Let Israel rejoice in him. — Ps 149:2
Be glad of heart, O believer but take care that your gladness has its spring in the Lord. You have much cause for gladness in your God, for you can sing with David, “God, my exceeding joy!” Be glad that the Lord reigns—that Jehovah is King! Rejoice that He sits upon the throne and rules all things!
Every attribute of God should become a fresh ray in the sunlight of our gladness. That He is wise—should make us glad, knowing as we do our own foolishness. That He is mighty—should cause us to rejoice who tremble at our weakness. That he is everlasting—should always be a theme of joy when we know that we wither as the grass. That He is unchanging—should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour. That He is full of grace, that He is overflowing with it, and that this grace in covenant He has given to us; that it is ours to cleanse us, ours to keep us, ours to sanctify us, ours to perfect us, ours to bring us to glory—all this should tend to make us glad in Him.
This gladness in God is as a deep river—we have only as yet touched its brink, we know a little of its clear sweet, heavenly streams but onward the depth is greater, and the current more impetuous in its joy.
The Christian feels that he may delight himself, not only in what God is but also in all that God has done in the past. The Psalms show us that God’s people in olden times were accustomed to think much of God’s past mercies and to have a song concerning each of them. So let God’s people now rehearse the deeds of the Lord! Let them tell of His mighty acts, and “sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously!”
Nor let them ever cease to sing, for as new mercies flow to them day by day, so should their gladness in the Lord’s loving acts in providence and in grace—show itself in continued thanksgiving. Be glad O children of Zion and rejoice in the Lord your God!
When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. — Ps 61:2
Most of us know what it is to be overwhelmed in heart—emptied as when a man wipes a dish and turns it upside down; submerged and sinking like a vessel mastered by the storm.
Discoveries of inward corruption will do this—if the Lord permits the great deep of our depravity to become troubled and cast up mire and dirt.
Disappointments and heartbreaks will do this—when billow after billow rolls over us, and we are like a broken shell hurled to and fro by the raging surf! Blessed be God, at such seasons we are not without an all-sufficient solace—our God is the harbor of weather-beaten sails, the hospice of forlorn pilgrims. Higher than we are—He is! His mercy higher than our sins! His love is higher than we could imagine!
It is pitiful to see unsaved men putting their trust in something lower than themselves; but our confidence is fixed upon an exceeding high and glorious Lord.
A Rock He is—since He changes not; and a high Rock, because the tempests which overwhelm us—roll far beneath at His feet! He is not disturbed by them but rules them at His will. If we get under the shelter of this lofty Rock—we may defy the hurricane; all is calm under the lee of that towering cliff!
Alas! such is the confusion in which the troubled mind is often cast, that we need piloting to this divine shelter. Hence the prayer of the text, “When my heart is overwhelmed—lead me to the Rock that is higher than I! O Lord, our God, by Your Holy Spirit—teach us the way of faith, lead us into Your rest. The wind blows us out to sea—our puny hand cannot steer the helm! You, You alone can steer us over the wide ocean between yon sunken rocks and safe into the fair haven. How dependent we are upon You! We need You to bring us to You! To be wisely directed and steered into safety and peace is Your gift, and Yours alone. This night be pleased to deal well with Your servants.