I. SUCH LIFE IS POSSIBLE. It would not be spoken of here and throughout the Scriptures as it is, if it were only an ideal but not a possible life. Surely, if sin be the abominable thing which God hates, he must have contemplated, in his redemptive work, our deliverance from it. What is the first and great commandment, but a command to cherish that spirit towards God which is the spring of the holy life?
II. IT IS ENTERED INTO BY A DEFINITE WAY.
1. By self-surrender, which consists in the abandoning of whatever we know to be contrary to the will of God; giving it up, though it be dear as the right hand or eye; and in the surrender of all our powers and possessions to the absolute control and direction of God.
2. Then, when we have thus given ourselves up to God, we are to believe that he accepts us, and we are to keep trusting him, day by day and hour by hour, to cleanse us by the blood of Christ from all sin. If we will persevere in this surrender and trust, nothing can hinder our entering into this holy life. Then -
III. IT IS MOST BLESSED.
1. For what it escapes: the misery of a condemning conscience; of paralyzed power - for none can effectually work for God if they are abiding in sin; of knowing that your influence has been evil rather than good; of God's face hidden from you.
2. For what it wins: the blessedness of inward peace; of confidence towards God; of power with God for man, and with man for God; of the possession of God's loving kindness, which is better than life (Psalm 63), and of assured hope. When the people of God live this life, then there will be a turning to God on the part of the world, as now there is not, and for long ages has not been. For men will see that God's people possess a secret spring of joy, and peace, and purity, and strength, and they will come to covet it with a great desire (vers. 4, 5). - S.C.
I. THE PLEASANT LAND. Palestine was a country in many views highly desirable — in itself compact, and possessing special facilities of commerce with Asia, Africa, and Europe, all the known quarters of the globe. As to its intrinsic character, we have it portrayed in Deuteronomy 8:7-9. Palestine, in all the glory of culture, must have been a "pleasant land." We know, however, that this country, with all its distinguishing institutions, formed but a shadow of better things to come; and it becomes us now to be enjoying a land still more pleasant. The Kingdom of God has come to many thousands, has come with power; and its blessings, to which those of Judea were not for a moment to be compared, are brought nigh to the remotest and most unworthy. Its inhabitants He hath delivered from the curse of the law, being made a curse for them. Their depraved and perverse hearts He renovates by the agency of His good Spirit, purifying them unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Whatever fightings they may have, they have peace with God; whatever vicissitudes, an immovable kingdom; whatever sorrows, everlasting consolation; whatever poverty, unsearchable riches; whatever disappointments and repulses, victory at last over sin and death and the grave. But I would point you to another land, in which the emblem of the text finds a more perfect accomplishment. True, we are here favoured with a morning, and the morning star shines bright: yet it is only the morning, and the shadows of the night largely intermingle with the dawning of the day. But in that "better country which is an heavenly," sunshine is qualified by shadow no longer. There Jesus appears in all that glory which He had with the Father before the world was — the distinctive glory of mediatorial triumph and recompense enhancing His Divine effulgence — and "the nations of them that are saved do walk in His light."
Yea, they despised the pleasant land.
Homilist.I. THE AWFUL PERSISTENCY OF SIN (vers. 24, 25, 28). You may reason with the sinner, convince him both of the folly and wrongness of his conduct. Trial after trial may come down upon him in consequence of his wicked conduct. You may threaten him with the terrors of death and the terrible retribution of the life beyond, still he continues blindly, and madly he pursues his course (Jeremiah 13:23).
II. THE FEARFUL RETRIBUTION OF GOD (ver. 29).
1. It was justly deserved. How great the provocation! The conscience of every sufferer will attest the justice of his fate.
2. It was a warning to others. The punishment that befalls one sinner says to every sinner, "Take care." God punishes, not for the sake of inflicting pain, but for the sake of doing good. It is to arrest the progress of sin, which is a curse to the universe.
III. THE SOCIAL INFLUENCE OF SAINTS (ver. 30). Phinehas interposed as a magistrate to suppress sin and check its progress. This act of his was approved of God as a righteous act. It was rewarded by God by a perpetual priesthood (Numbers 25:10). It is said that "one sinner destroyeth much good," but one saint may destroy more evil. Not until the last day, if then, shall we know the enormous amount of good that one good man may render to his age and even to his race.
II. CONTEMPT OF THE PLEASANT LAND. "Every gift of God is good and nothing to be despised." Nay, not only are manifest mercies to be gratefully acknowledged, but we are forbidden to despise the chastening of the Lord, and enjoined to count it all joy when we fall into manifold temptations or trials. And how, then, can God look upon our conduct without anger when we treat with contempt a promised inheritance? As to the liability to this sin, it might appear that our inheritance being more valuable than that of the ancient and literal Canaan, it would be less readily and less probably disparaged. But alas! the things of God are not so appreciable to natural and unaided perception. The eye sees not their beauty, the ear hears not their melody, the nostrils smell not their odour, the tongue tastes not their deliciousness. We have had samples of heaven itself; its righteousness has come down to us; its celestial truth has been proclaimed to our guilty and perishing world; and humanity has discredited and disrelished all.
III. THE SOURCE OF THE ISRAELITES' CONTEMPT. "They believed not His word." If we had only full confidence in the Saviour, if we but eyed Him with a completion and constancy of trust at all commensurate with His trustworthiness, what distressing apprehensions of Him would vanish, what ravishing views of Him would succeed! How sure would heaven become! We should feel as secure of it as if we were already there, and something like as happy.
(D. King, LL. D.)
1. Because the land is hard to reach. Yes, it is hard, and it is easy: hard if the heart is absorbed by the world, the flesh, and the devil; easy, if the world has once been despised, the flesh once crucified, the devil put to scorn.
2. Others think scorn of that pleasant land because they cannot see it, and therefore hardly believe that it exists at all. If we are only to believe in what we see, there will be but little to believe in. We cannot see the Father or the Son or the Holy Ghost with the human eye; we cannot see the soul; we cannot see that the dead are living: but Jesus taught us, and our conscience teaches us to believe these things; and Jesus taught us also to believe in heaven.
(W. R. Hutton, M.A.)
(A. Maclaren, D.D.)
LinksPsalm 106:3 NIV
Psalm 106:3 NLT
Psalm 106:3 ESV
Psalm 106:3 NASB
Psalm 106:3 KJV
Psalm 106:3 Bible Apps
Psalm 106:3 Parallel
Psalm 106:3 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 106:3 Chinese Bible
Psalm 106:3 French Bible
Psalm 106:3 German Bible
Psalm 106:3 Commentaries