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manifestly prove, how exceedingly the grace of God was magnified towards him --- We wonder not at his frequent repetition of the same acknowledgments, or at the augmented confidence with which he was enabled to look forward to a continuance of the Divine favour even unto death?.]
But from this experience he was fully qualified to giveII. His advice founded upon it
To wait on God is the duty of every living creature, and especially of those who are instructed in the knowledge of his revealed will.
“ He is the one source of every good and perfect gift.” On him therefore David advises us to wait, 1. In a way of earnest prayer
[We should not merely call upon God, but "pour out our hearts before him.” If our troubles be of a more public nature, we should, like Hezekiah, spread our wants before him?: or, if they be known to ourselves alone, we should, like Hannah, carry them to the Lordh. The direction given us by God himself is, that " in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving we should make our requests known unto Godi.” We should not say of one thing, It is too great for me to ask; or of another thing, It is too small: we should remember, that “ he will be inquired of by us," before he will communicate to us his promised blessingsk: and, if we ask in faith, he will “ do for us exceeding abundantly above all that we either ask or think."] 2. In a way of confident expectation
[We should not stagger at any of God's promises, but be strong in faith, giving glory to God.” If he see fit to delay his answer, we must not be discouraged, but wait his time; assured, that “the vision shall not tarry” beyond the precise moment that he sees to be best for us! We must trust him no less when we see no way for our deliverancem, than when the promised relief is visibly at hand. Under all the endearing characters which are assigned to him in our text, we should expect his gracious interposition. If our difficulties and trials be of a temporal nature, we should anticipate with confidence his effectual aid”; and if of a spiritual nature, we should feel assured, that none shall finally prevail against uso: we should confidently say, “ In the Lord have I righteousness and strength.' “ In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory."] ADDRESS
e ver. 1, 2. with the text.
f Compare ver. 2. with ver. 6. “Not greatly moved ;” “Not moved at all." & 2 Kings xix. 14.
h 1 Sam. i. 15. i Phil. iv. 6. k Ezek. xxxvi. 37.
1 Hab. ii. 3. m Isai. l. 10. Isai. xxviii. 16,
n Isai. l. 7-9.
1. To those who are labouring under temporal . affliction
[Those who have no God to go to, often sink under their troubles, and not unfrequently seek refuge from them in suicide. Be ye not like to them. There is a God, whose is the earth, and the fulness thereof, and who feedeth even the ravens that call upon him.
him. Your trials are intended to lead you to him; and if they have this effect, you shall have cause to bless him for them to all eternity. Only remember not to lean to the creature for support. Seek every thing in God; in “God only;” in “God at all times ;” and you shall not be disappointed of your hope.]
2. To those who are bowed down with spiritual trouble
[Hear what instruction the Prophet Jeremiah gives to persons
in your state”. David had sunk under his troubles, if he had not cast his care entirely upon the Lord”. Follow then his example in this particular: charge it upon yourself to do so; “My soul, wait thou only upon God.” And if still distressing fears oppress you, chide your unbelieving soul as he did, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul ? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my confidence and my God"."]
o Jer. i. 19.
r Ps. xlii. 11.
DC. THE BELIEVERS DISPOSITIONS TOWARDS GOD. Ps. lxii. 1–7. O God, thou art my God: early will I seek
thee; my soul thirsteth for thee; my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live; I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips, when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night-watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
IT is justly said of God, that “ he giveth songs in the night :” and never was there a more striking evidence of it than in the psalm before us. David is supposed to have written it when he was in the wilderness of Ziph, fleeing from Saul who was seeking to destroy him". But we can scarcely conceive that he would call himself “the king,” as he does in the 11th verse, in the life-time of Saul : for though he believed that God would ultimately raise him to the throne, it would have been treason against his legitimate prince to arrogate to himself the title of
king;” nor can we conceive that under his perilous circumstances he would have given Saul so just a ground of accusation against him. For these reasons we are inclined to think it was written at the time that he fled into the wilderness from Absalom, when he, and the people that were with him, were in the greatest distress for every necessary of life. But what are the contents of this psalm ? Nothing but joy and triumph: the things of time and sense were as nothing in his eyes; but God was “ all in all.”
