Because your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you.
The wisdom of the human mind is manifested by the estimate which it forms of principles and of things. But, as it requires a good ear to be a judge of music, and a good eye to be a judge of colours, so it requires an enlightened and spiritual mind to form a just estimate of things eternal. We often estimate things by comparison; we draw our conclusions of their importance and value from their different natures, use, and duration. Thus we compare gold with silver, and jewels with gold; and we say gold is better than silver, rubies are better than gold; but "skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath, will he give for his life." Such is the estimate which men form of life, that they will give gold and silver, and all that they have for food, when they are likely to perish without it. But David rises still higher in his estimate, and says, 'Thy lovingkindness is better than life."
I. WE HAVE AN INTERESTING SUBJECT. The Iovingkindness of God.
1. The excellence of the principle. Its want the cause of all misery; its presence, of all joy.
2. Its comprehensive import. It includes all the attributes of God. All are of His love. We sometimes speak of water as conveying to our minds an idea of that one element; but to vary it, we speak of the ocean; and for limitation, we speak of the Atlantic, the Pacific, the German Ocean; to limit ourselves still more, we speak of the sea; and then we name the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea; sometimes we speak of the shores it washes, as the Ganges, the Mississippi, the Thames, or we name some of its various forms, as rain, dew, snow, etc. But we are still speaking of water; it is still the same element we have in view. On the same principle we speak of the subject in the text. When God pities the miserable, we call it compassion — when He shows favour to the unworthy, we call it grace — when He exercises it in a way of pardon, we call it mercy — when He fulfils His promises, and accepts the penitent, and justifies him, we call it faithfulness: still it is only lovingkindness — it is so many various means of making us happy. "Thy lovingkindness is better than life."
3. Its powerful and beneficial influence. The power of love has often been evinced. "God so loved the world," etc.
4. Its duration. It is immutable, it is "everlasting love." Those who are delivered from guilt and depravity by it shall be preserved by it for ever.
II. AN IMPORTANT TRUTH AFFIRMED. "Thy lovingkindness is better than life.
1. It makes up all the deficiencies of life.
2. It alleviates life's sorrows.
3. It adds blessedness to the blessings of life.
III. THE RESOLUTION HERE FORMED. "My lips shall praise Thee." For the manifestation and the application of Thy love. My lips shall do this, by commending Thee to others.
Parallel VersesKJV: Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.