I called on Your name, O LORD, out of the depths of the Pit.
I. THE CRY FROM THE DEPTH. It was indeed de profundis that Jeremiah raised his voice and called upon the Lord. From sorrow, suffering, destitution, desertion, misery, helplessness, let men cry unto the Lord. The evil condition that impels them to such a cry is not all evil; there is "the soul of goodness" in it, The dungeon of oppression, of persecution, thus becomes a church indeed.
II. THE WITNESS OF THE RESCUED. The prophet testifies that his cry had not been unheeded. Even when immured in a pit so deep that his voice could not reach his fellow men, his entreaty bad reached the ear and roused the pity of the eternal Lord. And he who had heard had answered too, and had sent his messenger to deliver his servant. Where is there a child of God who has not experienced the compassionate interposition of the Most High? The Church should be as one of those temples whose walls are covered with tablets and brasses testifying to mercies received at the hand of the All-gracious.
III. THE CONFIDENT PRAYER. All former troubles were as nothing compared to this disaster which now overtakes the city, the nation. Renewed calamity prompts to renewed entreaty, and the memory of compassionate interposition incites to faith and hope. "The Lord hath been mindful.of us; he will help us." - T.
I. TO WHAT A STATE GOD'S MOST FAVOURED SAINTS MAY BE REDUCED. In the prophet's experience, however, we see —
I called...out of the low dungeon.1. The godly do pray unto the Lord for His grace and favour, even when they are in such great extremity that all hope, in reason, is past. Moses at Red Sea, Jonah in whale's belly, etc.(1) Reasons.(a) Their faith can never be quailed, seeing it is that which overcometh the world (1 John 5:4).(b) They rest upon God's truth that faileth not, and power that ruleth all things.(2) Use: to teach us(a) to strive against that temptation which persuadeth to surcease praying when our case seemeth desperate;(b) that their profession was but temporary when troubles do quail;(c) to call still upon God in the day of our troubles, yea, to increase in fervency, according to the increase of danger and continuance therein.
2. There is no condition so miserable in this life, but the godly may and do fall into it.(1) Examples. Abraham, for uncertain dwelling; David for many enemies; Job for inward and outward miseries of all sorts.(2) Reasons.(a) God will show His anger against sin in this life, even upon His own servants.(b) That by afflictions they may be weaned from the delight in this world, and made in love with heaven.(3) Use: to teach us(a) to reprove them that judge according to the outward estate of any, what favour they are in with the Lord;(b) not to promise ourselves any worldly success, but to look always for the contrary.
II. WHAT REMEDY IS OPEN TO THEM. The answer he received will lead us to contemplate —
III. THE EFFICACY OF THAT REMEDY WHENEVER APPLIED.
(C. Simeon, M. A.)
Thou hast heard my voice: hide not Thine ear.1. The experience of God's former favour is a notable provocation to cause us still to trust in Him again in our necessities (Psalm 4:1).(1) It argueth that we are engrafted unto Christ, and therefore shall be loved unto the end, seeing God changeth not.(2) God is always ready to show mercy and to forgive; and therefore He will do it one time as well as another.
2. The prayer of the godly ought to come from the heart, and to be with greatest fervency that may be.(1) God will not be dallied with, but looketh to the inward affection.(2) We must groan under the burden of that we would be rid of, and long for that we desire, before God will hear us.
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