Psalm 55:22


1. His life is a continued exercise of prayer and faith. Calls upon God, evening, morning, and at noon. Carries all his anxieties and fears to God; casts upon him his burden (ver. 22). And he does all this with an assured faith (vers. 16, 17). "And he shall hear my voice." "The Lord shall save me."

2. He has been already delivered from great dangers. (Ver. 18.) "Many were against him." Every good man has a past full of such experiences.

3. He has confident assurance of future protection and guidance. "He shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." God is good and righteous. and this is the foundation of his assurance.


1. Generally, they have no fear of God. Without God in the world; living, therefore, without restraint.

2. They are traitors to former vows of friendship. They violate without compunction former oaths and covenants.

3. They are guilty of the most cruel deceit. (Ver. 21.) Bloody and deceitful men.

4. God shall afflict and humble them. (Ver. 19.)

5. They shall die a premature death. (Ver. 23.) - S.

Cast thy burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.
I. SEE THAT YOUR BURDENS ARE ALL OF THE LORD'S APPOINTMENT. How many are the burdens that we make for ourselves, which we need not and ought not to bear. They are sinful, and we ought to cast them away.

II. EXPECT FROM GOD PROPORTIONED STRENGTH. Why do you anticipate long reaches of future possibilities? You are vainly trying to break the faggot at once, which can only be overcome stick by stick. Take life not by weeks or years, but by days. Truly Jesus is the great bearer away of burdens, for He has "borne our sins in His own body on the tree," and the guilt of sin is our heaviest burden. In all our sorrows we have His sympathy as "a merciful and faithful High Priest," who is "touched with a feeling." What, then, is left for us to carry is only the light end of the cross — an easy yoke and light burden.

III. REST ON GOD FOR ULTIMATE ENDURANCE. A spirit such as has been described, continually receiving its daily and proportioned replenishment from heaven, will not look much to the future. It will be too busy with present duties. As our great poet Tennyson has beautifully declared, true virtue will scarcely dream of a promised elysium, where she may leisurely bask in the sun, and repose from all effort amid crowns, and songs, and feasts. Nay, he nobly answers, "Give her the glory of going on and not to die." Anything else would be death and worse than death. Virtue cannot rest in material reward. She has acquired a noble habit of active benevolence, and she could not bear its cessation. She craves endless, immortal service. "They shall serve Him day and night in His temple." Verily, "give her the glory of going on and not to die."

(Andrew Reed, B. A.)

Whatever else these words mean, they mean that the Lord is to be used. Whatever presses upon me in any way and troubles me, I am to take it off my shoulder and let the Lord carry it for me. Now, we want that truth to go sinking down through the soul, that God is not only my Creator but my Father; my Father, who cannot help loving me and caring for me everywhere and in everything. But men don't believe this. The world is real enough to them, but all this about the Lord, how unreal it sounds. And it never will be otherwise until to all such words about Christ the Spirit giveth life. He must reveal Christ to us. Pray for His help. Now, our text teaches —

I. THAT THE LORD IS WITHIN MY REACH. He is near me, I am to cast my burden upon Him. Now, this is just what we don't do. We kneel, and sigh, and pray about our burden, that we may cast it on the Lord, but we don't do it. We look up and sigh, and resolve that we will, but nothing comes of it. Some years ago I was staying in a Swiss city, and from the windows of my hotel I looked out on the bridge that crossed the Rhine. At the middle of the bridge there was a tiny wayside chapel, and as the peasants went to market they set the heavy basket down on the steps while they turned in to pray. Then they came out and took up their burdens again. That is how many people do with their troubles — they pray about them, and then pick them up again. What folly it is to call that casting! On the other side of the parapet there swept the swift current of the Rhine. Now, if one should take up the load with both hands, and swing it with all his might over the side, and then let it go whirling through space until it splashed into the waters, and went, swept away for ever — that is casting. So, then, on the Lord's part and on ours here is something to be done. To hear of it only is nothing — less than nothing. Do not let us cheat ourselves with words. And note, further, that it is to be done thoroughly. There is a kind of casting our burden that does not get rid of it at all, but only doubles it. If a friend of mine has some anxiety of which I can relieve him, and I say, "Now, I will see to that matter. Don't you trouble about it any more." What should the man say? "Thank you, I am sure; I will leave it with you, then." And away he goes, saying, "Well, that burden is gone, at any rate." And he feels lighter, and walks more briskly. But what if, instead of that, he should keep worrying me perpetually, "I hope you will not forget, will you? I do trust to you to remember. I really am very anxious about it — very." I should say to him, "Well, if you want to do it, sir, go and do it; but if I am to do it, fear not — I will." Don't you see the man has doubled the burden? He has put it on my shoulders, and carries it on his own at the same time. Oh, this untrusting trust, this unbelieving faith!

