Psalm 119:12
Thy Word have I laid up in mine heart. Another psalmist describes the righteous man in this way, "The Law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide" (Psalm 37:31). The point of the text lies in the assertion that the Word of God is in the man's heart because he had put it in, and put it in carefully.

I. STORING THE MIND WITH SCRIPTURE AS THE DUTY OF TEACHERS. It is a primary duty of all who have to do with children. Storing the memory with the material of after-thought comes before the cultivation of the mind for using its material. And if we would have the after-thought of life inclusive of the highest things, we must take care that the mind is early stored with Scripture truth and fact and counsel. It is not suggested that the child-mind should be crammed even with that which is good, nor should Scripture ever be made a task. But that child is in an especially effective manner equipped for life who has God's Word stored as a treasure in his memory. In modern times this hiding of Scripture in the heart is sadly under-estimated.

II. STORING THE MIND WITH SCRIPTURE AS A MAN'S OWN DUTY. It will not, in his case, be a merely formal memorizing, as it must largely be in the case of the child. A man will store what the Scripture says to him, and not merely what the Scripture says. This involves:

1. A personal interest in the revealed Word of God.

2. Well-formed habits in relation to its study.

3. Careful attention to the relations of the Word to personal life and needs.

4. Such persistent habits of meditation as press the Word in, and lay it up on the secret places of the soul. It is not necessary to say any strong things concerning the "criticism" of the Bible, because of that the psalmist knew nothing. To him the Word of God was a book of practical directions for godly living. And we need to have its actual relation to life and conduct so deeply impressed on us, that we should feel impelled to store its truths and counsels.

III. THE AVAILABLENESS OF SCRIPTURE-STORES FOR THE EMERGENCIES OF LIFE. From those stores our Lord readily fetched effective weapons in the time of his temptations. We have often fetched our best comfortings in time of trouble; our best warnings in times of danger; our best answers when the enemies of faith and righteousness assailed. "He who hides can find;" and if the laying up has been carefully done, the recovery for use is sure to be prompt and easy. - R.T.







Held Thou me up, and I shall be safe.
I. THE MAN OF GOD PRESENTING HIMSELF BEFORE THE THRONE OF GRACE, WITH A HUMBLE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF HIS SENSE OF EXPOSURE TO DIFFICULTY AND DANGER, AND HIS SENSE OF HIS OWN HELPLESSNESS IN HIMSELF. No man ever went to the Lord and said, "Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe," but the man who felt that he was exposed to danger, and that he was too weak to take care of himself.

II. THE CONDUCT OF A CHRISTIAN MAN UNDER ALL THAT FEELING OF EXPOSURE AND HELPLESSNESS. He is not overpowered, he is not overwhelmed; but he goes to the Lord, and he says — "Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe."

III. THE CHRISTIAN'S CONFIDENCE OF HIS SECURITY WHEN THE LORD SUSTAINS HIM. There is no doubt about it, no uncertainty in the matter, "I shall be safe." There is not a trial, or difficulty, or temptation for which a covenant supply has not been provided.

(W. H. Krause, M. A.)

I. A LIVELY CONCERN FOR HIS SPIRITUAL PRESERVATION.

II. A SOLEMN APPREHENSION OF HIS CONTINUAL MORAL DANGER.

III. A CONSCIOUSNESS OF HIS ENTIRE WEAKNESS AND INABILITY TO UPHOLD HIMSELF.

IV. A FIRM CONFIDENCE IN THE ALL-SUFFICIENCY OF DIVINE GRACE.

V. A PRAYERFUL FRAME OF MIND, OR A SPIRIT OF SUPPLICATION. If I believe that I am too weak to support myself, and if I am desirous of my safety, I shall naturally go to the strong for strength. If I behold a number of enemies for which I am no adequate match, I shall never engage with them alone, but rather inform the Captain of my salvation, who will come to my escape, who will go with me, and "teach my hands to war, and my fingers to fight," and make me "more than a conqueror."

(W. Jay.)

I. UPHOLDING — God's holding us up.

1. It implies a danger.

(1)The way is slippery.

(2)We are not sure-footed.

(3)There are cunning foes that seek to trip us up.

(4)Nor is this all, though it is quite enough; for sometimes the difficulty of keeping our balance is not caused by the way itself, but by the height to which God may elevate us.Anything which leads to self-esteem leads to the utmost jeopardy.

2. How does God keep His people upright?

(1)By angels.

(2)By the ministry of the Word.

(3)By chastisement.

(4)By giving great aspirations, high ideals, noble desires.

