Psalm 36:7
How precious is Your loving devotion, O God, that the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
Sermons
The Divine Hunger and ThirstCharles KingsleyPsalm 36:7
A Diagnosis of SinJ. H. Jowett, M.A.Psalm 36:1-12
A Sharp Contrast of Sin and HolinessT. W. Chambers, D. D.Psalm 36:1-12
AspiceW. Forsyth Psalm 36:1-12
On the Deceitfulness of the HeartJohn Jamieson, D. D.Psalm 36:1-12
The Character of the Wicked and the Prayer of the GoodHomilistPsalm 36:1-12
The Curse of Wickedness and the Blessedness of Fellowship with GodC. Short Psalm 36:1-12
The Deceitfulness of SinW. Craig, D.D.Psalm 36:1-12
The Remedy for the World's WickednessHugh M'Neils, M. A.Psalm 36:1-12
We have Here a Terrible Picture Of, the Wicked ManW. Forsyth Psalm 36:1-12
A Great DeepJ. Jackson Wray.Psalm 36:5-7
Earthly Emblems of Heavenly ThingsT. Whitelaw, D. D.Psalm 36:5-7
FathomlessPsalm 36:5-7
God's Righteousness Like the Great MountainsChristian WeeklyPsalm 36:5-7
God's Righteousness Like the MountainsJ. Silvester, M. A.Psalm 36:5-7
God's Righteousness Like the MountainsT. J. Guest.Psalm 36:5-7
Mountain MeditationsW. O. Horder.Psalm 36:5-7
Preparation for Dark ProvidencesH. Melvill, B. D.Psalm 36:5-7
Righteousness and Great MountainsEnoch Mellor, D. D.Psalm 36:5-7
Sky, Earth and Sea; a Parable of GodA. Maclaren, D. D.Psalm 36:5-7
The Mountains of GodT. Spurgeon.Psalm 36:5-7
Two ComparisonsA. McAuslane, D. D.Psalm 36:5-7
Voices of a Summer LandscapeW. A. Gray.Psalm 36:5-7
God's Revelation of Himself to ManC. Clemance Psalm 36:5-12
Righteousness; Judgment; Loving-KindnessW. Forsyth Psalm 36:6, 7
The Character and Privileges of God's PeopleD. Rees.Psalm 36:7-8
The Excellence of God's Loving-KindnessHelps for the PulpitPsalm 36:7-8
The Excellence of God's Loving-KindnessT. Herren, D. D.Psalm 36:7-8
The Guests of the LordJ. H. Jowett, M.A.Psalm 36:7-8


There are three great sayings here which deserve our deepest study. First, God's "righteousness," that perfection of his character which secures perfect justice in all his doings. It is like "the mountains," so high that it is always above us, so fixed and stable that it cannot be moved. Then God's "judgments" - his ways, his dealings with men - are called a "great deep," as being in many respects beyond our sounding or measuring, unfathomable and full of mystery (Psalm 77:19). Last, there is God's providential care. It is said, "How excellent is thy loving-kindness, O God!" (vers. 6, 7). But while these sayings are very striking and beautiful, looked at by themselves, they become vastly more significant and consolatory when we regard them in their relationship. Suppose we take the second, and place it in the light of the first and then of the third. In the "great deep" there is much that is awful and perplexing. But if there be mystery, this should not surprise us. We are but children. How can the finite comprehend the Infinite! But this mystery has its uses: it teaches us humility; it inspires us with reverence; it prepares the way for faith and hope and love. But much depends on our standpoint. See how different things become when we look at "the great deep" from the sure ground of the everlasting hills. It is significant that the psalmist speaks of the "mountains" before the "great deep," of the "righteousness" of God before his "judgments." Here is a lesson for us. Let us first make sure as to God's righteousness. Then when our hearts are established in this truth, we can look abroad without fear of the great deep of God's judgments. Even if, like Paul, tossed up and down "in Adria," the assurance of God's righteousness will give us peace, and sustain our hopes; and when we reach the shore again, we can look back, as from Melita, with thankful love and praise to God's ways and wonders in the deep. Then, further, when we take up the third great saying here, the light increases, and the sense of God's gracious presence and care becomes stronger and stronger. How often is it so in God's Word and works! Side by side with some grand manifestation of his greatness and majesty, we have some tender touch that speaks of his fatherly love and care. Whensoever, then, we are oppressed and appalled by the sight of the "great deep," let us call to mind, on the one hand, God's "righteousness;" and, on the other, God's love - that we may be comforted. Before us is the "great deep," with many things that are terrible and distressing - the shipwreck of dear hopes, the burying out of sight of beloved ones, the mystery of trial and of death - but, standing on the sure ground of God's righteousness, we may possess our souls in patience; and, contemplating the manifold and increasing proofs of God's love and goodness in our daily life, we may take heart, and say, "He cannot will me aught but good; I trust him utterly." Let us learn to take the right order in considering God's works. We should begin with what is plain and certain. We should study the dark things in the light of what is clear, the mysteries by what is revealed. Further, mark the importance of making much of common mercies, that we may be the better prepared for uncommon emergencies. God is educating us. When we know him as caring for us in little things, we can trust him to care for us in greater things (Matthew 6:30-34). If we have learned to run with the footmen without being weary, we can better contend with horses. If we do our duty and serve God in the land of peace, then we shall be the fitter to face the swelling of Jordan (Jeremiah 12:5). Above all, let us remember that only in God can we find a sure Refuge from all trouble (ver. 7).

