Gladness and Gain

Among Old Testament worthies there is no more interesting figure than that of David, the story of whose youth is a romance, of his manhood a tragedy, of his old age an epic. At his best he was venerated and loved by his own people and honored and feared by all the nations about him, and when he went down it was with a crash such as when a monarch of the forest measures its giant greatness upon the ground. In that sad hour it could have been truly said of him, "How are the mighty fallen!"

Nevertheless, when human sense had been duly chastened by suffering, when his heart had been purged as by fire, it was given him to acquire his greatest distinction as the Sweet Singer of Israel, the poet of the religious world. From his wallowing in the mire of moral debasement, he rose to the summit of spiritual exaltation, companioned with God as with a friend, and bequeathed to mankind an inexhaustible heritage of comforting and inspiring thought. Though familiar with the heart-breaking aspects of human experience, though, as it would seem, forever saddened and subdued by the remembrance of his own unspeakable sin and the rebellion and death of Absalom, yet he so responded to the call of God, so "put on Christ," his true spiritual nature, as to be able to manifest a veritable genius for joy, and enthrone praise and thanksgiving as not only the highest tribute to God, but as the noblest service we can render Him. Again and again he affirms that to rejoice in God is not only true worship, it is the secret of the gain of all good. "Let the people praise thee, O God," he cries; "let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us."

Immortal Qualities
February 12, 1916

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