Will God hear his cry when trouble comes on him?…
There are often impressions of a religious kind made upon the mind which are of a very fleeting nature. This is often stated, and abundantly exemplified in Scripture. A melancholy catalogue. This is very natural, and to be expected.
1. The incentives to sin are not always equally violent, so that there is often a season for reflection.
2. A feeling of fear is occasionally awakened, and prompts to outward acts of devotion.
3. The conscience is sometimes roused into a kind of paroxysm, after the commission of some great sin, etc.
4. A species of sentimentality is sometimes cultivated, which fills up the intervals between gross worldliness.
5. In revenge upon the world which has disappointed them, men sometimes, for a season, practise austerity.
6. At stated sacramental seasons men are often unusually devout.
7. Under the most just views of Divine truth, some for a while act, and then fall away.
8. Affliction. As the test and sample of such religious declension, we shall at present look only to the habit of prayer.The restraining of prayer is one of the first and surest indications of a departure from God. The restraining of prayer is one of the main causes of religious declension. But in the text, it is not spoken of as showing that the heart has backslidden from God, but that the individual is a hypocrite. The truth of this text may easily be made apparent. The hypocrite does not continue in prayer.
I. BECAUSE HE HAS NOT THE SPIRIT OF SUPPLICATIONS.
1. The Spirit produces intensity in prayer.
2. In like manner, and for like reasons, He causes perseverance in prayer.
3. He who has not the Spirit, shows neither intensity nor perseverance.
II. BECAUSE HE HAS NO ABIDING SENSE OF SPIRITUAL WANTS.
III. BECAUSE HE NEITHER UNDERSTANDS NOR VALUES THE BLESSINGS PROMISED IN CHRIST.
IV. BECAUSE BY IT HUMAN ESTEEM CANNOT BE ALWAYS OBTAINED.
1. The hypocrite is concerned about his standing among men (John 5:44).
2. Everything is trifling which affects it not.
3. Hence there is social, though often no secret prayer.
V. BECAUSE HE DOES NOT FIND TIME AND OPPORTUNITIES.
VI. BECAUSE GOD'S FELLOWSHIP IS NOT RELISHED.
1. The believer — God. The hypocrite — ordinances.
2. Ordinances disliked, because they suggest God.
(1) Recent guilt.
(2) Thinks well of himself.
Parallel VersesKJV: Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?