“There are many who say, ‘Who will show us any good?’”
¨ […] David, I have no doubt, compares the sole wish with which his own heart was burning, to the many desires with which almost all mankind are distracted. […] David, contented with the favor of God alone, protests that he disregards, and sets no value on objects which others ardently desire. This comparison of the desire of David with the desires of this world, well illustrates this important doctrine, that the faithful, forming a low estimate of present good things, rest in God alone, and account nothing of more value than to know from experience that they are interested in His favor. David, therefore, intimates, in the first place, that all those are fools, who, wishing to enjoy prosperity, do not begin with seeking the favor of God; for, by neglecting to do this, they are carried about by the various false opinions which are abroad. In the second place, he rebukes another vice, namely, that of gross and earthly men in giving themselves wholly to the ease and comforts of the flesh, and settling down in, or contenting themselves with, the enjoyment of these alone, without thinking of anything higher. David… testifies that although he may be destitute of all other good things, the fatherly love of God is sufficient to compensate for the loss of them all. JC
¨ The multitude seek worldly wealth, but David setteth his felicity in God’s favor. 1599 GB
¨ […] My enemies… and… the body of people, who were either engaged against him, or at least unconcerned for him, and sought only their own ease and advantage. […] he may seem to intimate the reason and motive which induced so many persons to take part against him, which was their eager desire of honor or worldly advantage, which they promised to themselves by appearing against David. MP
¨ Man wants good; he hates evil as evil, because he has pain, suffering, and death through it; and he wishes to find that supreme good which will content his heart, and save him from evil. But men mistake this good. They look for a good that is to gratify their passions; they have no notion of any happiness that does not come to them through the medium of their senses. Therefore they reject spiritual good, and they reject the supreme God, by whom alone all the powers of the soul of man can be gratified. Adam Clarke
¨ “Many say, who showeth us good things?” This is the speech, and this the daily inquiry of all the foolish and unrighteous; whether of those who long for the peace and quiet of a worldly life, and from the frowardness of mankind find it not; who even in their blindness dare to find fault with the order of events, when involved in their own deservings they deem the times worse than these which are past: or, of those who doubt and despair of that future life, which is promised us; who are often saying, Who knows if it’s true? or, who ever came from below, to tell us this? Augustine
¨ They enquire, in general, “Who will make us happy?” but do not apply themselves to God who alone can; and so they expose themselves to be ill-advised, and show they would rather be beholden to any than to God, for they would willingly live without Him. They enquire for any good, not for the chief good; all they want is outward good, present good, partial good, good meat, good drink, a good trade, and a good estate; and what are all these worth without a good God and a good heart? Any good will serve the turn of most men, but a gracious soul will not be put off so. MH
“Lord, lift up the light of your countenance upon us.”
¨ David uses this expression… to denote his serene and pleasant countenance – the manifestations of His favor and love; just as, on the other hand, the face of God seems to us dark and clouded when He shows the tokens of His anger. This light, by a beautiful metaphor, is said to be lifted up, when, shining in our hearts, it produces trust and hope. It would not be enough for us to be beloved by God, unless the sense of this love came home to our hearts; but, shining upon them by the Holy Spirit, He cheers us with true and solid joy. JC
¨ […] the words are opposed to the good desired by carnal men, and express the true happiness of the saints; this is a blessing wished for not only by David, but by his antitype the Messiah, and by all believers. JG
¨ [The men of the world are] never satisfied, their gaping mouths are turned in every direction, their empty hearts are ready to drink in any fine delusion which imposters may invent; and when these fail, they soon yield to despair, and declare that there is no good thing in heaven or earth. The true believer is a man of a very different mold. His face is not downward like the beasts’, but upward like the angels’. He drinks not from the muddy pools of Mammon, but from the fountain of life above. The light of God’s countenance is enough for him. [These are] his riches, his honor, his health, his ambition, his ease. Give him this, and he will ask no more. This is joy unspeakable, and full of glory. Oh, for more of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that our fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ may be constant and abiding!
¨ Is not this exhibited in the world every day? While some are sending out their thoughts, and wishes, and expectations, to invite any vanity, any folly; the people of God are looking up to Jesus, and asking for a view of Him who is the light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel. Precious Jesus! Be thou my light, my life, my portion, and I shall need no other. RH
What is the great desire of your heart? What occupies your mind when there is nothing else to occupy it other than your own thoughts? Do you dream of grandeur and riches? Of material wealth and worldly esteem? Or is the great focus of your heart, mind, and soul to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever? It is an introspective question that requires each of our honest thought to answer. What does your heart dwell upon? This is what is being spoken of in this verse. The enemies of David had worldly success and riches as their motivation. They would stop at nothing to achieve those ends; get in their way and you would be crushed, much like the people of our own day. I love my country dearly, but material greed and wealth has become the religion of
Hard times, illness, struggles with sin, the death of loved ones, and so many other things are problems we deal with in our lives on a continual basis. How do we react to those things? Do we find our joy and solace in God? Are we content that with no hope left for us on this earth that we are still full of the love of God and rest easy in His hands? David had the right attitude and so must we. Let us not forget that, “those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” The predicaments of life may have an affect on us, physically and psychologically, but in the overall scheme of things and in the more important aspect of our walk with God it affects nothing! We are not found with excuse for pulling back from God or thinking like evil men simply because hard times have come upon us, whatever they may be. The hard times pull us in closer that we may rely more upon Him, view Him in a more appropriate light, and leads us so that we will cling to Him in all matters of life; these times cause us to desire rest in the arms of the God who loves His children so deeply that He has sent His Son to die for their sins; He loves His children so much that He sent His Spirit to sanctify them and secure them throughout their lives until in His wisdom He brings them home to Him. When you day dream, dream of the Lord, meditate on His word, relish the love He has shown in condescendingly securing your spot in heaven. The light of God shines for the entire world to see, how can we not relish that the blindfold has been removed from our hearts so that we may bask in the glow of His glory? Circumstances may dictate certain courses of action, but they may never dictate the intent, desire, and focus of our hearts in serving our holy God.
I leave you with the summary of this verse from John Calvin. He says, “This passage teaches us that those are miserable who do not, with full resolution, repose themselves wholly in God, and take satisfaction therein, even [though] they may have an overflowing abundance of all earthly things; while, on the other hand, the faithful, although they are tossed amidst many troubles, are truly happy, were there no other ground for it but this, that God’s fatherly countenance shines upon them, which turns darkness into light, and, as I may say, quickens even death itself.” Amen.