The earth is filled with Your loving devotion, O LORD; teach me Your statutes.
I. THE GOOD MAN FINDS FRIENDS. Every living thing looks for something akin to it, and finds that God has always provided the answering thing. This is typified in the fact that God provided for Adam a "help meet for him." If a man is a good man, he will discover that he need not, and must not, live a lonely life. He is not the only good man, and his good life will only grow aright, grow healthily, when it grows in company. The individual and personal relations of converted men to God are often presented in an exaggerated form. The true ideal is presented by Malachi, "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another." The ordinary laws of human friendship apply to religious friendship. For close relationship there must be felt kinship; but for ordinary relations the common object and common interest will suffice. All who fear God, and obey him, can be true helpers one of another.
II. THE USE THE GOOD MAN MAKES OF FRIENDS DEPENDS UPON HIMSELF. It depends upon the maintenance and culture of his own godly life. So one of the first signs of flagging Christian life is flagging Christian friendship. Loosen your relations with God, and you will soon hold loose relations with his people. The law of friendship is this, "He that would have friends must show himself friendly;" and the friendliness of the godly man is bound up with the maintenance of his godliness.
III. THE USE A GOOD MAN CAN MAKE OF HIS GODLY FRIENDS DEPENDS UPON THEM. They must maintain their godliness. They can be nothing to him as helpers unless they keep fearing God, and observing his precepts. The good man soon finds his friends cease to help him when they fail from the godly life. Let each be at his best, and then godly friendship becomes one of the truest and best helps in the godly life. - R.T.
The earth, O Lord, is full of Thy mercy: teach me Thy statutes.
Homilist.I. MAN REALIZING THE ABOUNDING OF GOD'S MERCY ON THE EARTH.
II. MAN IMPLORING GOD'S COUNSELS ON THE EARTH. "Teach me Thy statutes." These statutes are required in order to guide men —
1. To a right appreciation of His goodness.
2. To a right use of His goodness.
Homilist.I. IT FILLS THE EARTH. Goodness streaming from the heavens, flowing in the atmosphere, budding on the earth, sparkling in the river, and bounding in the ocean.
II. IT ENTAILS MORAL OBLIGATION. "Teach me Thy statutes."
1. A knowledge of the Divine statutes. Unless we know them they cannot regulate us.
2. An instruction in the Divine statutes. We must have God to interpret them to the mind and heart.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
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