O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in you.
I. THE HEART OF RELIGION ALWAYS HAS BEEN, AND IS, TRUST IN GOD. The bond that underlies all the blessedness of human society, the thing that makes the sweetness of the sweetest ties that can knit men together, the secret of all the loves of husband and wife, friend and friend, parent and child, is simple confidence. And the more utter the confidence the more tranquilly blessed is the union and the life that flow from it. Transfer this, then — which is the bond of perfectness between man and man — to our relation to God, and you get to the very heart of the mystery. Not by externalisms of any kind, not by the clear dry light of the understanding, but by the outgoing of the heart's confidence to God, do we come within the clasp of His arms and become recipients of His grace. Trust knits to the unseen, and trust alone. And trust is blessed, because the very attitude of confident dependence takes the strain off a man. To feel that I am leaning hard upon a firm prop, to devolve responsibility, to give the helm into another steersman's grasp, whilst I may lie down and rest, that is blessedness, though there be a storm.
II. A LIFE OF FAITH IS A BLESSED LIFE, BECAUSE IT TALKS WITH GOD (vers. 9-11). The ordinary Christian life of this day is terribly wanting in this experience of frank, free talk with God, and that is one reason why so many of us professing Christians know so little of the blessedness of the man that trusts in God. You have religion enough to keep you from doing certain gross acts of sin; you have religion enough to make you uncomfortable in neglected duty. You have religion enough to impel you to certain acts that you suppose to be obligatory upon you. But do you know anything about the elasticity and spring of spirit in getting near God, and pouring out all your hearts to Him? The life of faith is not blessed unless it is a life of frank talking with God.
III. THE LIFE OF FAITH IS BLESSED, BECAUSE IT HAS FIXED ITS DESIRES ON THE TRUE GOOD. "A day in thy courts," etc. This psalmist, speaking with the voice of all them that trust in the Lord, here declares his clear consciousness that the true good for the human soul is fellowship with God. But the clearest knowledge of that fact is not enough to bring the blessedness. There must be the next step — "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness" — the definite resolve that I for my part will act according to my conviction, and, believing that the best thing in life is to have God in life, and that that will make life, as it were, an eternity of blessedness even while it is made up of fleeting days, will pub my foot clown and make my choice, and, having made it, will stick to it. It is all very well to say that "a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand": have I chosen to dwell in the courts; and do I, not only in estimate but in feeling and practice, set communion with God high above everything besides?
IV. A LIFE OF FAITH IS A LIFE OF BLESSEDNESS, BECAUSE IT DRAWS FROM GOD ALL NECESSARY GOOD. "The Lord God is a Sun and Shield" — brightness and defence. "The Lord will give grace and glory": "Grace," the loving gifts which will make a man gracious and graceful; "glory," not any future lustre of the transfigured soul and glorified body, but the glory which belongs to the life of faith here on earth; link that thought with the preceding one. "The Lord is a sun... the Lord will give glory"; like a little bit of broken glass lying in the furrows of a ploughed field, when the sun smites down upon it, it flashes, outshining many a diamond. If a man is walking upon a road with the sun behind him, his face is dark. He wheels himself round, and it is suffused with light, as Moses' face shone. If we walk in the sunshine we shall shine too. If we "walk in the light" we shall be "light in the Lord." "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." Trust is inward, and the outside of trust is an upright walk; and if a man has these two, which, inasmuch as one is the root and the other is the fruit, are but one in reality, nothing that is good will be withheld from him. For how can the sun but pour its rays upon everything that lives?
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.