You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
The chief distinction between a child of God and a man of the world lies in the prevailing tendency of their desires.
1. The Psalmist's description of opposite characters. See the description of worldly men, in ver. 6: It is obvious —
(1) That this question betrays a great degree of inward dissatisfaction and perplexity. They say "any good," anything to fill up the craving vacuity of our minds. At the time of the question they cannot find anything in their lot that deserves the name of good.
(2) The only good they inquire for is some present sensible enjoyment, which may be pointed out to the eye of sense, They look not "at the things which are unseen and eternal."(3) They make no discrimination of the objects which they seek after.
(4) They do not turn their thoughts at all to God. They seek counsel from others, but none from Him. Turn to consider the temper of a child of God. He too seeks "good"; but(i) It is not "any" good that will satisfy him. He cannot feed upon husks. He seeks the "chief good."(ii) He knows where that good is to be found. The favour of God, and the sense of His loving kindness, are the only sources of true happiness. The worldly mind is in a state of perpetual fluctuation.(iii) The child of God goes directly to God Himself, and begs the blessing from Him.(iv) The Psalmist, in the name of the godly, uses this prayer in direct opposition to the carnal language, of worldly. men. Intimating to us, that a child of God can relish no sweetness m any inferior good, till he be assured of the Divine favour.
2. The propositions which arise from this comparison.
(1) Worldly men have little cause to rejoice in the temporal advantages which they possess. These outward things may consist with the present misery of the person who possesses them. Indeed, these things are frequently the means of making men miserable, and of fixing them in that deplorable state. These things may end in misery, and leave the owner in everlasting woe.
(2) Consider those solid grounds of joy which belong to the people of God. He is possessed of the joy which results from comparing his present and happy condition with the misery in which he was once involved. Source of joy to a child of God, also consists in the actual honours and privileges conferred upon him. He is advanced to the dearest and most intimate relation to God, adopted into His family, and invested with all the rights of a son. The joy of a saint also proceeds from the contemplation of those future blessings which are yet only the objects of hope. These sources of joy are of such a nature as that no outward distress or calamity can take them away.Improvement of this subject.
1. Inquire which of the characters described by the Psalmist belongs to us.
2. I exhort those of you who are yet carnally minded, to think seriously of your condition.
3. Let those who have been taught to value the light of God's countenance above all things, learn to be humble and thankful.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.