Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies;
Who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies. What various answers could be given to the question - What is the true crown of a man's life?" No doubt the term "crown" may be used in a variety of senses. The psalmist seems here to think of the crown as that which bedecks and beautifies; and he makes us think of the crown of flowers on the May queen, rather than of the jewelled crowns on wealthy kings. So the question comes to be - What is the true adornment, or enrichment, the true decoration, of a human life? Then the answer comes - It is what God gives a man beyond his mere necessities, in the rich outpouring of Divine loving kindness and mercy. It may be put in this way - The Divine provisions are crowned with Divine bestowments.
I. DIVINE PROVISIONS. We cannot be surprised that God, as Creator, should supply all the reasonable needs of his creatures; or that God, as Father, should supply all the wants of his children. There is a certain obligation resting on God that arises out of his relationships. There is a fairly good sense in which the creature and the child may be said to have claims on God, to which, if he be God, he must respond. "The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season." But the limit of the claim to necessities should be clearly shown. And real necessities are very few, and can be easily defined. Try to conceive the change, in life and relations, if God were now to draw back from us everything but our actual necessities. St. Paul could say, "I have all, and abound.
II. DIVINE BESTOWMENTS. Illustrate by the luxuries and delicacies that the housewife provides beyond the necessaries of the table and the house. She enriches, or crowns, her provisions. So with our Father-God. He meets need, but goes beyond need to give us all things richly to enjoy." All the extra things, all the pleasant things, all the pretty things, of life, are bestowments of the Divine loving kindness and tender mercies. If we may think of God's duty in what he provides, we may think of his personal love to us in what he bestows. Then show that personal love can never rest satisfied with its objects being merely provided for; it never can rest until they are happy - happy up to the very limit of their power to be happy. What must God the Father's idea of happiness for his earth children be? With that he would crown them. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;