Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
I. THE SOUL'S LONGING. (Vers. 1-4.) When we "thirst for God," we naturally look back and recall the times when we had the truest and fullest enjoyment of his presence. We think of "the sanctuary." It was not the outward glory; it was not the splendid ritual; it was not the excitement of the great congregation; but it was the vision of God that then brought peace and joy to the soul. And that is what is craved again - more life and fuller: "To see thy power and thy glory." There are often circumstances which intensify and strengthen our longings. When we come to know God, not only as God, but as our God and our Redeemer, we feel that it is a very necessity of our being, that it is our life, to see him and to serve him, to love him, to worship him, to rejoice in him as all our Salvation and all our Desire.
II. THE SOUL'S SATISFACTION. (Vers. 5-7.) What alone can satisfy the soul is the vision of God; not God afar off, but nigh; not God in nature, or in the Law, or in the imagination of our hearts, but God in Christ. Here is true and abiding satisfaction, infinite truth for the mind, eternal righteousness for the conscience, perfect love for the heart. Philip said, "Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us;" and the answer of our Lord was, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." The more we meditate on this possession, the more we rejoice and give thanks. We cannot but praise. "As the spirit of the whole Book of Psalms is contracted into this psalm, so is the spirit and soul of the whole psalm contracted into this verse" (Donne). "Because thou hast been my Help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice" (ver. 7).
III. THE SOUL'S RESOLUTION. (Vers. 8-11.) There is mutual action. The soul cleaves to God, and God cleaves to the soul. There is a double embrace - we both hold and are upheld. The result is invigoration - the quickening glow of life through all our being, the free and joyous resolve to cleave to God, and to follow him in love and devotion all our days. Our needs are constant, and God's love never fails. When we are weak, his strength makes us strong; when we are weary, his comforts sustain our fainting souls; when we are ready to sink in the waters, his voice gives us courage, and his strong arm brings us salvation. God ever comes to those who want him. Desire on our part is met by satisfaction on his part. More and more as we love and serve we enter into the joy of our Lord. Our heart is prophet to our heart, and tells of vanquishment of the enemy, of the coming glory and the pleasures which are at God's right hand forevermore. - W.F.
I. THE GRANDEST CONVICTION THE CREATURE CAN HAVE. (Ver. 1.) That God is ours, and that we are God's.
II. THE GRANDEST LONGING OF BODY AND SOUL. (Ver. 1.)
III. THE GRANDEST VISION OF LIFE. (Ver. 2.) To see the power and glory of God.
IV. THE GRANDEST SONG. (Ver. 3.) The loving kindness of God better than life "in all the fulness of its earthly meaning."
V. THE MOST ABOUNDING SATISFACTION OF THE SOUL. (Ver. 5.)
VI. THE SUREST AND SAFEST PROTECTION. (Ver. 7.)
VII. THE MOST UNFAILING SUPPORT. (Ver. 8.) - S.