II. CAST UPON THE LORD THE BURDEN OF BEGINNING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. There are many of you who are feeling that burden, and a very heavy burden we may make of it. We have an idea that we want so many things besides Jesus, and that we cannot get Jesus until we get these other things. We want to feel our sins, and we want repentance, and we want earnestness, and we want faith. And then it may be that we are haunted by the fear of some past failure, or there is some besetment that grips us with a might that we cannot loosen. So the heart sinks under the burden. Now what are you going to do? Time does not lessen the weakness. Waiting is not likely in any way to mend matters. This burden of want, of weakness, of fear is exactly what you have to roll off upon the Lord. Boldly go to Him and say, "Lord Jesus, Thou hast come into this world to save me. I am very needy and very foolish, but Thou knowest what I want; and Thou knowest all that I shall ever want. And now, Lord Jesus, I am just going to let Thee save me, now and always." As this is the beginning of the blessed life, so it is the secret of it all along. Religion is ours just exactly in proportion as we avail ourselves of Jesus Christ. Victory is ours just exactly as we let Jesus Christ help us.

(Mark Guy Pearse.)

I. THERE IS AN ENDLESS VARIETY OF THESE BURDENS laid upon us in this world. Care, toil, affliction, trial, weakness, dejection, want, fear, duty, endurance; and for all there is only one relief, "Cast thy burden" — "thy" burden, for there the emphasis is to be laid — "upon the Lord." I will classify these burdens.

1. Those of the flesh; such as, natural weakness, sickness, pain, sensual desires, corrupt affections, wasting toil, poverty.

2. Mental burdens: ignorance, mystery, knowledge; for "he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow."

3. Social burdens, or burdens of the heart. Their name is legion.

4. Spiritual burdens. That of sin, of spiritual desertion, of fear.

II. THE ENCOURAGEMENTS — We have to cast our burdens upon the Lord.

1. We may do it. He "will not break the bruised reed, nor," etc.

2. Help in bearing our burdens is sure, if we seek aright. "He shall sustain thee." He does not promise to rid us of the burden but to sustain us under it, and that is better still. So was it with Paul. "My grace is sufficient for thee."

(J. M. Sherwood, D. D.)


1. They are burdenbearers. Who are not included in these? They differ from one another in all variety of ways, but all are alike here.

2. These burdens are very various. No two are exactly alike. God appoints them to each of us according to His own loving wisdom (Psalm 31:7). God never makes a mistake.

II. THE DUTY ENJOINED. "Cast thy burden upon the Lord." There is One on whom we may cast our burdens, even the Lord. But men turn to other expedients. With what success let Isaiah tell (Isaiah 29:8). How are we to fulfil this duty?

1. By telling God all about our burden.

2. Asking His help to bear it.

3. Submitting to His will in reference to it.

III. THE PROMISE BY WHICH THIS DUTY IS URGED. "He shall sustain thee." God does this sometimes —

1. By removing the burden.

2. By sustaining the burden-bearer; not removing the burden, but upholding those who have to bear it.

(R. Newton, D. D.)