Though griefs unnumbered throng thee round,
Still in thy God confide;
Whose finger marks the seas their bound,
And curbs the headlong tide." ? W.F.









How excellent is Thy loving-kindness, O God.
Helps for the Pulpit.
I. THE SUBJECT OF THE TEXT. "Thy loving-kindness, O God."

1. Manifested —

(1)In creation.

(2)In providence.

(3)In grace.

2. Felt or experienced —

(1)In conversion.

(2)In reconciliation and adoption.

(3)In Christian fellowship and communion with God.

(4)In ordinances and promises.

(5)In heaven.

II. ITS EXCELLENCE. This appears —

1. In being manifested to the most unworthy.

2. In the multitude of blessings of which it is the source.

3. It gives security in all dangers, and produces confidence.

4. It is infinitely satisfying.

5. It is constant.

6. It is pregnant with prospective blessedness and ineffable glory.APPLICATION.

1. Does your experience lead you to admire this loving-kindness?

2. If not, it is a proof of slothfulness, and barrenness, and calls for repentance.

3. However much of this loving-kindness you enjoy now, it is but a foretaste.

(Helps for the Pulpit.)

"How excellent is Thy loving-kindness, O Lord!" Here is a burst of doxology born out of a great contemplation. This man sings but as the linnet sings; he sings because he must; his song is the spontaneous outbreaking of a jubilant soul. So many of our doxologies are forced and artificial; they are not natural and inevitable. This man's song is the sure and certain issue of prepared and definite conditions. He has been surveying the wondrous power of God. And where has the meditation taken place? In the open air. He is a great lover of nature, and as he fixes his wondering eye upon its glories, Nature becomes to him a literature, and he discerns the character of God. It is a long and leisurely meditation. Moment by moment he seems to peer into ever-deepening depths in the immeasurable sky. "Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens!" Thy mercy is just like what I am gazing at! Depth beyond depth, and a comprehension that encircles everybody! And then he turns to the gathering clouds, brewing away in the south-west, and coming with their ladened treasures to moisten the slopes of Carmel, and to drench the dried plains with their fertilizing wealth. And again his heart reads the spiritual evangel brought by this material messenger. "Thy faithfulness reacheth out of the clouds!" The looming storm, the gathering darkness, are not chaotic forces raging at will without command; they are all in the charge of the Almighty God! "The clouds drop fatness!" Then his eyes wander away to the uplifted mountains, to Hermon and to distant Lebanon, or across to the hills of Moab. These are the emphases in the landscape, the abiding realities amid all its shifting moods. The river comes and goes; there is time of drought and time of plenty! Generations arise and pass away, but in each succeeding day the harvester looks up from the feverish plains and sees the cool and towering heights of the unchanging Lebanon. "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains!" Whatever happens, that endures! And so his contemplative eye wanders about in this great field of spiritual symbolism, till the heart glows and burns in the accumulated glory. "How excellent is Thy loving-kindness, O God!" Surely we might imitate the psalmist in this fruitful method of devotion. Now this loving-kindness, so precious and so excellent, represents itself to the psalmist as a home for the soul, a home in which all the children of men can be the guests of God. The loving-kindness of our Lord is just the guest-house of the soul! For what does the psalmist assure us we may find in this gracious home? First., it offers us shelter. "Therefore the children of men take refuge under the shadow of Thy wings." I think there is something very pathetic in the conjunction. After the towering mountains, and the far-stretched heavens, and the battalions of storm-clouds, and the mysterious sea, he mentions "the children of men." He appears to be half-terrified and half-confident in the association. Man seems so pitiably small by the side of the colossal phenomena of the material world. And yet, although the psalmist trembles for a moment in the sense of his own insignificance, he soon recovers the confidence of his soul. "Therefore the children of men fake refuge under the shadow of Thy wings." That is the privilege of the sons of God. We can hide in the immediate presence of the Creator of all things, We can turn into the loving-kindness of God as little chicks cuddle under their mother's wings. There is room for everybody, always and everywhere. The peril or the crisis never finds us far away from home. But in the guest-house we not only find shelter and security, we find gracious and perfect sustenance. "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house." The Lord always gives His guest the best. The word "fatness" literally means the top of a thing. The top of milk is the cream, and it is always the cream of things with which our Lord entertains His children. "Thou feedest them with the finest of the wheat." He provides fat visions for the mind, delivering us from poor and thin conceptions of God, of man, of life and duty. He provides fat promises for the heart, saving us from thin and poor affections, from emotions in which there is no strength and no sacrificial ministry. And He provides fat energies for the will, nourishing us into powers of resoluteness which make us invulnerable in the pilgrim way. And with this fatness we are to be "abundantly satisfied." There are so many unsatisfied people in our streets, possessed of comforts, but no comfort, having found ease but not having gained peace. But the food of the Lord is to abundantly satisfy, and the heart is to be at rest. "He satisfieth thy mouth with good things." But more than shelter and sustenance are to be given to us. Our great Host entertains His guests with rare delights. "Thou shelf make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures." This may mean the pleasures that God provides us, Or it may mean God's own pleasures, or it may probably mean both. The things that give pleasure to the Lord are to give joy to us, In what does our Lord find His delight? "He delighteth in mercy!" And I am to drink of this river, and to relish the taste of it, and to find it a gracious delight. "There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth!" And of this river I am to drink, and my heart is to be glad at the prodigal's return. When I see another rejoicing I am to rejoice, and in my delight I shall share the joy of the Lord. And all these pleasures are to come my way like a river. They are not to be like a pool, exposed to the immediate drought, dried up in the critical day. And the psalmist, before closing his doxology, gives us the great secret of this all-sufficient hospitality. "With Thee is the fountain of life." All good is to be found in God. "All our springs are in Him," the springs of impulse, and desire, and will, and of all vitality.

