You have given him his heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.
In this Psalm the joy bells of praise and thanksgiving are rung, and "Te Deum laudamus" sung, as after a great victory. It follows close on Psalm 20, celebrating the fulfilment of the petitions there offered.
1. We are reminded of the connection between desire and prayer. Desire is the mainspring of life. Could the infinite multitude of desires be annihilated, hope and effort would die, and the busy drama of life come to a standstill. Desire is therefore the test of character. Not what a man does or says, but what he desires, marks him for what he is, and makes him what he is. Desire, therefore, is the soul of prayer. We see here, perhaps, the deepest reason why God has ordained prayer, namely, that what is deepest, most dominant in man's nature, should be consecrated to God, and supremely refer to Him.
2. The whole invisible world of human desires (never the same two moments) lies open to God's eye. God can, if He sees fit, give us our "heart's desire." No lawful desire but He has created the means of its satisfaction; and if He disappoints it, this is but for the sake of some nobler end, some richer blessing. Unlawful desires are forbidden, not because He grudges our joy, but because their fulfilment would be our injury and ruin.
3. We have a practical test suggested both of our desires and of our prayers.
(1) Of our desires. Are they such as we can put into prayer? Are they pure — such as God can approve; reasonable — such as we need not be ashamed to put into prayer; unselfish — such as consist with the great law of love; unpresumptuous — within the scope of God's promises?
(2) Of our prayers. Do they indeed express the desires of our heart? Prayer without desire is a dead form; a featherless, pointless arrow that will reach no mark.
(E. R. Conder, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.
WEB: You have given him his heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.