"Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we will be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple."—Psa_65:4.
This psalm contains a most beautiful and poetical representation of God, both in the riches of his providence, and in the blessings of his grace. The Psa. ist commences by addressing Jehovah as the object of praise and prayer, and unto whom all vows should be paid. He predicts the return of all flesh to him who heareth prayer. He laments his own prevailing iniquities; but expresses his confidence, that the Lord will purge them all away. Then follows the language of the text:
"Blessed is the man," &c.
I. The Good Man's Privileges.
"He is chosen of God and made to approach unto him."
1. He is chosen of God.
That is, elevated to the divine favor; the object of divine complacency This privilege is,
(1) Of divine grace. It is not owing to any excellency in the object chosen; either intellectual or moral. Not because of any merit, or inherent righteousness. It is the exercise of that same grace which gave his Son to save the chief of sinners.
(2) This choice is in and through Christ. He looks upon them in the face of his Anointed One. In Christ we are accepted and beloved. It is only through the Mediator that we come to God, or that God comes to us; Eph_1:6.
(3) This choice is through the medium and exercise of faith. Not that faith has any share of merit or excellency in itself: all its merit is derived from its object, Jesus Christ. But in unbelief we are far from God, and in that state, under his displeasure; Joh_3:36. But by faith we are brought nigh by the blood of Christ; Eph_2:13. "By grace are ye saved, through faith;" Eph_2:8. And to as many as believed on him he gave privilege to become his sons; Joh_1:12.
2. He is caused to approach unto God. That is, he has free access to God. God gives him holy desires for his presence and blessing. He draws him unto him by his sweet and holy influences. This approaching unto God will apply to secret devotion—to religious family exercises—and to the public services of his holy house. This approaching unto God is exceedingly honorable, truly delightful, and peculiarly profitable.
When we thus approach him, it should be with profound reverence, deep humility, and with believing confidence.
II. The Good Man's Dwelling.
"He dwells in Gods courts." How very different to those who despise God's courts; to those who never enter them; and to those who merely enter them occasionally. The good man dwells in them. And this implies,
1. That his heart is there.
He loves the gates of Zion. This is the one preeminent object of his heart's desire hat he may dwell in the house of the Lord, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his holy temple, Psa_27:4; Psa_122:1, &c. It implies 2. His presence, on all possible occasions, is there.
He does not forsake the house of his God. He sings:
"I have been there, and oft would go;
'Tis like a little heaven below"
3. His influence is there.
The influence of his example, and the influence of his prayers. He seeks its good always. He prays for its peace, and labors for its prosperity. Notice,
III. The Good Man's Satisfaction.
"He is satisfied with the goodness of God's house." Not with his own goodness, or with the goodness of his services; but the goodness of the Lord in his holy temple. The goodness of the Lord's house is soul-satisfying. And it is so,
1. On account of its suitability.
Such as the soul needs Health, and life, and peace.
2. On account of its plenitude
"Enough for all, enough for each,
Enough for evermore."
"My God shall supply all your need," &c.
3. On account of its freeness.
No money, nor price; all who will, may take of the water of life freely. Consider,
IV. The Good Man's Blessedness.
"Blessed is the man," &c. Survey his privileges and blessings, and then contrast him,
1. With the slave of sin.
2. With the favorite of the world.
3. With the religious speculatist.
And then we must feel the force of the declaration: "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest," &c.
1. Let believers highly prize their privileges; improve, and be truly thankful for them. 2. Let the weary and heavy-laden sinner come to Jesus by faith, and obtain rest. 3. The votaries of the world must see, that their rock is not as our rock; themselves being judges.