Psalm 122:9
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.
Sermons
Christian PatriotismW. Newman, D. D.Psalm 122:9
Piety Blessing National LifeR. Tuck Psalm 122:9
The House of the LordJ. Irons.Psalm 122:9
A Pious PatriotHomilistPsalm 122:1-9
Gladness About WorshipU. R. Thomas.Psalm 122:1-9
Gladness in the Prospect of Divine WorshipS. Martin, M. A.Psalm 122:1-9
Gladness of God's HouseJ. G. Butler.Psalm 122:1-9
Happiness and WorshipR. Sinclair.Psalm 122:1-9
Inducements to Public WorshipJ. F. Haynes, LL. D.Psalm 122:1-9
Jerusalem a Type of the ChurchS. Conway Psalm 122:1-9
The Christian's Pleasure At Being Invited to God's HouseH. Melvill, B. D.Psalm 122:1-9
The Communion of SaintsW. S. Lewis, M. A.Psalm 122:1-9
The Good Man's Joy in the Engagements of the SanctuaryR. S. McAll, LL. D.Psalm 122:1-9
WorshipC. Short Psalm 122:1-9
A Eulogy of the ChurchC. M. Griffin, D. D.Psalm 122:6-9
Love to the Church of GodSketches of Four Hundred SermonsPsalm 122:6-9
On the Love of Our CountryH. Blair, D. D.Psalm 122:6-9
On the Love of Our CountryA. Stirling, LL. D.Psalm 122:6-9
On the Love of Our CountryA. Donnan.Psalm 122:6-9
Pray for the Peace of JerusalemJ. Summerfield, M. A.Psalm 122:6-9
Prayer for the Peace of the ChurchJohn McKay.Psalm 122:6-9
Prayer for the Peace of ZionA. Maclaren, D. D.Psalm 122:6-9
Prayer for the Prosperity of the Church EncouragedR. Hall, M. A.Psalm 122:6-9
The Duty of Praying for the Peace of the ChurchT. Boston, D. D.Psalm 122:6-9
The Good of the ChurchW. Herren.Psalm 122:6-9
The Prosperity of the ChurchJ. S. Elliott.Psalm 122:6-9
Yea, because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek to do thee good (Prayer-book Version). Piety is seen in the tender, almost pathetic, interest the man has in the temple, where the worship of God is conducted; the temple which is so rich with hallowed associations. That interest fills the psalmist with admiration for the city, and concern for the well-being of those who dwell in it, and the nation of which they all form parts. There is a possible injurious selfishness of piety, which all sectarianism tends to nourish. It localizes and narrows the interest; encourages a kind of tribal jealousy. The sect should never be permitted to take our concern from the nation, whose moral and spiritual well-being should ever be the subject of our prayer and our service. The psalmist "prays for Jerusalem because of Zion. How the Church salts and savours all around it! The presence of Jehovah our God endears to us every place wherein he reveals his glory."

I. PIETY GOES WITH GOOD CITIZENSHIP, AND THAT BLESSES NATIONAL LIFE. Character is power in city and in national life, and even the higher possibilities of human character belong to the religious life. The peace-loving and peace-seeking citizens are the truly religions. Those who plead for righteousness in business relations, and charity in human relations, are the truly religious. The examples of good citizenship - not of noisy citizenship - are the truly pious. Of old the blessing of a nation was conceived to be its numbers; we know better than that now. "Righteousness exalteth a nation," and righteousness depends on righteous men, and righteous men are they who have the fear and love of God before their eyes. The heavenly citizens are the best earthly ones.

II. PIETY GOES WITH SACRIFICING MINISTRY, AND THAT BLESSES NATIONAL LIFE. It should never be lost sight of that the two key-notes of Christianity are righteousness and service. A Christian cannot be content without doing good. And so the Christian citizen is an active force for good. Wherever he is, he is doing some good, lifting some burden, helping some struggler, and his ministry therefore becomes a national benediction. - R.T.







Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good.
I. THE CHRISTIAN'S PATRIOTIC VOW.

1. He will honour the King.

2. He will obey the laws, not merely for wrath, but for conscience sake.

3. He will use his influence to promote obedience in others.

4. He will personally contribute with cheerfulness to the support of the government by which he is protected.

5. He will discountenance to the utmost all those arts of evasion by which the revenue is defrauded and diminished.

6. He will unite with those who sigh and cry for the abominations of the lands.

7. If Providence should call, he will fight as well as pray.

II. THE MOTIVE TO THIS VOW.

1. It is our native land.

2. The excellence of its constitution.

3. We have a life-interest in our country.

4. We should aim to do justice to the memory of our ancestors, by transmitting, unimpaired, to our posterity, the invaluable treasure of civil and religious liberties which we ourselves enjoy.

5. The house of the Lord is the glory of the land. The ark of the covenant is with us. Our privileges as Christians are great and many. And this consideration will preponderate over all others in the minds of those who truly love our Saviour's name.

(W. Newman, D. D.)

I. GOD'S CHURCH AS HIS HOUSE.

1. It is reared by Himself.

(1)The wisdom of the Architect.

(2)The firmness of the foundation.

(3)The suitableness of the materials.

(4)The efficiency of the work. The power is all His own.

2. God's house is essentially spiritual. There are spiritual capacities, spiritual desires, spiritual purposes, spiritual exercises.