I. WHAT WE ARE TO UNDERSTAND BY BURDENS. By this metaphor, we are to understand all natural evils, whether of body or of mind. Wounds, bruises, diseases, and every species of sickness, may be properly called bodily evils; but bereavements, disappointments, and all the marks of Divine displeasure, may more properly be termed mental evils. These two kinds of natural evil are intimately connected, and very frequently enhance each other. Men are here born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward. How often are their bodies racked with pain! How often are their eyes filled with tears!


1. It implies a realizing sense that God has laid their burdens upon them.

2. They cannot do this without acknowledging that God has a right to lay their burdens upon them.

3. This implies entire submission to the conduct of God, or a willingness to endure the burdens which he pleases to lay upon them (Micah 7:7; Job 1:21; 2 Kings 4:26).

4. This farther implies casting themselves upon the Lord, which is the essence of the duty enjoined in the text. Men cannot lay the burdens which they feel, upon God; nor can God take to Himself the burdens which He lays upon them. But they can cast themselves upon the Lord, which will afford them immediate support and relief under their burdens. When the general of an army lays a heavy burden upon an obedient soldier, he may cast himself, and consequently his burden, upon the general, by saying, "Sir, this appears a burden too heavy for me to carry. But you know what is proper to lay upon me. I am your soldier; my strength and my life are at your disposal. It is your concern to improve my strength and my life for the public good. And if it be best that my strength should be exhausted, or my life sacrificed, at this time, by bearing this burden, I have nothing to say; I cheerfully submit." Just so the child of sorrow may go to his heavenly Father and say, "My burden is great, and it seems I must sink under it. But Thou knowest what is best. I am in Thy hand as the clay is in the hand of the potter. Nob my will, but Thine, be done."


1. There is ground to believe that God will sustain those who cast their burdens upon Him, because He laid their burdens upon them to show their weakness, and make them take hold of His strength.

2. Those who cast their burdens upon the Lord are properly prepared to receive Divine support and consolation.

3. The glory of God requires Him to support those who look to Him for strength or relief under their burdens.

4. God has promised to afford all proper support and relief to those who come to Him with their cares and burdens, and place an unshaken confidence in His faithfulness.IMPROVEMENT. If God will sustain those who cast their burdens upon Him, then —

1. Burdens may become the means of great good.

2. The greatest burdens may become the most beneficial.

3. The afflicted never have any reason to murmur or complain under the burdens which are laid upon them.

4. The afflicted never ought to faint and sink under the weight of their burdens.

5. It highly concerns them to call upon His name.

(N. Emmons, D. D.)

I. THE RIGHTEOUS MAN. Justified by faith. No condemnation.


1. Those which he bears ill common with all men. Sickness, poverty, bereavement.

2. Those peculiar to the class to which he belongs. The prevalence of sin in the world, the difficulties attending the diffusion of Gospel truth, and the temptations which militate against a godly life, are burdens which all Christians are to bear in common.

3. Those which are restricted to him exclusively as an individual. He has his individual hopes and fears, his individual strength and weakness, and his individual pleasures and sufferings.


1. The possibility of relief. The "burden can be removed. This is true of all his burdens.

2. There is but one way of obtaining this relief. By casting it on the Lord.

3. This one way of relief requires a personal effort. "Cast."


1. The Lord's ability to sustain.

2. His willingness to sustain. He is a God of mercy

3. He has made great arrangements to relieve man of his burden. In His providence, in His word, in His Church, and in the agency of His Holy Spirit. Then east thy burden upon Him, O my soul, and He will sustain thee.

(P. L. Davies, M. A.)


1. Temporal burdens.


(2)Disastrous providences.


(4)Domestic troubles.

2. Spiritual burdens.

II. THE DIRECTION. "Cast thy burden," etc.

1. In confident faith.

2. By constant prayer.

3. By cultivating a devotional frame of mind.

III. THE PROMISE. "He will sustain thee." —

1. By imparting increased strength.

2. By the removal of our burdens.

(T. Smith.)

I. EVERY HUMAN LIFE HAS ITS BURDEN. "Thy burden." There is a physical, social, moral, religious burden. Burden suggests three thoughts.

