Return to your rest, O my soul; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
I. THE STATE OF THOSE WITH WHOM THE LORD HATH DEALT BOUNTIFULLY.
1. The Lord hath dealt bountifully with those from whom He hath removed any affliction under which they groaned, and for deliverance from which they prayed.
2. The Lord hath dealt bountifully with you, if you can observe a particular mark and signature of His providence in your mercies.
(1) When the means by which any mercy is brought about are extraordinary, and far beyond the reach of human wisdom, it serves to show that God Himself hath been their help.
(2) Sometimes the providence of God is seen in the season of the mercy. It is bestowed when it is most needed, or when it may be of greatest use.
(3) The signature of providence is sometimes seen in the nature of the mercy, when it is exactly suited to the state and character of the person concerned.
3. The Lord deals bountifully with His people, when He gives them a clear and satisfying view of the salutary end, and enables them to make a sanctified use both of their trials and mercies.
4. The Lord hath dealt bountifully with those whom He hath admitted to the most intimate and spiritual communion with Himself; those whom He hath carried above the sphere of temptation, filled them with sensible joy in the Holy Ghost here, and earnest desires after the complete and perpetual enjoyment of His presence in heaven.
II. THE IMPORT OF THE PSALMIST'S RESOLUTION.
1. Return and give the praise where it is due; and humbly acknowledge God as the author of thy mercies.
2. This expression may imply returning to God, and delighting in Him as our reconciled God, and supreme portion and happiness.
3. This expression implies a confidence and reliance on God for protection and security against future dangers.
III. PRACTICAL IMPROVEMENT.
1. Observe one great branch of the sinfulness of the world in general — forgetfulness of God, and unthankfulness for His mercies.
2. Let me beseech every serious person to consider how far he hath sinned against God and his own comfort by forgetting the goodness of God, both in common and special mercies.
3. Directions to those who are truly sensible of the goodness of God.
(1) Be circumspect and watchful; though a thankful frame of spirit is of great advantage, both for your sanctification and peace, yet it is not out of the reach of temptation; let it not produce pride, security, or self-sufficiency.
(2) Be public-spirited and useful; if the Lord hath dealt bountifully with you, commend His service, and speak to His praise.
(3) Be frequent and diligent in secret prayer. This is the way to preserve your watchfulness, and to increase your usefulness.
(J. Witherspoon, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.