For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people - Let them rejoice on this account. He loves them; he approves their conduct; he bestows his favors upon them. All this should add to their joy, and fill their hearts with gladness. Compare the notes at Psalm 35:27. The Hebrew word here rendered “taketh pleasure” conveys the idea of complacency, satisfaction, delight. It is the opposite of being pained or offended. God has complacency in his people. He delights in their welfare; he delights in doing them good.
He will beautify the meek with salvation - The word here rendered beautify means to adorn, to honor, as the sanctuary, Isaiah 60:7 (rendered glorify); and it here means that the salvation which God would bestow upon them would be of the nature of an ornament, as if they were clothed with costly or splendid raiment. Compare Psalm 132:16. The word meek here means humble or lowly, and may refer to those who are humble in rank or condition, or those who are humble in heart. Perhaps the two ideas are here combined. They have not external adorning, but God will give them an honor and beauty in salvation which no outward adorning could impart.
When a man professes to be sanctified, and yet in words and works may be represented by the impure fountain sending forth its bitter waters, we may safely say, That man is deceived. He needs to learn the very alphabet of what constitutes the life of a Christian. Some who profess to be servants of Christ have so long cherished the demon of unkindness that they seem to love the unhallowed element and to take pleasure in speaking words that displease and irritate. These men must be converted before Christ will acknowledge them as His children. SL 16.1
Meekness is the inward adorning, which God estimates as of great price. The apostle speaks of this as more excellent and valuable than gold or pearls or costly array. While the outward adorning beautifies only the mortal body, the ornament of meekness adorns the soul and connects finite man with the infinite God. This is the ornament of God's own choice. He who garnished the heavens with the orbs of light has by the same Spirit promised that “he will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4). Angels of heaven will register as best adorned those who put on the Lord Jesus Christ and walk with Him in meekness and lowliness of mind. SL 16.2
There are high attainments for the Christian. He may ever be rising to higher attainments. John had an elevated idea of the privilege of a Christian. He says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). It is not possible for humanity to rise to a higher dignity than is here implied. To man is granted the privilege of becoming an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. To those who have been thus exalted, are unfolded the unsearchable riches of Christ, which are of a thousandfold more value than the wealth of the world. Thus, through the merits of Jesus Christ, finite man is elevated to fellowship with God and with His dear Son. SL 16.3Read in context »
Far better would it be for us to suffer under false accusation than to inflict upon ourselves the torture of retaliation upon our enemies. The spirit of hatred and revenge originated with Satan, and can bring only evil to him who cherishes it. Lowliness of heart, that meekness which is the fruit of abiding in Christ, is the true secret of blessing. “He will beautify the meek with salvation.” Psalm 149:4. MB 17.1
The meek “shall inherit the earth.” It was through the desire for self-exaltation that sin entered into the world, and our first parents lost the dominion over this fair earth, their kingdom. It is through self-abnegation that Christ redeems what was lost. And He says we are to overcome as He did. Revelation 3:21. Through humility and self-surrender we may become heirs with Him when “the meek shall inherit the earth.” Psalm 37:11. MB 17.2
The earth promised to the meek will not be like this, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. “We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” “There shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him.” 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 22:3. MB 17.3Read in context »
How precious are the lessons of this psalm. We might well devote study to the last four psalms of David. The words also of the prophet are very precious: “Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken? Because my people hath forgotten Me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up.” “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”—Special Testimonies On Education, April 22, 1895. FE 371.1
No movement should be made to lower the standard of education in our school at Battle Creek. The students should tax the mental powers; every faculty should reach the highest possible development. Many students come to the college with intellectual habits partially formed that are a hindrance to them. The most difficult to manage is the habit of performing their work as a matter of routine, instead of bringing to their studies thoughtful, determined effort to master difficulties, and to grasp the principles at the foundation of every subject under consideration. Through the grace of Christ it is in their power to change this habit of routine, and it is for their best interest and future usefulness rightly to direct the mental faculties, training them to do service for the wisest Teacher, whose power they may claim by faith. This will give them success in their intellectual efforts, in accordance with the laws of God. Each student should feel that, under God, he is to have special training, individual culture; and he should realize that the Lord requires of him to make all of himself that he possibly can, that he may teach others also. Indolence, apathy, irregularity, are to be dreaded, and the binding of one's self to routine is just as much to be dreaded. FE 373.1Read in context »