1. Unnaturalness. We are not born with burdens. Have angels and innocent beings a heavy burden? I trow not.

2. Oppression. A burden presses one down. Life's burden often presses heavily on all the powers of one's nature, corporal, mental, and moral. Christ saw the race "heavy laden."

3. Obstruction. How a burden retards the traveller's progress. By reason of the load that presses on us we cannot move on in the path of life.

II. EVERY HUMAN LIFE MAY HAVE ITS RELIEF. "Cast thy burden on the Lord."

1. The Lord will bear the burden. He will bear it, either by removing it altogether, or by imparting strength more than equal to its pressure.

2. There is a method of transferring the burden. The more the confidence the more the burden is transferred. God is more than a counsel for our legal embarrassments, more than a physician for our diseases, more than a father in whom to repose all our concerns.


We all know the critical moment when we are contemplating seeking relief by leaving our tasks. "I will just leave the whole thing; I will get away from it!" Such flight is usually fruitless. We carry our burden with us. On the further shore it sits upon us still.

1. There are some types of burden in which the refuge of flight will be found to be a rare and splendid defence. "Flee youthful lusts." In these matters flight is the only method of salvation. Get away from inflammatory books. Give up inflammatory companionships. "Flee from idolatry." Do not take part for a moment in the temple worship of an alien god. Do not sit in the temple of Mammon. Do not play with worldly maxims. Do not think there is security in partial worldliness, in a moderate compromise.

2. But the majority of burdens cannot be disposed of by the method of flight. We have no resources but to cast them on God. What becomes of them when we take them to the Lord? There are some burdens which pass away, even while they are being recounted. They evaporate in the telling! To talk about them to God is to lose them! If you take a dimmed, steamed mirror into a dry, sunny room, the obscuring veil passes away, and the mirror becomes clear. And there are some burdens which perplex the spirit, and hinder its outlook, which, when we take them to the Lord, pass away like mist in the sunny light of the morning.(1) There is the burden of fearfulness. What is this burden except the lack of assurance? The depression is born of uncertainty. The soul moves in fear, because it does not feel the presence of God. The lack of assurance breeds the restless offspring of anxiety, fretfulness and care. Now, this is one of the burdens which evaporate in the telling. Fearfulness is always the companion of little faith. If we have triumphant faith, fearfulness is abolished. "Perfect love casteth out fear." While we are talking to our Father, the sweet genius of assurance returns. Our faith awakes. Our love revives. The heart grows calm in spiritual fellowship. "Cast thy burden upon the Lord," and, even while thou art telling it, the burden will disappear.(2) There is the burden of perplexity. Here, again, is a burden which frequently disappears while we are describing it. If we take it into our Father's house, even if it does not pass entirely away, it will be so eased that it will not crush us like an iron garment. We shall have freedom of movement. It is a beautiful experience in the lives of the saints that, when they take their burden to God, they frequently find the clue even while they are bowed in prayer. "In Thy light shall we see light."(3) There is the burden of guilt. No man can reverently and penitently take this burden to the Lord without losing it. It goes in the telling of it. "Father, I am no more worthy to be called Thy son, make..." "Bring forth the best robe." "So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up to the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulder, and fell from off his back. "Cast thy burden upon the Lord."

3. There are some burdens which are not removed even when we take them to the Lord. They do not disappear in the telling. Is there some other gracious ministry of the loving Lord? Yes, if the burden remain, the bearer of it will be strengthened (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). Some burdens are permitted to remain. Perhaps the burden is an unwelcome and unpleasant duty. Perhaps it is some physical infirmity. Perhaps it is prolonged labour in a wageless and most exhausting sphere. What, then, will God do with us? "He shall sustain thee." The Lord will deal with the bearer of the burden. He will increase thy strength, and so in reality diminish thy load. This word "sustain" is a fine, wealthy word of most comforting content. There is in it a suggestion of the ministry of a nurse. He will deal with us as though we were infants. He will be to us the great mother-God. And He will manifest towards us all the tenderness of a nursing ministry. There is also in the word the suggestion of food. He will feed us. He will give to us the bread of life. He will increase our vitality, He will make our powers more alive, more wakeful, more exuberant, And I find in the word the further gracious meaning of "support." He will carry me, if need be. The concluding word of the text is purposed to heighten the assurance of the psalmist into the peace of absolute certainty. "He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." The life that is held by God, possessed and inspired by God, will be delivered from all trembling uncertainties. On the one hand, he will not be dismayed by a frown or a threat; nor, on the other hand, will he be enticed by some bewitching fascination. He will continue his way unmoved. The road will be straight; the walk will be firm; his footing will be sure.

