A Thankful Remembrance of God’s Holiness

Psalm 97:12; Psalm 30:4,5

Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness…Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Holiness is an attribute which inspires the deepest awe, and demands a reverent mind; but still―give thanks at the remembrance of it. “Holy, holy, holy!” is the song of seraphim and cherubim, Isaiah 6:3; let us join it not dolefully, as though we trembled at the holiness of God, but cheerfully, as humbly rejoicing in it.

ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): But why should you give thanks at the “remembrance” that God is holy?

SAMUEL CHANDLER (1693-1766): The holiness of God here refers particularly to his truth and faithfulness to His promises, which argues the rectitude and sanctity of His nature.

C. H. SPURGEON: Give thanks at the remembrance of the whole of Him, for that is His holiness―His wholeness, the entire, perfect character of God―the harmony of all His attributes, the superlative wholeness of His character.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): His holiness is essential to Him, and in which He is glorious; and which appears in all His ways and works of providence and grace, and both in the redemption and sanctification of His people; and besides this, there is the holiness of Christ, which is imputed to His saints, and the sanctification of the Spirit, which is wrought in them; and at the remembrance of each of these it highly becomes them to give thanks to the Lord, since hereby they are made meet to be partakers of his kingdom and glory.

THOMAS CHALMERS (1780-1847): We should further be grateful because of this essential attribute in the Godhead; for it is in virtue of His holiness that evil cannot dwell with Him, and that the world will at length be delivered, and this conclusively, from the wickedness and malice and vile sensualities by which it is now so disquieted and deformed.

ADAM CLARKE: He who can give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness, is one who loves holiness; who hates sin, and who longs to be saved from it.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): It is a matter of joy to the saints that God is a holy God; for then they hope He will make them holy―more holy. None of all God’s perfections carries in it more terror to the wicked, nor more comfort to the godly, than His holiness. It is a good sign that we are in some measure partakers of His holiness if we can heartily rejoice and give thanks at the remembrance of it…Sinners tremble, but saints rejoice, at the remembrance of God’s holiness.

SIR RICHARD BAKER (1568-1644): But now that it is to sing of God’s “holiness”what should profane voices do in the concert? None but “saints” are fit to sing of “holiness,” and specially of God’s holiness.

MATTHEW HENRY: His saints in heaven sing to Him; why should not those on earth be doing the same work, as well as they can, in concert with them?

C. H. SPURGEON: If all others fail to praise the Lord, the godly must not. To them God is peculiarly revealed, and by them He should be specially adored.

MATTHEW HENRY: They have experienced him to be a God gracious and merciful; and therefore let them sing to Him. We have found His frowns very short. Though we have deserved that they should be everlasting, and that He should be angry with us till He had consumed us, and should never be reconciled, yet “His anger endureth but for a moment.” When we offend Him He is angry; but, as He is slow to anger and not soon provoked, so when He is angry, upon our repentance and humiliation His anger is soon turned away, and He is willing to be at peace with us. If He hide His face from His own children, and suspend the tokens of His favour, it is but in a little wrath, and for a small moment; but He will “gather them with everlasting kindness,” Isaiah 54:7,8. If “weeping endureth for a night,” and it be a wearisome night, yet as sure as the light of the morning returns after the darkness of the night, so sure will joy and comfort return in a short time, in due time, to the people of God; for the covenant of grace is as firm as the covenant of the day.

C. H. SPURGEON: Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord,” Philippians 3:1. “Finally,” says Paul, as if this was the end of his epistle, the conclusion of all his teaching. But never do it finally―never come to an end of it. Rejoice in the Lord, and yet again rejoice, and yet again rejoice; and as long as you live, rejoice in the Lord.

ALEXANDER MacLAREN (1826-1910): There is plenty of gladness amongst professing Christians, but a good many of them would resent the question, is your gladness “in the Lord”?

ROBERT HAWKER (1753-1827): Reader! do not fail to remark the vast difference, between rejoicing in the Lord, and taking confidence in the flesh.

HENRY GROVE (1683-1738): Our rejoicing in the Lord denotes our taking a very sincere and cordial pleasure in whatever relates to the ever-blessed God, particularly His existence, perfections, and providence; the discoveries of His will to us, especially in His Word; the interest we have in Him, and the relations wherein we stand to Him; His continual protection, guidance and influence; His gracious intercourse with us in the duties of religious worship; and, finally, the hope He has given us of fulness of joy, in His beatific and most glorious presence above.

ALEXANDER MacLAREN: The true source of true joy lies in our union with Jesus. To be in Him is the condition of every good.

MATTHEW HENRY: Let all the streams of comfort, which flow to us in the channel of Christ’s kingdom, lead us to the fountain, and oblige us to rejoice in the Lord. All the lines of joy must meet in Him as in the centre…It is the character and temper of sincere Christians to rejoice in Christ Jesus. The more we take of the comfort of our religion the more closely we shall cleave to it: the more we rejoice in Christ the more willing we shall be to do and suffer for Him, and the less danger we shalt be in of being drawn away from Him. The “joy of the Lord is our strength,” Nehemiah 8:10.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice,” Philippians 4:4. No duty almost more pressed in both Testaments than this of rejoicing in the Lord.


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