And I sought the LORD at that time, saying,…
I. FROM WHAT PRINCIPLE DOES THIS DESIRE AFTER A HEAVENLY STATE ARISE?
1. From having formed a right estimate of the present world. He has passed through the world not as a cynic. He has mixed in the world's society, he has tasted some of its pleasures, he has acquired some of its riches, he has enjoyed some of its esteem; yet, by the grace of God, he has been taught to see that "vanity of vanities" is inscribed "on all the world calls good or great"
2. From having realised the blessings of true religion.
3. From strong faith in the unspotted honour and integrity of Him who has promised this good land to us. The Christian believes what God has graciously revealed of this heavenly state.
II. WHAT ARE THE EVIDENCES OF YOUR TRULY DESIRING A HEAVENLY STATE.
1. Earth loses its attraction.
2. Religion assumes its personal importance. "Let me go."
3. There will be a restlessness of desire while absent from the Lord. They feel that this is not their rest.
4. Death will lose its terrors.
III. LET ME NOW URGE YOU, BY SOME APPROPRIATE MOTIVES, TO AIM AT THE ATTAINMENT OF THIS HOLY ARDOUR AFTER A HEAVENLY STATE.
1. Be convinced that it is attainable. Oh, how many Christians there are who stop short of this holy state of mind! They seem to be quite satisfied if they can but arrive at heaven, and never manifest any anxiety to attain that perfection which is the great preparation for its enjoyment.
2. Be assured also, that this state is desirable. It is desirable that you should be thus dead to this world and alive to that which is to come, on several accounts.
(1) Consider the personal advantage to the individual.
(2) But you should aim for this holy ardour, because of the benefit likely to result to others. Can such a city be set on a hill, and not observed? Impossible. Such a city must be admired.
(3) And by this you will also be an honour to the religion you profess.
(4) Hereby God will be glorified.
Parallel VersesKJV: And I besought the LORD at that time, saying,