I have sought Your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise.
I. APPROPRIATION. The word "my" denotes that. Until our faith in God advances to this personal appropriation of him, it will not do much for us. We must believe in God, not only as a Portion for his people, but each one of us must be able to say, "He is my Portion" (cf. Psalm 91:2).
II. CONSECRATION AND CONFESSION. "I have said that I would," etc. (ver. 57). Not only is there the inward resolve to live the life of obedience, but the open avowal thereof. Wonderful is the increased hold of God which confessing him gives to the soul.
III. SUPPLICATION. "More of God is the soul's craving and cry; with the whole heart his favor is entreated (ver. 58). The hunger after God grows by what it feeds on. God is the One only satisfying Portion of the soul (cf. Psalm 63:1, 2). His loving-kindness is deemed better than life.
IV. CONSIDERATION. There will be the thinking on our ways. We shall consider them, examine them, hold them up to the light, so as to see if they be what God would have them be. And such consideration will be followed by its proper consequence - it will not stop short with itself, but will go on, and that speedily (ver. 60), to the practical result of turning our feet unto," etc. (ver. 59). There is much consideration which never advances so far as this, much thought which never bears this blessed fruit. Then there will be -
V. CONSOLATION. This ever follows, never precedes, such practical consideration as that just spoken of. But it does follow. There will be trials to be met, and burdens to be borne, and many temptations; but there will be support and consolation abundant (vers. 61, 62).
VI. ASSOCIATION. The instinct of the regenerate soul is to find others like itself They will associate, let the cost be what it may.
VII. ASPIRATION. The soul recognizes how full the earth is of God's mercy. It would enjoy more for itself. - S.C.
I. PRINCIPLES OR LAWS IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHICH GOD SHOWS MERCY.
I entreated Thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to Thy Word.I. THE CONSIDERATION OF OUR WAYS.
1. He betakes himself to consider —(1) not the ways of other people, officiously prying into their char-actors, scrutinizing what is amiss in them, etc.(2) Nor the light in 'which his own ways are regarded by other persons.
2. But his own ways, as they are in reality, and as they appear in the sight of that God, who trieth the heart and the reins.
II. AN ATTENTION TO GOD'S WORD.
1. Man's sinful and lost state.
2. The great remedy for this.
III. EARNEST PRAYER FOR GOD'S PROFFERED MERCY AND GRACE.
1. The object of his prayer — God's favour and God's mercy according to His Word.
2. The cordiality of his prayer.
IV. AN IMMEDIATE OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S COMMANDMENTS.
1. The nature of his obedience. It is not the obedience of an angel that never sinned; hut of a sinner under a dispensation of mercy.
2. This obedience is immediate; is net delayed, but attended to at once.(1) Because he is aware of the shortness and uncertainty of his life.(2) Because, even though his life should be spared, his faculties may not.(3) Because, even though both his life and his faculties should be continued to him, the grace of God, without which all attempts at Christian obedience must be utterly vain, may be denied him.(4) Because, even though this most tremendous of all judgments should not be inflicted on him, still, by his delay, he would only increase the difficulties of his obedience, whenever he should set about it.(5) Because by his delay he would lose all that comfort and sweet satisfaction of mind which are the ordinary accompaniments of obedience.(6) Because by such delay he would lose also so many opportunities never to be recovered of doing good to man, and of glorifying the God of his salvation; and —(7) Because he would suffer materially as to his eternal state; for, though the idea of merit is to be entirely excluded and our admission into heaven is to be ascribed solely to God's mercy in Christ; still, through that same mercy, will no sincere attempt at obedience, not even the grant of a cup of cold water given on truly Christian principles, fail of an abundant gracious reward.
(John Natt, B. D.)
1. His own pleasure.
2. Through Jesus Christ.
3. He limits its highest exercise to the penitent and godly.
4. His own glory.
II. WHY THE DEVOUT MIND WOULD HAVE THESE LAWS ALWAYS OBSERVED.
(J. R. Page.)
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