Psalm 63:2
To see your power and your glory, so as I have seen you in the sanctuary.
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(2) To see thy power . . .—The transposition of the clauses in the Authorised Version weakens the sense. Render, So (i.e., in this state of religious fervour) in the sanctuary have I had vision of thee in seeing thy might and glory. The psalmist means, that while he saw with his eyes the outward signs of Divine glory, he had a spiritual vision (the Hebrew word is that generally used of prophetic vision) of God.

Psalm 63:2. To see — To enjoy, as seeing often means; thy power and glory — The powerful and glorious effects and evidences of thy gracious presence: to see them here in this wilderness, as I have seen them in the tabernacle; to see them in secret, as I have seen them in the solemn assembly: or, to see them again in the sanctuary, as I have formerly seen them there. He longs to be brought out of this wilderness, not that he might see his friends again, and be restored to the pleasures and gayeties of the court, but that he might have access to the sanctuary; not to see the priests there, and the ceremonies of the worship, but to see the power and glory, that is, the glorious power, or powerful glory, of God, which is put for all his attributes and perfections: that he might increase in his acquaintance with them, and have the suitable impressions of them made upon his heart: in other words, so to behold the glory of the Lord as to be changed into the same image, 2 Corinthians 3:18. The phraseology of the psalmist should be observed here; he does not say, to see thy power and glory as I have seen them, but as I have seen thee. We cannot, indeed, see the essence of God, but we see him, in the sense meant by the psalmist, in seeing by faith his gracious and glorious perfections. With the remembrance of these sights David here pleaseth himself: those were precious minutes which he spent in communion with God: he loved to recollect and dwell upon them: of these he lamented the loss, and to these he longed to be restored. Reader, are thy views and feelings of this kind? Dost thou thus esteem, desire, and delight in God’s ordinances? Art thou thus pained when deprived of them, and thus delighted when privileged with the enjoyment of them? And dost thou thus desire, and expect, and seek, and find the presence of God in them? “The true Christian,” says Dr. Horne, “dedicates to God ‘the sweet hour of prime,’ he opens the eyes of his understanding, together with those of his body, and awakes each morning to righteousness. He arises with an inextinguishable thirst after those comforts which the world cannot give, and has immediate recourse, by prayer, to the fountain of the water of life; ever longing to behold the divine power and glory in the sanctuary above, of which he has been favoured with some glimpse in the services of the church below.”63:1,2 Early will I seek thee. The true Christian devotes to God the morning hour. He opens the eyes of his understanding with those of his body, and awakes each morning to righteousness. He arises with a thirst after those comforts which the world cannot give, and has immediate recourse by prayer to the Fountain of the water of life. The true believer is convinced, that nothing in this sinful world can satisfy the wants and desires of his immortal soul; he expects his happiness from God, as his portion. When faith and hope are most in exercise, the world appears a weary desert, and the believer longs for the joys of heaven, of which he has some foretastes in the ordinances of God upon earth.To see thy power and thy glory - The reference here is to what was manifested of the presence and the power of God in the services of public worship; the praises, the prayers, the rejoicings, the evidences of the divine presence.

So as I have seen thee in the sanctuary - At the tabernacle, amidst the solenm services of divine worship. There seems to be no reason for supposing that he here refers to the mere external pomp and splendor of public worship, but he doubtless includes the power of the divine presence which he had felt in such services on his own soul. As applied now to a place of Christian worship, it may be observed that there are nowhere more striking exhibitions of the Tower of God on earth than those which occur in such a place, especially in a revival of religion. The scene on the day of Pentecost was as striking an exhibition of the power of God as that which goes forth in the fury of the storm, in the raging of the ocean, or in the guidance of the heavenly bodies. Nothing can so well express what occurs in such a scene as the words "power" and "glory;" nothing shows more certainly the power of God than that influence which bows down haughty sinners, and makes them humble; which produces a deep stillness and awe in the assembled multitudes; which extorts the cry, "Men and brethren, what must we do to be saved?" which makes hardened men weep, and men long addicted to habits of sin willing to abandon their iniquities, and turn to God: and nothing shows more clearly the "glory" of God than that power, that grace, that mercy, which thus turns multitudes from the ways of sin and death, and directs their feet into the path of peace and salvation. They who have ever witnessed the power of God in a revival of religion, will ever afterward long to see again "the power and glory" of God, as they "have seen" it "in the sanctuary."

2. The special object of desire was God's perfections as displayed in his worship (Ps 27:4). To see, i.e. to enjoy, as seeing is oft taken.

