My mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips, when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches—Psa. 63:5, 6.
Prayer is not a privilege merely, but also a necessity—commanded as indispensable to our Christian growth. Whoever loses the desire to thank and worship and commune with the Father of mercies, may rest assured that he is losing the very spirit of sonship, and should promptly seek and remove the barrier—the world, the flesh or the devil. Every additional evidence of the Lord's confidence in us by the revealing to us of His character and Plan, so far from diminishing our worship and prayers, should multiply them. If our hearts are good soil, they will bring forth the more abundantly—Z '96, 161 (R 2004).
Whoever acts as a mouthpiece of Christ proclaims joyful doctrines; for God's eternal purpose is replete with blessing for all, reflects credit upon the Father and displays His wisdom, justice, love and power. Resting upon the Truth, as a bed, and contemplating the mercies of God in seasons of distress, the Christian may proclaim the Lord's Plan and thereby praise the Father's character. Our chief object in proclaiming the Lord's Word should be to manifest to others how praiseworthy, appreciable and adorable Jehovah our God and Father is!—P '34, 36.
Parallel passages: Lev. 7:12; Psa. 34:1; 50:14, 23; 69:30, 31; 107:22; 116:17; 119:97; Isa. 63:7; Hos. 14:2; Eph. 5:19, 20; Col. 3:17; Phil. 4:6; 1 Thes. 5:18; 2 Thes. 1:3; 1 Pet. 2:5; 4:11.
Hymns: 238, 23, 49, 296, 116, 44, 260.
Poems of Dawn, 268: My Psalm.
Tower Reading: Z '15, 311 (R 5785).
Questions: Have my meditations and speech this week been on the Lord's Word and Character? Under what circumstances? With what results?
I MOURN no more my vanished years:
Beneath a tender rain,
An April rain of smiles and tears,
My heart is young again.
The west winds blow, and, singing low,
I hear the glad streams run;
The windows of my soul I throw
Wide open to the sun.
No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear,
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.
I break my pilgrim staff, I lay
Aside the toiling oar,
The angel sought so far away
I welcome at my door.
The woods shall wear their robes of praise,
The south winds softly sigh,
And sweet, calm days, in golden haze,
Melt down the amber sky.
Not less shall manly deed and word
Rebuke an age of wrong;
The graven flowers that wreathe the sword
Make not the blade less strong.
But smiting hands shall learn to heal,—
To build as to destroy;
Nor less my heart for others feel,
That I the more enjoy.
All as God wills, who wisely heeds
To give or to withhold,
And knoweth more of all my needs
Than all my prayers have told.
Enough that blessings underserved
Have marked mine erring track;—
That whensoe'er my feet have swerved,
His chastening turned me back;—
That more and more a Providence
Of love is understood,
Making the springs of time and sense
Sweet with eternal good;—
And death seems but a covered way
Which opens into light,
Wherein no blinded child can stray
Beyond the Father's sight;—
That care and trial seem at last,
Through memory's sunset air,
Like mountain ranges overpast,—
The purple distance fair;
That all the jarring notes of life
Seem blending in a psalm,
And all the angles of the strife
Now rounding into calm.
And so the shadows fall apart,
And so the west winds play;
And all the windows of my heart
I open to the day.
"My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips, when I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches."—Psalm 63:5, 6.
BY THE expression as to satisfying his soul with marrow and fatness, the Prophet David evidently referred to the abundance of God's favor and blessing which had come to him. He had a large portion, a fat portion, and appreciated God's goodness, God's favor toward him, taking him as a shepherd boy from among the flocks, and privileging him to engage in His service and finally bringing him to the throne as the king of Israel. For all this he was very grateful to the Lord. He appreciated all of God's blessings. It was appropriate that his mouth should give praise, that he should be joyful, that he should speak of the Lord's loving-kindness. So we find in the Psalms of David many beautiful expressions in which he gives great praise and thanksgiving to the Almighty. He speaks also of God's majesty, of His wondrous power and might, and refers to the heavens as His handiwork.
The Prophet certainly used his tongue to praise the Lord. When we consider that he lived in a time when schooling was limited and that he got very little of it, we realize that he certainly made good use of what he obtained. The fruit of his labor has come down to bless the world all through the centuries. He intimates that he did this singing or praising God to some extent in the night—"when I remember Thee upon my bed and meditate upon Thee in the night watches." In ancient times the people were more dependent upon the moon and stars for light at night, not having as we have today full provision for illumination by means of refined oil, gas, electricity, etc. Mr. Rockefeller had not yet been born, nor modern inventions dreamed of. They were dependent for artificial light upon olive oil, and that was not very plentiful. As a consequence, the people went to bed early. So King David was thinking upon the Almighty as he lay upon his bed, meditating upon God—he was not thinking foolish thoughts, not planning foolish doings. When we think of this, we are not surprised that his mind was full of beautiful thoughts.
NOBLEST SUBJECT FOR MEDITATION
Whoever has time for meditation, will receive a great blessing if his thoughts shall turn toward the Almighty, acknowledging His goodness, seeking to give praise to God for all His manifold mercies, meditating upon God in the night watches. As far as this verse is concerned, we see no reason for thinking it prophetic; yet it represents any who are seeking to be in harmony with God. There are millions of people in the world who have never heard of God's wonderful Plan; therefore our mouths should be used in praising God. We should be continually remembering the Lord in all of our moments of rest, whether upon a bed, or wherever it may be. We should cultivate the habit of meditating upon Him. We think very few people meditate upon the Lord; and it is to their disadvantage that they do not.
The great and holy Laws of God find expression in Him. We should think of God as the personification of all that is just, loving, kind, wise, in character and principle. This should stimulate us to be like Him. The more we appreciate a noble character the more we desire to emulate it. The more we see of God's mighty works in nature and His mercies toward us, in that same proportion our hearts and lips will praise Him. If there is a prophetic thought connected with this passage, it is that all through the Dark Ages, all through the night time of this Age, God's faithful people have been praising Him. All of His true people have been praising Him and have done so with joyful lips. Those who have not been doing this are not of this class. We should, therefore, render praise to our God. We should meditate more and more upon His Holy will and ways, and strive to conform ourselves thereto. Thus shall we become more and more like unto our Father in Heaven.