The Psalms are not merely word melodies, but sparks from the anvil of life. Sledgehammer trials had moulded David, the author of so many, into a vessel meet for God’s treasure. A richness of personal experience emerges that answered the unspoken questions in his life.
The unsettled issues of eternity and meaningful matters of time unfold in these catalogues of praise. Should Satan depress, the flesh discourage and friends disown, then David faced them all. He had slain, conquered and ridden in triumph over his circumstances and his foes; see then how he opens up and displays his own testimony for our encouragement and peace of mind.
The godly man “does not walk, stand or sit,” but lays himself within the heartbeat of a loving God and finds this better than 10,000 laughs with wicked men. These are they who turn their worthless scorn upon the priceless law of heaven and undercost the value of a rugged cross, exchanging life’s full span of thankful praise for hollow jests that mock Golgotha’s crimson stream. This “sounding brass” from godless men is but the swelling of an empty cloud that runs before the sifting breeze of truth. The ransomed heart, in prostrate trust, discards the shallowness of earthly praise and covets not the friendship of unthankful men.
The fear of God has touched his heart with wisdom’s reverential care; has taught his seeking soul to dwell inside a fissured rock and view the scene of prattling men like slowly shifting sand. Their vain advice dissuades pursuing souls, but his faith secures, above all earthly ties, a fellowship with God that rejects the contagion of worldly-minded men, discarding pretentious speech that taunts the smitten Lord. His faith turns an upward ear to catch the whisper wrapped in a loving smile and sees the golden prospect of an earthly pilgrimage spread with divine delight as God himself steps out to tread a coupled path that leads to perfect peace.
Amid the technological turmoil and mournful mechanism of this industrial age, pure laughter is rare but the musical ring of this happy man is a symphony of praise to God, for “his delight is the law.” Even within the church, black morbidity from sanctimonious men can blight the brightest day, but who can stay the cheerful chuckl of a holy life?
To live according to the “law and the testimony” can bring some men into bondage – they try too hard! But the harpist describes this blissful man like unto a tree, and when did you last see a tree work? It quietly puts down and grows up a sturdy multiplication of strength over numerous seasons. It stands tall with towering toughness above the diverse currents of life, king of the plant realm.
Sad sinners, like brittle reeds, soon snap before the driving wind, but a tree simply shakes its emerald crown and rustles a song through the heavens. Similarly, there is nothing to compare with the rippling joy of a ransomed soul when the gusts of God are blowing through their life. By rooting deep at the water’s edge, a tree blooms with fruitful fullness, for it is not only “planted” but also fixed by “rivers of water.” If “his delight is in the law,” then his dependence must be on the Spirit.
The glowing growing shall “never wither.” The man who rests in God and rejoices in His testimony takes on conformity to the “tree of life”, whereas the rootless man will tumble like “rolling thistledown upon the mountains of the Lord” when Jesus comes with judgement. “The way of the ungodly will perish”, but the righteous will see the salvation of the Lord in the morning of eternity. All shall crash and crumble, but through the dissolution of time a new era will emerge that will outlast the confines of man’s measure. Limitless association with a God of love will be nothing less than prosperity, the central promise of the Psalm. The man who lays himself on God, laughs and lasts!