Thy power and thy glory; either,

1. The ark, which is called God’s strength and glory, 1 Samuel 4:21 1 Chronicles 16:11 Psalm 78:61. Or rather,

2. The powerful and glorious effects and evidences of thy gracious presence there.

So as I have seen thee; whereof I have formerly had great and comfortable experience; which makes me more sensible of my present loss, and more thirsty after these enjoyments. To see thy power and thy glory,.... Either the ark, as the Jewish writers generally interpret it; the symbol of God's presence and glory, and which is called his strength and his glory; see Psalm 78:61; or rather the Lord Christ, who is the power of God, as well as the wisdom of God; by whom he made the world, and upholds it; by whom he has redeemed his people, and keeps and preserves them; and whose power is seen in the efficacy of the word and ordinances: and who is also the glory of God; he is the brightness of his Father's glory; his glory is the glory as of the only begotten of the Father; he has the same glorious nature, perfections, names, homage, and worship; and the glory of all the divine attributes is displayed in the work of salvation and redemption he has wrought out; and this glory is to be seen, through the glass of the word and ordinances, in the house of God. Hence it follows;

so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary; where he comes and blesses his people, and manifests himself unto them, as he does not unto the world; where his goings are seen, and his footsteps traced, Psalm 68:24. The psalmist calls to mind former experiences in the sanctuary; and these stimulate him to an eager desire of fresh tastes of the grace of God, and clearer views of his power and glory. Or, as in a dry and thirsty land my soul longed and thirsted for time, so have I desired to see thee in the sanctuary; or so I see thee there as if in the sanctuary.

To see thy power and thy glory, so as {c} I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

(c) In this misery I exercise myself in the contemplation of your power and glory, as if I were in the sanctuary.

2. The A.V. transposes the clauses of this verse in a way which cannot be justified. Render:

In such wise have I gazed upon thee in the sanctuary,

To see thy strength and thy glory.

In such wise (‘so’) is explained to refer to Psalm 63:1 meaning ‘as my God,’ or ‘so fervently’; but this verse seems rather to give the ground and reason for the preceding verse:—I pine for communion with Thee, because I have had such glorious visions of Thy presence in the sanctuary. There he has ‘gazed’ upon God—the word is used of an intent and discerning contemplation, specially of things divine (Psalm 27:4; Psalm 11:7; Psalm 17:15), and of prophetic ‘vision’ (Isaiah 1:1)—in order to realise His Majesty as it is revealed to man. The Ark was the symbol of God’s Presence, of His strength and glory (1 Samuel 4:21; Psalm 24:7, note; Psalm 78:61; Psalm 132:8); and all the ordinances of the sanctuary possessed for him a sacramental meaning. It was thus that Isaiah ‘saw the Lord.’Verse 2. - To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. This is the form which the longing takes - to see God once more worshipped in the sanctuary in all the "beauty of holiness," as he had so often seen him previously (comp. 2 Samuel 15:25). The beginning of the second group goes back and seizes upon the beginning of the first. אך is affirmative both in Psalm 62:6 and in Psalm 62:7. The poet again takes up the emotional affirmations of Psalm 62:2, Psalm 62:3, and, firm and defiant in faith, opposes them to his masked enemies. Here what he says to his soul is very similar to what he said of his soul in Psalm 62:2, inasmuch as he makes his own soul objective and exalts himself above her; and it is just in this that the secret of personality consists. He here admonishes her to that silence which in Psalm 62:2 he has already acknowledged as her own; because all spiritual existence as being living remains itself unchanged only by means of a perpetual "becoming" (mittelst steten Werdens), of continuous, self-conscious renovation. The "hope" in Psalm 62:6 is intended to be understood according to that which forms its substance, which here is nothing more nor less than salvation, Psalm 62:2. That for which he who resigns himself to God hopes, comes from God; it cannot therfore fail him, for God the Almighty One and plenteous in mercy is surety for it. David renounces all help in himself, all personal avenging of his own honour - his salvation and his honour are על־אלהים (vid., on Psalm 7:11). The rock of his strength, i.e., his strong defence, his refuge, is בּאלהים; it is where Elohim is, Elohim is it in person (בּ as in Isaiah 26:4). By עם, Psalm 62:9, the king addresses those who have reamined faithful to him, whose feeble faith he has had to chide and sustain in other instances also in the Psalms belonging to this period. The address does not suit the whole people, who had become for the most part drawn into the apostasy. Moreover it would then have been עמּי (my people). עם frequently signifies the people belonging to the retinue of a prince (Judges 3:18), or in the service of any person of rank (1 Kings 19:21), or belonging to any union of society whatever (2 Kings 4:42.). David thus names those who cleave to him; and the fact that he cannot say "my people" just shows that the people as a body had become alienated from him. But those who have remained to him of the people are not therefore to despair; but they are to pour out before God, who will know how to protect both them and their king, whatever may lie heavily upon their heart.
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