Psalm 30:6
And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved, etc. Three stages here represented in the life of a good man.

I. WORLDLY PROSPERITY A SECURITY. "In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved."

1. We say this in youth. All our castles in the air, we think, are built upon mountains. We think we can become anything and achieve anything we please.

2. We say this before we know our sinfulness. The ways of the world harden our hearts about our sins. Success in life and the means we employ to reach it will often harden the conscience. Money, luxury, praise, are dreadful things to blind men to their real character and state before God.

II. THE SENSE OF DANGER AND TROUBLE.

1. God hides his face. We, in our vain confidence, think it is God that has made our mountain to stand strong - till he hides his face, till a great black cloud (our sins) comes between us and God. This phrase, though often misapplied, expresses a very real fact. It is the blackness of darkness to many a terror-stricken sinner.

2. The terrors of death. Of death, natural and spiritual, get hold of us. The terror of death, natural and spiritual, is to be forsaken of God in it. This dreadful moment has come to nearly all good men. Some men never get beyond this second stage of life.

III. RESTORATION TO REAL PROSPERITY AND SECURITY.

1. The prosperity of the believer is real prosperity. It is the prosperity of the soul; it is prosperity from God, and not from man; it is lasting, secure prosperity.

2. God is the Author of the second and third stages of a good man's life. "Thou didst hide thy face;... thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing," etc. - S.







In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
Homilist.
These verses may be taken as indicating the tendencies of certain conditions and actions in human life.

I. Here is HUMAN PROSPERITY LEADING TO PRESUMPTION. The writer's experience agrees with that of Job (Job 29:18). Also with the experience of the rich man in the Gospel, who said, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry."

1. This tendency implies moral per-versify. Our religious feelings should get purer and stronger as our mercies abound. Sad it is, therefore, to see prosperity leading to presumption and impiety.

2. This tendency should modify our desire for wealth. Worldly wealth, at best, is only a temporary good, and often an evil in disguise.

II. Here is AFFLICTION LEADING TO PRAYER.

1. The description of affliction. It is the hiding of God's face.

2. The nature of his prayer.

(1)Vehement (1 Chronicles 21:16, 17).

(2)Argumentative. He reasons with the Almighty (ver. 9).He means that his destruction would be of no service to the Almighty, but that his preservation might be.

III. Here is PRAYER LEADING TO DELIVERANCE. In answer to earnest prayer, the Great Father has ever given to the suffering suppliant beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

1. God removes suffering. "Thou hast put off my sackcloth."

2. God gives happiness. "And girded me with gladness."

IV. Here is DELIVERANCE LEADING TO PRAISE.

1. This was the purpose of his deliverance. "To the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee." He was delivered that he might praise.

2. This was the influence of his deliverance. "O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto Thee for ever."

(Homilist.)

The subject of the psalmist's complaint in these words is a common weakness, incident to human nature; a too great confidence in the day of prosperity, and excessive dejection in a time of trouble.

I. WHAT IT IS THAT CHIEFLY CONTRIBUTES TO THIS EXTREME DIVERSITY OF TEMPER UNDER THE VARYING SCENES OF LIFE.

1. It is sometimes owing, in a good measure, to the native turn and temper of the mind. Some are of so soft and flexible a make, that they are soon impressed: almost everything affects them too much.

2. That which chiefly contributes to this great reverse of temper under the vicissitudes of life, I conceive to be an excessive fondness for earthly enjoyments. Did we not set our hearts upon these things, we should meet with fewer disappointments from them.

3. Our ignorance, or inconsideration of the true nature of present things, as

(1)unsatisfying;

(2)uncertain.

4. A want of faith, which would teach us to look beyond these things to the final issue of the great all-wise Disposer of them.

II. WHAT DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES ATTEND SUCH AN INEQUALITY OF MIND.

1. It lays us exposed to all the temptations of that state of life, into which Providence hath brought us.(1) A man that is secure, carnal and confident in prosperity, lies wholly exposed to all the snares and temptations incident to that state of life: which are such as these; pride, worldly-mindedness, self-indulgence, vanity, avarice, intemperance, contempt of others, self-sufficiency, oppression, irreligion, or, at least, a great indifference to sacred things.(2) A succumbency and dejection of mind in adversity lays us exposed to all the dangers and temptations of float condition. And the sins, to which men are most inclined in this state of life, are envy at the prosperity of others, murmuring, impatience, discontent, uncharitableness, passion, fearfulness and despair.

2. It deprives us of all the advantages we might derive from these states.(1) An elate and careless frame of mind in prosperity deprives us of the chief benefits that might accrue to us from thence: or, in other words, it prevents our blessings from being sanctified. For how can those blessings be sanctified to us which we are not thankful for? And how can we be thankful for those blessings for which we are forgetful of our dependence on Providence?(2) An excessive grief and despondency in tribulation is attended with effects no less detrimental; as it deprives us of all those advantages we might reap from our troubles. Afflictions are often sent as the greatest mercies; to make us more meek, resigned, patient, humble, holy and heavenly. minded; to purify our hearts, wean us from the world, and mortify our sensual affections; and to revive and cultivate a spiritual, watchful and dependent frame of mind. But how can afflictions be sanctified to these happy purposes, when the mind is tossed with tempestuous sorrow, or faints under the stroke, incapable of forming one right), or regular reflection?

III. WHAT CONSIDERATIONS ARE MOST PROPER TO BALANCE THE PASSIONS, AND GIVE US A SELF-POSSESSION UNDER ALL PROVIDENTIAL OCCURRENCES.

1. Let us often think of the natural inconstancy of all earthly things.(1) Are there not a thousand secret and unforeseen ways, whereby the hand of God can suddenly take from us all cur earthly comforts, or our capacity to enjoy them? How vain, then, is a confident spirit in a day of prosperity.(2) Are our souls involved in darkness? and our minds disconsolate, and bowed down, under the pressure of some grievous affliction? let us remember, that the day succeeds the night (ver. 5). Time cures all our earthly sorrows; and grace alleviates them. Let this sanctify, what that will entirely remove.

2. Let us look forward to the end of things, and endeavour to familiarize to ourselves the thoughts of futurity.

3. Let us ever keep our eye fixed on God, as the all-wise and sovereign Disposer of these things; and remember, that whatever befalls us, comes either by His permission or direction.

4. Leg us think how much we offend our Maker by indulging in that weak unguarded temper now described.

5. Let us consider how much we lose the relish of our mercies by being too secure and fond of them in prosperity; and how we increase our load by sinking under it in adversity.

6. Let us learn to be more cautious in prosperity, and more composed in adversity, and endeavour after more equanimity in both.

(J. Mason, M. A.)

For quaintly said of the elder Pitt that he "fell up-stairs" when he was elevated to the peerage. Many a man cannot stand going up higher.. He becomes haughty, proud; he affects dignity, he lords it over God's heritage; he becomes too big with conscious superiority. Like Jeshurun, he waxes fat and kicks. He falls up-stairs; up, not down.

(A. S. Pierson, D. D.)

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