Because your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you.
I. THE TEXT REFERS TO SOMETHING, THAT IS GOOD — "Life." Life is a mystery which no subject of it can understand, any more than a machine can understand the force that propels it. God understands it, because He is its Author. Life in man is threefold; animal, moral, intellectual. In these there are degrees. This trinity of life in man lifts him up to supremacy among all earthly living existences. Man, with his threefold life, has accomplished marvellous things for himself and for humanity, looked at only as an inhabitant of earth. But good as life may be, as a gift from God, and used by man in the spheres of his present being, there is something better. Hence —
II. LET US NOTICE IN THE TEXT WHAT THAT SOMETHING IS: "Thy lovingkindness is better than life."
1. The lovingkindness of God is better than life in its nature. What is life but a dream, a vapour, a shadow, a tale that is told, subject in its brevity to numberless vicissitudes? But the lovingkindness of God is a substantial reality. It comes to us in ten thousand ways of good things, both in providence and in the Gospel.
2. It is better in its promises. What are the promises of life but few and feeble? But the lovingkindness of God comes to us not only with promises of present good, but with "exceeding great and precious " promises of good things in the future.
3. It is better in its pleasures. The pleasures of life are carnal, fickle, superficial, unsatisfying. But the pleasures of God's lovingkindness are spiritual, real, enduring, satisfying. God's lovingkindness is a "feast of fat things." It is a river. It is the fulness of God.
4. It is better in its pursuits. The pursuits of life, how low, how little, how transitory! But the pursuits of God's lovingkindness, as it influences us, are prayer, praise, obedience, and heaven; spiritual, noble, eternal.
5. Better in its issues. The issues of life are often disappointment, mortification, loss, and inevitably death. But the issues of God's lovingkindness are the realization of our hopes, answers to our prayers, increase in every good thing, and at last everlasting life.
III. THE REASON FOR PRAISING GOD, AS CONTAINED IN THE TEXT.
1. To praise God for His lovingkindness is good. It is pleasant. It is comely (Psalm 145:1).
2. It is in harmony with all His works: "All Thy works praise Thee"; with the angels; with the saints glorified.
3. It is a becoming return for God's lovingkindness. If a father does well for his child, does not the child praise him? If you give a charity to a beggar of an unusual kind, does he not praise you? Then, how much more ought we to praise our God for His unmerited, abundant, and unparalleled lovingkindness bestowed upon us! "My lips shall praise Thee." In the congregation of Thy people. In my family. In my private life. In all times and places.
Parallel VersesKJV: Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.