Sing to the LORD, O you saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
This sentence occurs again at the end of the ninety-seventh psalm, and is in reality one of the most elevated sentences Holy Scripture contains. Here is a sinful creature adoring the Lord not for His mercy but for His holiness, and calling on others to do the same. What cannot the grace of God do in a sinner's heart?
I. THE HOLINESS OF GOD. It affirms that in God all good is present and all evil absent. He calls His saints on earth holy, but they are so only by comparison with their fellow-men: and the holiness of the angels is not only limited, but, as all creature holiness, it is derived, it has its origin not in themselves, but in God. He alone is holy in Himself. And now consider —
II. THE EFFECT THIS WONDERFUL HOLINESS SHOULD HAVE UPON US. We are called upon "to sing unto the Lord and to give thanks." Now this implies —
1. A happy confidence in the Lord's mercy. For none can ever thank the Lord for His holiness till he is able to take a firm stand in His mercy. His holiness looked at alone is appalling to us. We can scarcely bear to hear of it. But when we are in Christ, resting on Him, then we can look calmly upon His holiness. Embraced in His mercy, the soul feels as Noah, shut in the ark — safe, though destruction be all around.
2. A delightful admiration of God's holiness. God delights in it Himself. Nearly fifty times He calls Himself "the Holy One." And the angels and saints in heaven glory in it. See the trisagion, "Holy, holy, holy," etc. And we are called upon to share in this delight. The communion service bids us say, "Therefore with angels and archangels," etc. Happy are we if we can understand such language and really join in it.
3. A grateful sense of his obligations to the Divine holiness. What delight to turn from the dreary sinfulness of men, to the holiness of God. The thought of it is as an oasis in the wilderness. And it sheds a radiance on all His other attributes. What would any of them be apart from this? And what holiness we have is an emanation from His, and, because of His, will be perfected. Therefore let us live in remembrance of it.
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.