Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.…
Distinguish between gratitude and praise. Gratitude is an inward, loving sense of obligation for benefits received; praise the expression or outward manifestation of that inward feeling. Gratitude is of the heart; praise of the lip. Gratitude is a something felt; praise a something expressed.
I. Praise is comely for EXISTENCE. The good man recognizes God as the Dispenser of every blessing. He holds all blessings as a loan or trust, and as a faithful steward, employs them for God, not for selfish purposes. As all the rivers return to the sea whence they came, so the upright man sends all God's gifts back again in grateful homage and loving service to the Divine source of all good.
II. Praise is comely for REDEMPTION.
III. Praise is comely for THE GIFT OF IMMORTALITY. The righteous man has something great and noble to live for, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory to anticipate. In prospect, he has that which will fill the immensity of his being, satisfy to the full and for ever, the yearning of his great nature, so that the very thought of his immortality fills his soul with ecstasy, and his song with harmony (1 Peter 1:3). It is said that when Mendelssohn went to see the great Freiburg organ, and asked permission of the old custodian to be allowed to play upon it, he was refused. After a little kind persuasion, however, consent was reluctantly given. Mendelssohn instantly took his seat, and made the organ discourse sublimest music. The custodian, spellbound, drew near and ventured to ask for the name of the stranger. When it was announced, ashamed, and self-condemned, the custodian exclaimed, "What a fool am I to refuse you permission to play!" There is One standing by you who can bring forth the most heavenly strains of music from your heart. Place it in His hand and Christ will make every chord send forth celestial harmonies that would make all the angels cease to sing and be mute, that they might the better listen to the nobler music of Christ's redeemed ones.
Parallel VersesKJV: Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.