(J. H. Jowett, M. A.)

What wonderful condescension there is in this. Were we to see a royal prince taking upon his own back some heavy load out of pity for some poor man who was staggering beneath it, how we should admire and extol such gracious condescension. But what would that be compared to the grace of God as declared in our text. Consider —


1. Of remorse and guilty agitation. Some do not feel this, for they have "seared " their consciences, and so a hard insensitive surface over them that will not feel when accusation is brought against it. But others do feel this. Now, our text is for them.

2. Of solicitude. It may be concerning temporal things, or spiritual, or both.

3. Of service. Moses felt this, and so do many now. All of us have some service to render.

4. Of grief.

5. Of fear.

6. Of temptation. Now, whatever it be, give heed to —

II. THE DIRECTION AS TO WHAT WE ARE TO DO. There are many coun-sellors-philosophy, morality, the world; but inspired wisdom gives the counsel of our text. Now, such counsel implies —

1. Some acquaintance with God.

2. Desire of His assistance and relief.

3. Faith.

4. Prayer.

5. That we are so to cast our burden upon the Lord as not to bear it ourselves, but to leave it with Him. See Hannah.


1. He can sustain thee. What is the amount of the burden that you have? Is it heavy as the Alps? Is it heavy as the globe? Roll it on Jesus Christ, roll it on His almighty strength; He is able to carry any load, to bear any and every weight; He can sustain thee.

2. He is mercifully disposed to sustain thee. One of the most miserable delusions of the philosophical infidelity conceived of God, was, that He is a great Being that cares nothing at all about little things — that He sits in the circle of eternity, not noticing the worms on this speck of matter called the globe, in this far-off region in the universe of space. That may be the notion that infidelity has of God, but that is not the notion the Bible gives of God.

3. He has solemnly bound Himself to do it. In the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, you find two things mentioned by which the people of God have strong consolation — the promise and the oath of God; and by these two things you are assured that God will sustain you in the day of trouble.

4. He has sustained you. It will be very easy for you to put your eye on several memorials that you yourselves have reared to the honour, and the goodness, and the faithfulness of God.

(T. E. Beaumont.)

A perfect being has no burden; nothing is too great, nothing too small; there is neither excess nor defect; there is no falling short of a given mark, no inconsistency, no incompetency, no pain, no disease, no slow declining and fading away. But we are not perfect; we are conceived and born in sin; the brand of sin is on us; our ]ire is brief, and the knowledge of that brevity haunts the fast-flying hours. We long to be better, wiser, purer than we are, to be safe from storm and clear of anxiety, to be strong and well, in body, mind, and spirit; that we are not what we would be, either towards our God or towards our poor, dear brethren in this world, where all alike have sorrow and demand help, is, in short, the burden of this mortal life. Will you, then, cast your burden on the gay world and hope to lose sight of it there? The world of pleasure is always ready to relieve us of our burdens; as we enter her wide and attractive halls, there are ministering spirits at the doors to take from the incomer what robe or garment of sorrow he may have, and put it away. The worst of this is, that the thing so put away is not lost, nor destroyed; it is carefully wrapped up; it is marked with your name; and it is there in its dark receptacle, waiting till the entertainment breaks up, and ready for you again. Within the great dance-hall, and up and clown through the illuminated gardens, where the music is playing and everything looks fair, they are laughing and singing, and going to and fro, and the sorrow is forgotten for the hour, and it seems to have been wise and right to dispose in that way of the burden of our sorrow and our sin. But what we brought in with us, we must take again as we go forth; and to the old load shall be added a hundredfold of weight of shame and remorse. Can we think of any other expedient to save us from the alternative of going straight to the Lord? Perchance you may cast your burden On some friend or fellow-sinner. It is natural for us to tell our griefs to each other; a sorrow shared is a sorrow lessened. But here also is danger. Friendship is an uncertain thing; it is often too frail to bear rude handling, A man to be a real helper ought to be wise and good, a true and faithful guide, calm, strong, learned, prudent. Every argument which leads us to cast ourselves on such a friend, is an argument in favour of One who is all that and more; to whom the wise man owes his wisdom, and the strong man his strength. And thus are we brought to God, as the best on whom to cast the burden, for the simple reason that none else but He can give us relief. Go to thy Lord; take to Him the trouble, whatever it be, and tell it out to Him. Open thy heart, though to Him it is always open; seek Him as thou wouldst a confidant, a bosom friend. Thou hast thy burden, of necessity or want, of hard work and dull hours bringing little or no good, of anxiety about Others or fears for thyself; of buried hope or affections wasted on unworthy objects; of spiritual dryness, or lack of earnest faith; of longing for the unattainable or regret for the irreparable; whatever it be, bring that sorrow straight to thy God, with the conviction that it is the only rational and sensible thing to do, that all other expedients are vain, that there is no help in the world, or in any child of man, or anywhere out of Him; and surely the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain.

