Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.…
I. GOOD AND RIGHTEOUS MEN ARE MOST OBLIGED TO THE DUTY OF PRAISE, AND MOST FIT TO PERFORM IT.
1. There are many of God's blessings that are universal, in regard to these the duty of thanksgiving should be of as large extent. But since some men partake more particularly of His favour, they are in a more particular manner obliged to gratitude and thanksgiving.
2. The righteous are also most fit to perform this duty.
(1) Because such men are always humble, and ready to acknowledge their unworthiness of God's goodness.
(2) Because they have a quick and lively sense of it, and are apt to be tenderly and passionately affected with it.
(3) Because they have always a solid foundation of true joy in a good conscience.
(4) Because of that fitness and congruity which there is between praise and other virtues. As the beauty of the body consists in the exact dimensions of every part, and the symmetry and proportion of the whole: so does the beauty of the soul consist in the exercise of all Christian virtues, and in the mutual relation which they have to each other: and if any one be wanting it is a plain deformity, and will be perceived immediately.
II. GOD IS THE PROPER OBJECT OF PRAISE. The psalmist does not tie himself up strictly to the contemplation of the Divine nature, as to its essential excellencies only, but considers them as they relate to His works, and are beneficial to His creatures.
1. Rejoice in the Lord in regard of His goodness. Whatever is pleasing to us below, is so, because we take it to be good; that is, suppose it to partake of this fountain of ever-flowing goodness. How, then, should we be transported with joy if we lifted up our thought to Him who is Goodness itself, and through His vast abundance pours it upon every creature! But yet this would not be sufficient for His universal praise, unless we consider His goodness in His works.
2. Rejoice in Him because of His wisdom; it is by this He governs and disposes of all things as in wisdom He made them all.
3. Rejoice in the Lord in regard of His power. That very power which is so dreadful to His enemies, at which the whole creation trembles, at which the everlasting mountains are scattered, the perpetual hills do bow; when He marches through a land in indignation and threshes the heathen in His anger. Power can do as much for the righteous. So that this attribute cannot be dreadful to good men, but on the contrary, must be most delightful to them.
(J. Adams, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.