3. The house of God is intended for His own use.

(1)His dwelling-house.

(2)His banqueting-house.

(3)A house of births.

(4)A house of sacrifice.

(5)A house of prayer.

(6)A house of praise.

II. OUR INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP THEREIN. Real godliness is kept up and maintained by secret communion with God, spiritual intercourse with the Most High, under the movings of the Holy Ghost, in the name and for the merits of the Lord Jesus, by sweet, familiar, filial addresses to God the Father. Yea, you want more? The Father's love-tokens in reply, the Saviour's kind word in support, and the influence of the Spirit, as green olive trees in the house of the Lord.

III. DEVOTEDNESS TO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. Seek her extension, her peace, and her privileges.

(J. Irons.).

Unto Thee lift I up mine eyes.
The prayer of the eyes. Have you never seen it in the eyes of patient poverty, of distress, of oppression, of the sick child? This prayer recognizes God's glory (ver. 1) and God's graciousness (ver. 3). It is the prayer of silence, of deference, of reverence, of trustfulness. It is beseeching, waiting, observant prayer. All this is implied in vers. 1, 2. It is the prayers of eyes that watch carefully the signs of "the hands" of the King.

I. That watch for His DIRECTING HAND.

1. In things temporal.

2. To spiritual service.

II. That watch for His DELIVERING AND VINDICATING HAND. He will avenge His people for the sorrow produced by the "scorn of easeful souls," and by the "spite of the proud" (ver. 4). No law acts more surely than the law of retribution.

III. That watch for His SUPPLYING HAND. What ministers wait on maul Even God becomes man's minister; and employs all natural forces and all angelic beings, and all the agencies of grace on man's behalf.

IV. That watch for His CORRECTING HAND. The contempt and scorn of the enemy are often His discipline, bitter disciplines that "exceedingly fill" the soul of the humble people of God with shame and grief. But eyes of prayer look beyond the disciplines to the glory which they forecast, and are patient.

V. That watch for His REWARDING HAND. Alsted has called this psalm "The Eye of Hope." And an upward glancing expectant hopefulness is the very spirit of it. The prayer of the eyes is the prayer of expectation; and the vision of the King shall yet broaden into the vision of the inheritance which awaits His true people, who now have few friends and comforters.

(R. Corlett Cowell.)

Homilist.
I. THE ATTITUDE OF A DEVOUT SOUL.

1. Up-looking (ver. 1). Physically, man is the only being on earth upon whom the Creator has conferred an erect countenance, as if his very physical formation were intended to teach him that his eyes should be raised towards the skies, and that he should hold intercourse with Him who dwells in heaven. Other animals look down upon the ground, their faces are bent towards the earth. Man is God-like, erect, with native honour clad. The heathen themselves recognized this seal of divinity on the brow of man, and, in the beautiful language of the Greek, the word "man" describes him as a being whose honour it is to look up. But mentally so conscious are we of dependence on God, that even the worst of men are forced at times to look up to Him in the heavens. "From Him alone cometh our help." This is the regular attitude of a devout soul, looking up to the Infinite. Is there a more sublime mood of being than this? The millions are looking down to worldly things and worldly pleasures, and the highest objects on which most look are the little social magnates of the hour. But the true soul looks up to the Infinite Father.

2. Up-looking for a practical purpose (ver. 2). The hand is the symbol of power, by the slave's eyes being turned towards his master's hand is meant that he watches carefully for the least intimation of his will. Or the hand may be taken as the instrument of giving, and the reference may be to the slave's absolute dependence on. his master. Or it may be the chastising hand that is meant: as the slave looks with entreaty to his master's deprecating punishment (Isaiah 9:13), so the psalmist's eyes are turned wistfully to God, until He have pity. The tone of the psalm, however, indicates hopeful trust rather than humble submission. The future of His people is entirely in His hands: He will be sure some day to have mercy on His own.

II. THE NEED OF A SUFFERING SOUL (ver. 3). Some suggest the circumstances narrated in Nehemiah 2:19; Nehemiah 4:1-5, as suitable to the composition of this psalm: others prefer the times of persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes: others, again, suggest, on the grounds of similarity of language, common authorship with Psalm 120. What is the need of a suffering soul? Mercy — to calm, succour, strengthen, guide, and deliver. IV CONCLUSION: — .This psalm is a lesson of meekness. When we ere fancying ourselves scorned or forgotten, what have we to do but to look up to God and entreat His favour? It is pity for ourselves, and not vengeance on our foes, that we should seek. At the same time, we must be ready to obey like slaves waiting for some token of their master's will.

(Homilist.)

Dr. Culross told of a Spanish fable about a family that had nothing very remarkable about them, but there was this which seemed to signalize them from other families in the neighbourhood — every member of the family had a peculiar habit of looking upward. They became scattered in the course of years, hut wherever one of them went, somehow or other they were always known by their neighbours and friends by this one peculiar habit. That is a very good family to belong to, and I trust that all here to-night do belong to it, and live looking upward. You know that story about Michael Angelo. He was so accustomed to look up at the fresco ceilings of the various churches and cathedrals upon which he worked, that he actually got into the habit of looking up. His head seemed to get that peculiar direction given to it, so that even when he was walking along the streets of Rome, there he was, looking upward. Let us remember, then, this first thing that we are called upon to do in the motto — "Look up, not down."

(J. S. Poulton.)

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