Praise the LORD with harp: sing to him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
Most of us, if we praise the Lord at all, play upon one string, or two, or three, when we ought to take a harp full chorded and with glad fingers sweep all the strings. Instead of being grateful for here and there a blessing we happen to think of, we ought to rehearse all our blessings so far as we can recall them, and obey the injunction of my text to sing unto Him with an instrument of ten strings.
1. Have you appreciated the fact that on most of your tables are luxuries that do not come to all? Have you realized what varieties of flavour often touch your tongue, and how the saccharine and the acid have been afforded your palate? For the fine flavours and the luxurious viands you have enjoyed for a lifetime, perhaps you have never expressed to God a word of thanksgiving. That is one of the ten strings that you ought to have thrummed in praise to God, but you have never yet put it in vibration.
2. Have you thanked God for eyesight? Haw you realized the privation those suffer to whom the day is as black as the night, and who never see the face of father or mother or wife or child or friend? Through what painful surgery many have gone to get one glimpse of the light. The eyes — so delicate, and beautiful, and useful — that one of them is invaluable!
3. Notice how many pass through life in silence because the ear refuses to do its office. Have we devoutly thanked God for these two wonders of our hearing, with which we can now put ourselves under the charm of sweet sound, and also carry in our memories the infantile song with which our mothers put us to sleep?
4. There are many who never recognize how much God gives them when He gives them sleep. Oh, the felicities of slumber! Let all who have this real benefaction celebrate it. That is one of the sweetest strings in all the instrument of ten strings.
5. Acknowledge the power of physical locomotion. To be able to go where we wish, and all unaided — what a kindness! What multitudes have to call in the aid of crutch and invalid's chair, and their whole life is a hinderment. How hard to get about with lack of strong and healthy and supple limbs.
6. Celebrate on the instrument of ten strings our illumined nights. They spread their tents over us, and some of us hardly go out to look at them. During the nights other worlds come in sight. Thank God for lunar and stellar illumination.
7. Celebrate the possession of our reason. Amid the increasing dementia of the world, let us appreciate the goodness of God to us if our mental faculties are in equipoise. Voyaging from New Zealand to Australia, a storm swooped upon us, and we saw all around us fragments of ships that had been caught in the same tempest; and how thankful we were, sailing into Sydney harbour, that we had escaped! So that man and that woman, whose intellect goes safely through the storms of this life, in which so many have foundered, ought every day and every night to employ one of the ten strings in gratitude for that particular mercy.
8. Another string of this instrument I now touch — friendships, deep and abiding. With one such friend you can defy the world.
9. Gospel advantages. That Gospel rocked our cradle, and it will epitaph our grave. It soothes our sorrows, brightens our hopes, inspires our courage, forgives our sins, and saves our souls. It takes a man who is all wrong and makes him all right. What that Gospel has done for you and me is a story that we can never fully tell.
(T. De Witt Talmage.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.