that I may see the prosperity of Your chosen ones, and rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, and give glory with your inheritance.
I. THE ASPIRATION.
1. "That I may see the good of thy chosen. He regards God's people as the subject of a Divine choice; as, indeed, they are. There were many others who, to human eyes, seemed more worthy and more likely to bring glory to God. But God had chosen them. And he had appointed good" for them. Good outwardly, in the possession of the promised land; good inwardly, in the possession of God's Holy Spirit and the Divine Law written on their hearts; good instrumentally, in the blessed influence they should exert on others (cf. Psalm 67.). And all this abiding evermore. And this he craved to see; that is, to share in. It is a good desire.
2. "That I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation. He believed Israel to be God's nation; as, indeed, the true Israel of God are. And he believed that the mark of their life was gladness. In their best days Israel was a glad people (Psalm 144:15). And the Israelite, indeed, is ever a happy man. We are made for gladness - the ways of the Lord lead surely to it; but men do not believe this. Nevertheless, these ways are ways of pleasantness," etc. (Proverbs 3:17). And in this gladness the psalmist would share.
3. "That I may glory with thine inheritance. Note, again, the title given to the people of God. They will glory in God himself, for he is their exceeding joy;" in what he has done for them, in them, through them. What themes for glorying there are in all this! "Worthy is the Lamb," etc. (Revelation 5:12). Now, this holy aspiration is preceded by ver. 4.
II. THE PRAYER for what is needed for its fulfilment. He prays:
1. "Remember me, O Lord, with," etc. What a humble prayer it is! as if he feared he might be overlooked and forgotten, and felt that he deserved to be. And what a holy prayer! And it is one that has never yet been refused.
2. "Visit me," etc. He would that God would have compassion on him, and actually bring him his salvation. - S.C.
Let all the people say, Amen.
I. TO GOD'S COMMANDS, "Let all the people say, Amen."
1. The Divine commands are wholly right. Were we able to see absolute rectitude, looking at it as upon an elaborate architectural plan, we should find, on comparing it with the edifice of God's laws, that the latter is a wonderful and minute reflex on the former. What an inspiring thought!
2. The Divine commands are wholly beneficial. "In keeping of them is great reward."
II. TO GOD'S PROVIDENCE, "let all the people say, Amen."
1. To do otherwise is thoughtless. In the Divine government there is a "balance of power." A law of compensation is at work. Weal and woe are more evenly distributed than is commonly imagined. No person, class, or condition has a monopoly of either the blissful or the baleful. One thing is set over against another. A good man in a sea of troubles is in a condition infinitely preferable to that of a bad man nursed in the lap of luxury, housed magnificently, and faring sumptuously every day.
2. To do otherwise is useless. Where is the profit of rebelling against God's sovereign dealing? It is vain to oppose the inevitable. Nay, it is worse than useless; it is injurious. It increases, instead of alleviating, our misery. An oak that had been rooted up by the winds was borne down the stream of a river, on the banks of which many reeds were growing. The oak wondered to see that things so slight and frail had stood the storm, when so great and strong a tree as itself had been rooted up. "Cease to wonder," said the reed, "you were overthrown by fighting against the storm, while we are saved by yielding and bending to the slightest breath that blows." Yes; it is eminently advantageous to say, Amen to the darkest dispensations of Providence.
3. To do otherwise is forgetful. It ignores the oft-repeated doctrine that out of our trials God perfects our good. When we murmur at sorrow, we cease to remember that it is through "much tribulation" that all kingdoms worth occupying are entered.
III. TO GOD'S GOSPEL, "let all the people say, Amen." The good news of free and full pardon through the sacrifice of Christ and in answer to prayer — be that kept intact. We must take it just as it is. Nothing must be added, nothing removed. It is neither too large nor too small, and woe to us if we attempt to alter it.
(T. R. Stevenson.)
I. THE AMEN OF HABIT. People have uttered it from their infancy, all unconscious how much was really contained in that single word. No feeling nor earnestness has accompanied the vocal sound. So far as receiving any benefit from such empty mummery, you might as well expect it from swinging the pendulum of a clock, or by winding up the machinery of an automaton.
II. THE AMEN OF HOPE. Melanchthon, once going forth upon some important service for his Heavenly Master, and having many doubts and fears as to his success, was cheered by a company of poor women and children, whom he found praying together for the prosperity of the Church. And so, the Amen of hope is breathed forth by the trusting soul, as it hears the Saviour's promise, "Behold, I come quickly" (Revelation 3:11).
III. THE AMEN OF FAITH. When the devout Christian who has poured forth his soul in prayer, says, Amen, it is not the mere utterance of earnest desire, but of undoubting faith in Him who is "always more ready to hear than we to pray." The same gracious Father whose promises we plead in prayer, is able, also, to perform. Faith clasps its arms around the Cross of Jesus, and looks, with undoubting confidence, for an answer of peace.
(J. N. Norton.).
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