(Morgan Dix, D. D.)

Every man's "burden" is just the one fitted to the individual man. It is suited for his present discipline — a selected, ordained, adjusted thing — "thy burden," "your burden." It is a celebrated thought of an old-world moralist (Socrates) that, if all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stock, to be equally distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves most unhappy, would prefer the share they are already-possessed of before that which would fall to them by such a division; and an old-world poet (Horace) carries the thought even further when he says, "that the hardships or misfortunes which we lie under are more easy to us than those of any other person would be in case we could change conditions with him." And this is the moral of the old-world fable, which tells us that Jupiter made a proclamation that every mortal should bring in his griefs and calamities and throw them into a heap. This was done in a plain appointed for the purpose, and the heap became a prodigious mountain that seemed to rise above the clouds. The heap was at last distributed among the two sexes, who made a most piteous sight as they wandered up and down under the pressure of their several burdens. The whole plain was filled with murmurs and complaints, groans and lamentations. Jupiter at length taking compassion on the poor mortals, ordered them a second time to lay down their loads, with a design to give every one his own again. They discharged themselves with a great deal of pleasure. But the phantom which had led them into error was replaced by a goddess of quite a different figure — her motions were steady and composed, and her aspect serious but cheerful. Every now and again she cast her eyes towards heaven, and fixed them upon Jupiter: her name was Patience. She took her stand by the mount of sorrows, which at once contracted to one-third of the size. She then returned every man his own proper calamity, and teaching him how to bear it in the most commodious manner, he marched off with it contentedly, being very Well pleased that he had not been left to his own choice as to the kind of evils which fell to his lot. Thus far the fable. What is all this but St. Paul's teaching (Galatians 6:5). It is what the psalmist says, "thy burden." It is what St. Peter means, "All your care"

(M. Fuller.).

Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up.

1. Craven-heartedness. A man whose heart is morally sound is bold as a lion, invincible as the light of day.

2. Presumptuous revenge.


1. A desire to trust Almighty God (ver. 3). All souls should centre in Him, cling to Him as planets to the sun. This is the real antidote to cowardly fear.

2. A desire to praise Almighty God (vers. 4, 10, 12). Praise consisteth in attuning our whole lives to His Spirit and law. The hymn of praise acceptable to Him is not a composition of words, but a composition of soul virtues and noble deeds.

3. A desire to be remembered by Almighty God (ver. 8). No words can affect a true heart as tears can; God's infinite heart feels our tears as they fall.

4. A desire to walk before Almighty God (ver. 13). To "walk before God " implies a constant consciousness of His presence and an enjoyment of His friendship. "Walk" before Him with His light shining behind you and over you, lighting up all the path and scenery ahead.


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