(J. H. Jowett, M.A.)

I. TAKE THE WORDS DIRECTLY AND ABSOLUTELY, AS THEY LIE IN THEMSELVES.

1. God's loving-kindness is most excellent, that is, His favour and good-will (Psalm 30:5; Psalm 63:3; Psalm 106:4).(1) In regard of the subject of it, by considering whose it is.(2) In regard of the fulness of it. He that hath but God's favour, what can he be said to want? There's nothing here in the world, but when a man has as much of it as his heart can wish, yet he will still want somewhat with it, and that sometimes which he can least be without; but he that hath an interest in God's loving-kindness, he hath all good things made over to him, so far forth as he hath use and need of them.(3) In regard of the efficacy of it, it is such as is of sweet influence wheresoever it is; it makes comforts to be so much the more comfortable, and it makes crosses to be so much the more tolerable and beneficial.(4) For its freeness and impartiality.(5) For its continuance and duration. Whom He loves, He loves to the end (Isaiah 54:8).

2. The psalmist blesses God for His activity of goodness to His church, for that loving-kindness which does put itself forth in His proceedings and dispensations to them. Now this also as well as the former is very excellent, and that in these regards.(1) In regard of the substance of it, and the materials whereof it consists, which are various. God has shown His loving. kindness to His church in divers expressions. In giving them His Son for their redemption, and reconciliation to Himself; how excellent is His loving-kindness here (Romans 8:32). In the ordinances and means of grace. In His Spirit, and the workings thereof, whereby His ordinances and ministry are made effectual to those who enjoy them. In His care of it, and providence towards it.(2) In regard of the extent of it, enlarging and diffusing itself.(3) In regard of the peculiarity and appropriation of it.

II. CONSIDER THE WORDS REFLEXIVELY, AS COMING FROM THE PSALMIST.

1. Here is a sound judgment.

2. A special favour. David does not only speak here out of judgment, and the strength of his understanding; but out of sense and the certainty of his experience, who had found and felt the workings of this special favour, and accordingly speaks triumphantly about it. The frequent thoughts upon this point are such as may be very beneficial to us; and may have a very great influence upon our lives.(1) To quicken us to duty, and to make us so much the more diligent in our business.(2) To restrain us from sin, and to make us so much the more shy of our miscarriages.(3) To satisfy us in our afflictions, and to make us more contented with our condition.

3. Here is a thankful acknowledgment.

4. Here is a joyful publication (Psalm 92:2) calls for showing forth the loving-kindness of the Lord (Psalm 63:8).

(T. Herren, D. D.)

Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings.
I. THEIR CHARACTER. They highly esteem the loving-kindness of God.

II. THEIR PRIVILEGES.

1. "They shall be abundantly satisfied," etc.

2. They drink of the river of His pleasures. All joy is theirs.

(D. Rees.)

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