From that portion of the psalm which we have read, we shall take occasion to shew you the desires, the purposes, and the expectations of a renewed soul. 1. The desires
As soon as the soul has obtained an interest in Christ, and reconciliation with God through him, it is privileged to claim God as its own peculiar portion: it is entitled to say of Christ, “ My Beloved is mine, and I am his :" “ He has loved me, and given himself for me.” And to the Father himself also, as now reconciled to him, he can say, "O God, thou art my God.” It is no wonder then, that from henceforth God becomes the one object of his desire. The soul now finds no satisfaction in earthly things[The whole world appears to it as
a land where no water is.” The whole creation seems to be but "a broken cistern," which, whilst it promises refreshment to the weary and heavyladen, is never able to impart it.
a 1 Sam. xxiii. 15.
b 2 Sam. xvii. 28, 29.
If it be objected, that, though David, under his peculiar trials, found the world so barren of all good, we may find it a source of comfort to us; we answer, That there is nothing in this world that is suited to satisfy the desires of an immortal soul; and that, the more we have of this world, the more fully shall we be convinced, that it is altogether an empty bubble, a cheat, a lie; and that “vanity and vexation of spirit” is written by the finger of God himself upon all that it contains. The carnal mind cannot credit this : but the renewed soul needs no argument to convince it of this truth.] Its desire therefore is after God alone
["Early will I seek thee,” is the language of every one that is born of God. In the secret chamber his first waking thoughts will be,“Where is God my Maker ? " where is Jesus my Redeemer? where is the blessed Spirit my Sanctifier and my Comforter ? In the public ordinances also especially will his soul desire communion with its God. It has beheld somewhat of God's power and glory in the manifestations of his love, and in the communications of his grace; and it bears those seasons in remembrance, and longs to have them renewed from time to time. The bare ordinances will not satisfy the believer, if God be not in them: it is not to perform a duty .that he comes up to the sanctuary, but to meet his God, and enjoy sweet converse with him: and if he meet not God there, he is like a man who, with much ardent expectation, has gone to a distant city to meet his friend, and has been disappointed of his hope: or rather he is like those of whom the prophet Jeremiah speaks, who in a season of extreme drought
came to the pits and found no water; and returning with their vessels empty, were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads .” They know by sad experience that “ there is no water" elsewhere; and if they find not access to “ God, the living fountain,” their very “flesh ” sympathizes with their “souls,” and fainteth by reason of the painful disappointment. This is beautifully described in another psalm d : and it is realized in the experience of every believer, in proportion to the integrity of his soul before God, and to the measure of grace with which he is endued ----]
In perfect correspondence with the desires of a renewed soul, are, II. Its purposes
The Believer determines to praise and glorify his God[The language of his heart is, “My heart is fixed, O God, c Jer. xiv. 3.
d Ps. xlii. 1-3.
my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise.” He knows what God hath said, “Whoso offereth me praise, glorifieth me :” and he determines to offer unto God the tribute that is so justly due. Nor will he do this in a cold and formal manner: no; as a man of warm feelings expresses with his body the emotions of his soul, so will he, together with his heart, lift up his hands also in the name of his God. Nor will he pour forth these effusions only on some particular occasions, or during any one particular season : he will do it continually; he will do it to the latest hour of his life. He considers "praise as comely for the upright;" and he wishes it to be the constant language of his lips.]
To this determination he is led by the consideration of the loving-kindness of his God
[O how wonderful does that love appear to him, which gave no less a person than God's co-equal co-eternal Son to die for him! which gave him too the knowledge of that Saviour, together with all spiritual and eternal blessings in him, whilst thousands and millions of the human race are dying in ignorance and perishing in their sins! This loving-kindness so free, so rich, so full, appears to him “better than even life itself; and all that he can do to testify his gratitude seems nothing, yea “ less than nothing,” in comparison of it. The language of his heart is, “If I should hold my peace, the very stones would cry out against me.” O that I had powers equal to the occasion ! how would I praise him ! how would I glorify him! verily I would praise him on earth, even as they do in heaven.]
In these purposes the believing soul is yet further confirmed by, III. Its expectations
The service of God is not without its reward even in this life : and hence the Believer, whilst engaged in his favourite employment, expects, 1. The richest consolation
[The carnal mind can see no pleasure in this holy exercise; but the spiritual mind is refreshed by it, more than the most luxurious epicure ever was by the richest dainties. His very meditations are unspeakably sweet: yea, while contemplating his God upon his bed, and during the silent watches of the night, “his soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness:" it has a foretaste even of heaven itself - From its own experience of this heavenly joy, the soul expects this glorious harvest, when it has sown in tears, and laboured to glorify its God in songs of praise.]