And let the beauty of the LORD our God be on us: and establish you the work of our hands on us; yes…
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
I. THAT GOOD MEN ARE ENGAGED IN IMPORTANT WORK. God has a work to do; and the psalmist prays that it may be made manifest to their eyes. We desire to see God's work - the revelations and exercises of his great power and love. But the thought here is of our work.
1. It is divinely appointed. Not self-chosen. The great aim of it is the same as God's - to save men, by our giving them all possible help.
2. This work gives to life its chief value and interest. Living for the bodies and souls of others is intrinsically more valuable than all the private ends we pursue.
II. GOOD MEN FEEL ANXIOUS FOR THE SUCCESS OF THEIR WORK. They want it established, made strong, prospered. Even as they aim to succeed in their temporal work. On account of the intrinsic importance of the work itself. Because of the consequences of the work in the future. "And thy glory unto their children." Good men think not only of their own future, but of the future of Christ's Church. Because of our future. It will soon be of the utmost consequence to us whether our work has been established or not. Have we done anything, are we doing anything, that will last - of a beneficent kind?
III. GOOD MEN FEEL THAT THE SUCCESS OF THEM WORE DEPENDS ON THE BLESSING OF GOD. "Let thy beauty be upon us, and establish thou the work of our hands." If our work is to be strong - be established - the strength must come from God. The utmost we can do is to accomplish the outward conditions of success; but God alone can reach the heart of the sinner and sufferer to cleanse and comfort. Our work ought to be beautiful, but God alone can give the beauty. If our work be the work of gratitude, love, humility, and self-sacrifice, it is God that has made it beautiful.
IV. THAT THE DIVINE BLESSING ON OUR WORK IS OBTAINED BY PRAYER.
1. God has made prayer necessary to the success of spiritual work. Christ taught this constantly, "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest," etc.; "Thy kingdom come."
2. As a matter of experience, the men who have prayed most over their work have succeeded best. Their prayer expressed their earnestness and faith - trust and spirit of dependence. Observe how work and prayer are here conjoined, Prayer useless where there is no work on hand. - S.
Parallel VersesKJV: And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.