I will sing to the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
The Oriental life differed in a very marked degree from our modern life. For one thing, it was spent more in the open air than is possible in these colder climates; it was a simpler life, coming into contact with nature, open to the influences which nature is sure to have upon the sensitive mind. We gain something, possibly, by living in great cities, but we certainly forfeit something also; we know man better, we are brought more into contact with our fellow-men, but we lose sight of a great deal which might speak, and which does speak to us of the wonderful works of God. the frame of mind in which we live habitually, as well as our surroundings, will have much to do with the spirit of our worship. We may be in the condition of men who are overwhelmed by the thought of man and his works, or of money and its influences, immersed in the noise and smoke until the very heavens themselves are hidden from us, and then the charm of creation is gone, or we may do, what some men never seem to do, possess our souls in the midst of it all. It is something to have seen the works of God, to have taken note of them, even if it be only a glance on a starry night at the wonders of the firmament above. And when we look at the world and at life in this way, with eyes of devotion, and see the Lord there, realized as having a personal existence and share in it all, having to do with its being and its well-being, then it becomes impossible to be silent in His praise. The psalmist has not to reason himself into a right feeling about God; the right feeling is there, and so the psalm begins with an outburst of praise. He is a singer because he is a seer. And because he sees, he is full of devoutness and adoration, and sings as easily and naturally as birds sing when they have entered into the gladness and joy of coming spring. "When I think of God," said Haydn, "my heart is full of joy, the notes dance and leap. I write according to the thoughts I feel." And Handel, when he wrote his "Hallelujah Chorus," said he almost saw heaven opening before him. Devout and joyous worship, then, can only arise from a conception of a world and of a Deity like this. Absence of it in men is fatal; to them, as Hazlitt once expressed it, "the heavens have gone farther off, and become astronomical." The ladder that linked heaven and earth has disappeared; they are not likely to say with David, "The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Thy works," or, with Jacob, "How wonderful, how dreadful is this place!" And yet the duty of man remains. If he understands his true position he will worship, he must worship. But only in right thoughts and devout meditations will be found the secret of a lifelong praise such as the psalmist promises. "Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in Thy sight." A spirit like that may rejoice even in a world like this, and He rejoiced in spirit, for it is the soul which makes the music of life; and therefore fitly and properly this psalm begins and ends, as many another psalm, with: "Bless the Lord, O my soul!"
Parallel VersesKJV: I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.