Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4-6Psalm 37:4-6. Here we have a
Sweet picture of a noble life.
I. QUIET HEART. The eye, the ear, the imagination, continually bring before us objects that appeal to our desires. We are in danger of being distracted and harassed, and of even yielding to envy and discontent. The cure is from God. When we come to know him as he is, to believe in him as he has revealed himself in Christ Jesus, we are able to rest in him with confidence, leaving everything to his righteous and loving rule.
II. RIGHTLY ORDERED LIFE. There may be life without any rule, or there may be life wrongly directed, or there may be life regulated in a right way, in accordance with God's will and not our own. This last is the true "way." It is when we "commit our way to God "in humble prayer, and holy submission to his will, that light will arise to us, and strength be ministered to us, and real prosperity secured to us. This is not only the best way for ourselves, but also for others. It is in doing God's will that we reach the highest honour and usefulness, and accomplish our true destiny.
III. BLISSFUL FUTURE. There is a screen as of night between us and to-morrow. We know not what a day may bring forth. There may come loss of health, of property, of friends. There may come diverse trials and troubles. Or it may be otherwise. Let us be thankful that God has been pleased to conceal from us what it would have been ill for us to know. But God knows all, and we are as sure, as that God lives, that it shall be well with the righteous. - W.F.
The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord."The salvation of the righteous "in the broadest sense of the word" is of the Lord"; and the more breadth of meaning we give to it, the more completely we shall see that it must be divine. At the same time, our life is made up of a series of salvations, and each of these is of the Lord. We are constantly being saved, saved from this and that form of danger and evil. As each daily trouble threatens to engulf us, we are saved from it. As each temptation, like a dragon, threatens to swallow us up, we are saved from it. Our God is the God of salvations.
I. THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF SOUND DOCTRINE. The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord, even of the Triune Jehovah, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in —
1. The planning.
2. The providing.
3. The beginning.
4. The carrying on.
5. The completion.
II. THIS IS A NECESSARY FACT. The saints recognize it; for —
1. Their inward conflicts make them know that God alone must work salvation. They are too fickle and feeble to save themselves.
2. Their outward temptations drive them to the same conclusion. They are well kept whom God keeps, but none else.
3. The world's hate drives them away from all hope in that quarter. God is greater than a world in arms.
4. Their daily trials and afflictions would crush them if Omnipotence did not sustain them. Only God's grace can be all-sufficient.
5. The perishing of hypocrites is a sad proof of how little man can do. Temporary believers perish like blossoms which never knit to fruit, and therefore fail from the tree.
III. THIS IS A SWEET CONSOLATION. This truth, that unto God the Lord belongeth the salvation of His saints, acts graciously —
1. Leading them to solid trust.
2. Exciting them to believing prayer.
3. Urging them to look out of self.
4. Inspiring them with great thoughts of God, and —
5. Leading them to offer adoring praise unto their Redeemer.
IV. THIS IS A REASON FOR HUMILITY.
1. It strips the righteous of all pride in the fact of their being saved.
2. Of all exaltation of self because they continue in their integrity.
3. Of all undue censure of the fallen; for they, themselves, would have failed had not the Lord upheld them.
4. Of all self-confidence as to the future, since their weakness is inherent and abiding.
5. Of all self-glorying, even in heaven, since in all things they are debtors to sovereign grace.
V. THIS IS A FRUITFUL GROUND OF HOPE.
1. In reference to our own difficulties: God can give us deliverance.
2. In reference to our tried brethren: the Lord can sustain, sanctify, and deliver them.
3. In reference to seeking souls: we may leave their cases in the Saviour's hands. He is able to save to the uttermost.
4. In reference to sinners: they cannot be too degraded, obstinate, ignorant, or false; God can work salvation even in the worst.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
O Lord, rebuke me not in Thy wrath: neither chasten me in Thy hot displeasure.
Homilist.I. ELEMENTS OF AGGRAVATION.
1. A dread of Divine displeasure (ver. 1).
2. A crushing sense of sin (ver. 4).
3. The desertion of professed friends (ver. 11).
4. The assaults of enemies (vers. 19, 20).
II. MEANS OF RELIEF.
1. Remembrance of God's cognizance of his sufferings (ver. 9).
2. Power of self-control (ver. 13).
3. Unbounded confidence in God (ver. 15).
4. Penitential confession of sin (ver. 18).
5. Importunate appeals to heaven.
I. Among the things that David brought to his own remembrance were HIS PAST TRIALS AND HIS PAST DELIVERANCES.
1. Such a remembrance will prevent your imagining that you have come into the land of ease and perfect rest.
2. They will refresh your memories with regard to the mercy of God, and so will stir you up to gratitude.
3. Such a remembrance will be of great service to you, if you are at this time enduring the like exercises. What God was, that He is. Having begun to deliver you, He will not afterwards forsake you.
II. The great point, however, in David's psalm is TO BRING TO REMEMBRANCE THE DEPRAVITY OF OUR NATURE. There perhaps is no psalm which more fully than this describes human nature as seen in the light which God the Holy Ghost casts upon it in the time when tie convinces us of sin. It is a spiritual leprosy, it is an inward disease which is here described, and David paints it to the very life, and he would have us recollect this. Child of God, let me bring to your remembrance the fact that you are by nature no better than the vilest of the vile. "Children of wrath even as others," are you. Remember old John Bradford's remark; whenever he saw a man go by his window to Tyburn to be hanged — and he lived at that time where he saw them all — "Ah!" said he, "there goes John Bradford if the grace of God had not prevented."
III. third thing the psalm brings to our remembrance is our MANY ENEMIES. David says that his enemies laid snares for him, and sought his hurt, and spoke mischievous things, and devised deceits all day long. "Well," says one, "how was it that David had so many enemies? Must lie not have been imprudent and rash, or perhaps morose?" It does not appear so in ills life. He rather made enemies by his being scrupulously holy, because he loved the thing which is good. Now you must not suppose that because you seek to live in all peaceableness and righteousness, that therefore everybody will be peaceable towards you. "I come not to send peace upon earth, but a sword." The ultimate result of the religion of Christ is to make peace everywhere, but the first result is to cause strife. When the light comes, it must contend with the darkness; when the truth comes, it must first combat error; and when the Gospel comes, it must meet with enemies; and the man who receives the Gospel will find that his foes shall be they of his own household.
IV. The psalm reminds us of OUR GRACIOUS GOD. Praise the grace that has held you till now. Keep in remembrance the patience of God in enduring with you, the power of God in restraining you, the love of God in instructing you, and the goodness of God in keeping you to this day.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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