My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
What can better become us, who are the creatures of God, than to bless Him, and depend on Him? What can better become us, as Christians, than to be always praising add magnifying that God, to whose grace we owe our salvation and happiness?
I. THE EXAMPLES OF EXCELLENT PERSONS (Jeremiah 9:23, 24; 1 Corinthians 1:29-31). St. Paul himself was an eminent example of his own doctrine; for when, to vindicate himself, he found himself obliged to recount what he had done and suffered in the cause of Christianity, together with his endowments, graces and privileges, he begs pardon for it, calls it the foolishness of boasting, and as nothing less could excuse it, he pleads necessity for it (2 Corinthians 11:20). But this apostle, who was thus shy of glorying in his excellencies and advantages, lest he should seem too tender of his own honour, how forward he is to record his infirmities, that he might advance God's (2 Corinthians 12:9). We cannot be Christians unless God be all in all to us; unless we look upon Him as the source and spring of all good, the object of our joy and glory, and the ultimate end of our desires and hopes.
II. WE HAVE RECEIVED ALL FROM HIM. Whether natural endowments, or worldly possessions, all that we are born to, and all that we acquire, judgment, courage, wit, eloquence, wealth, power, favour, and the like, we certainly owe to God. And if we derive all from God, acknowledgment and praise is the least sacrifice we can make Him.
III. We depend so entirely upon God, that WE CAN REAP LITTLE BENEFIT, NAY, WE MAY SUFFER MUCH PREJUDICE BY THE MOST EXCELLENT ENDOWMENTS AND POSSESSIONS, UNLESS THEY BE SANCTIFIED BY HIS GRACE, AND BEFRIENDED BY HIS PROVIDENCE (Ecclesiastes 9:11). How naturally do riches breed luxury! power tyranny! honour insolence! favour and applause vanity!
IV. To BOAST IN ANYTHING BUT GOD IS A SYMPTOM OF EXTREME PROFANENESS AND IRRELIGION; for whence can this proceed, but from an understanding darkened by ignorance or infidelity, or from a heart alienated from God, and possessed by some vile idol?
V. The heathen thought that there was an envious daemon, whose peculiar province it was to cast down the vainglorious and insolent; but we Christians are taught that TO HUMBLE "THE PROUD IS A WORK THAT GOD DELIGHTS IN (Isaiah 2:12; James 4:6). And why does God take pleasure in this? To assert His sovereignty and dominion, to imprint an awe of His power upon the minds of mankind, and to extort from the proudest and vainest of mortals a confession of their meanness and His majesty.
VI. MARKS BY WHICH WE MAY EXAMINE OURSELVES IN REFERENCE TO THIS MATTER.
1. If we have grateful hearts towards God, we shall let slip no occasion which invites us to praise and honour Him. Not only those things that are new and surprising, that are unusual or extraordinary, but also the common and ordinary works of God, and His constant and daily benefits, will affect our hearts with a devout and thankful remembrance of Him.
2. If we truly glory in the Lord, and in nothing else, our admiration and reverence, our love and gratitude will discover themselves, not only in our words, but in our actions. The principle which causes us to be humble and thankful towards God, will keep us from being disrespectful and insolent towards man; and, in general, we shall think it our duty, not only to glorify God by praise and thanksgiving, but also and especially by a right use and employment of His benefits and mercies.
3. The practice of this duty does by degrees advance us to a settled state of pleasure. What can be more delightful than the exercise of love, when the object of it is most perfect? (Psalm 63:4, 5, 6).
(R. Lucas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.