(5)By giving His people plenty to do. It is a grand way of keeping us right, — never to let us have an idle ten minutes, nor a spare napkin to wrap a talent in.

II. TWO BLESSED THINGS THAT COME OUT OF THIS HOLDING UP.

1. We shall be safe.

(1)From all real harm.

(2)From descending into grievous sin.

(3)Enjoying great restfulness of heart.

2. Watchfulness attends such sacred safety, and is at once its fruit and its sign. A holy man — a man made holy by God's grace — has great respect to every command of God.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

There was once a very good clergyman who was extremely fond of this text, and he often repeated it to himself. As he was very clever and wise, he feared lest he should become proud and so offend God. So he obtained a wine-glass without a foot, and round the rim had these words written, "Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe." Then this singular glass was placed on his writing-table, where he could see it continually. Thus it was a kind of picture of himself, to remind him that without God he could do nothing good. The wine-glass, if held in its master's hand, would hold what was placed within it, and so become useful. But if ever it tried to stand on its own account, it would fall over, spill its contents, and perhaps be injured.

I. A LITTLE SLIP MAY CAUSE A GREAT FALL. An express train in the west of England suddenly stopped all at once because a tiny pin had slipped out of its place. Be careful of little temptations and small sins. All the falls recorded in the Holy Scriptures came from trifling acts. Eve only ate a fruit, but she was expelled from the Garden of Eden. Moses only spoke a few angry words, and yet for them he was shut out of Canaan. A blunder committed in a moment may cause a great deal of mischief, as men learned to their sorrow when the great warship "Victoria" went down. The brave admiral somehow forgot himself and gave a wrong order, but it caused the loss of a great ship, and also of a great many valuable lives. When we have overcome a sin or temptation, or performed a good action; when we are in company with those who are evil or thoughtless, and when we feel impatience or petulance rising up within us, we should utter this prayer, for we are then most assuredly in peril.

II. Then never let us forget that we have A GREAT GOD TO TRUST IN. Mr. Wesley once heard a woman lamenting because she had broken her china crucifix. "Now," she sobbed out, "now I have no one but the great God to trust in." "But what a blessing she had the great God to trust in," said Mr. Wesley. Now, if you will look at your Bible, you will see a little word at the head of this section. Above the 113th verse is the word Samech. That word means a prop or pillar, and teaches us that God is the upholder of His people: He supports and sustains them. "I found it sweet and comfortable to lean on God," said Brainerd; and many others have felt the same.

(N. Wiseman.)

Samson, whom no earthly power could subdue during the twenty years that he was energized by the Spirit of God under his Nazarite vow, yet as soon as his locks were shorn was weak as another man. David, who, while he walked with God was the man after God's own heart, yet at length, when out of communion, could be guilty of the most appalling sins. We have no strength of our own to stand against temptation. The longest life, the most devoted service, is no security against a fall. I remember, when a young man, seeing, at a lecture on magnetism, a piece of soft iron brought on the platform and shown to be unable to hold up a needle. A coil of copper wire was then put round it, and connected with an unseen battery. Now it held, first nails, next chisels and other tools, till all the weights of the institution were brought, and it sustained them every one by the magnetic power. At a signal the wire was cut, and they all fell to the ground. It could no longer hold up the smallest thing. Its magnetic power was not in itself, but in its connection with the unseen battery.

(Signal.)

I will
A holy man — a man made holy by God's grace — has great respect to every command of God. Before he moves he looks round him to see whether he shall transgress by his proposed movement. You have heard of the child whose mother said, "John, you have broken one of the commandments," and he answered, "Mother, those commandments are awfully easy to break." With such natures as ours sin is a very easy thing. You break the law before you know it; and unless a man has respect unto all the commandments he will soon be trespassing and getting into mischief. We ought in our daily life to walk as one that has to tread among eggs or delicate china. Heedless and Too-bold soon rush into sin; but the genuine believer feareth always. "You are very jealous of how you act," said one to a saint of God. "Yes," he replied, "I serve a jealous God." "You are too precise," said another. "That is a crime," said he, "that God will never charge any of His children with." A conscience tender as the apple of an eye is what we want. To be alarmed even at the distant approach of sin is the safeguard of a child of God. Those who dally with vice will rue such dalliance when it cannot be undone. If somebody told me that there was a cobra at the far end of my room, I should look round me for the door: I think such venomous creatures are near enough if they remain in their native jungles; I do not desire their interesting society. So should it be with sin. We should flee from it at once, avoiding its first appearance, hating it in thought and word before it hatches into act, abhorring even the garment spotted by the flesh.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

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