us know that we have it, we desire no more; let us be satisfied of thy loving-kindness, and will be satisfied with it. Many inquire after happiness, but David had found it. When God puts grace in the heart, he puts gladness in the heart. Thus comforted, he pitied, but neither envied nor feared the most prosperous sinner. He commits all his affairs to God, and is prepared to welcome his holy will. But salvation is in Christ alone; where will those appear who despise him as their Mediator, and revile him in his disciples? May they stand in awe, and no longer sin against the only remedy.
Verse 7. - Thou hast put gladness in my heart. David is an example to the de-spending ones. Notwithstanding his sufferings and calamities, God has looked on him, and so "put gladness in his heart" - a gladness which far exceeds that of his adversaries. Though they are in prosperity, and have their corn and wine increased, and enjoy all the "outward material blessings promised to Israel - the wheat and the grape - for a supply of which he is indebted to the generosity of friends" (Kay), yet he would not change places with them. The spiritual joy which fills his own heart is preferable to any amount of material comforts and pleasures.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou hast put gladness in my heart,.... The Ethiopic version reads it "into our heart"; in granting the above request; for, nothing so rejoices the hearts of God's people as the light of his countenance, or the enjoyment of his gracious presence: this was matter of exceeding joy to Christ himself, Psalm 21:6; and so it is to all his members; this causes inward gladness, gladness of heart, and is opposed to the external rejoicings of wicked men and of hypocrites: and this is of God's putting into the heart; and indeed none can put gladness either into a wounded conscience, into the heart of a sensible sinner, or into the soul of one that is panting after the presence of God, and communion with him, but God himself;
more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased: meaning the time of harvest and of vintage; when there is a good harvest, and a good vintage, there is joy among men, and the contrary when it is otherwise, Isaiah 9:3; these things being of general use, spread an universal joy among people; there is scarce any earthly thing that occasions more joy than these do: and yet the joy on such occasions is not to be compared with spiritual joy, that is a joy unspeakable and full of glory. Some take the to be not comparative, but causal, and render the words (s), "thou hast put gladness in ray heart from the time that their corn", &c. as do the Chaldee paraphrase and Syriac versions; and the Arabic version renders it, "because of the multitude of fruits", &c. and then the sense is, as if David should say concerning his enemies,
"I never envied their prosperity, I always rejoiced when they had a good harvest, or vintage, and still do; and yet they have rose up and rebelled against me, and requited me evil for good.''
And this sense is given into by the Jewish commentators (t), and shows of what an admirable spirit, and in what a sweet disposition of mind, the psalmist was; that while his enemies were seeking his life he was rejoicing in their prosperity; and is a sad aggravation of their wickedness: and this may also be understood of the rejoicing of David, and even of the Messiah, and likewise of all good men, at the spiritual prosperity of the saints, at any increase of grace, spiritual knowledge, and joy, signified by these outward things, as in Jeremiah 31:12; the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, add "oil" to corn and wine.
(s) "a vel ex tempore quo frumentum eorum", &c. Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Cocceius. (t) Jarchi, Aben Ezra, & Kimchi in loc.
The Treasury of David
7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
"It is better," said one, "to feel God's favour one hour in our repenting souls, than to sit whole ages under the warmest sunshine that this world affordeth." Christ in the heart is better than corn in the barn, or wine in the vat. Corn and wine are but fruits of the world, but the light of God's countenance is the ripe fruit of heaven. "Thou art with me," is a far more blessed cry than "Harvest home." Let my granary be empty, I am yet full of blessings if Jesus Christ smiles upon me; but if I have all the world, I am poor without Him.
We should not fail to remark that this verse is the saying of the righteous man, in opposition to the saying of the many. How quickly doth the tongue betray the character! "Speak, that I may see thee!" said Socrates to a fair boy. The metal of a bell is best known by its sound. Birds reveal their nature by their song. Owls cannot sing the carol of the lark, nor can the nightingale hoot like the owl. Let us, then, weigh and watch our words, lest our speech should prove us to be foreigners, and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. corn and wine—literally, "new corn and wine."
increased—an abundant harvest giving great joy (Isa 9:3).
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