Psalm 50:15

I. HERE IS A DAY THAT WILL COME TO ALL. You may not have hitherto known "trouble;" if so, be thankful, but prepared. The immunity of the past is no protection. Sooner or later it will be said to you, as Eliphaz said to Job, "Now it is come upon thee" (Job 4:5). And this is well. To be without trouble would be to lack one of the chief disciplines of life, and to lay us under the suspicion of being "bastards, not sons."


1. This duty is agreeable to our nature. In trouble we crave sympathy and help. As the child instinctively cries to its mother, so should we call upon God.

2. This duty is prompted by our circumstances. "Trouble" not only causes pain, but fear. Under the pressure of need we come to the throne of grace for mercy and grace.

3. This duty is enforced by the example of the good. They speak of what they have known. With grateful hearts they tell of what the Lord has done for them (Psalm 77:1; 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).

4. This duty is urged by God our heavenly Father. He anticipates our needs; he lovingly invites our confidence; he assures us of his readiness to give us help and comfort (Isaiah 43:1, 2).

III. HERE IS A PROMISE ENCOURAGING TO ALL. The promise and the duty are connected, and both are to be taken together with what goes before (ver. 14). It is when we have been living near to God, and have been daily performing our vows to him with praise and thanksgiving, that we are best prepared for the duty of prayer and the fulfilment of the promises. This promise implies what God will do for us, and what return we should then make to God. Calling upon God in trouble has an elevating effect; it brings us into nearer fellowship with God in heart and will and life. We will "glorify" God for being with us in trouble, as delivering us from trouble, as making trouble work for our good. - W.F.

Call upon Me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.
Many an one, in the day of trouble, has called on God even with an exceeding bitter cry, and yet has found no deliverance. The "cloudy and dark day" has continued full of a gloom, which no light from heaven has broken through to relieve. The blow which we dreaded, and which we prayed might not fall, has fallen. But need our faith fail, so that we shall refuse any more to rely on God's promise again? Can there be any real ground for that? It would be awful if there were; if we had to think of God, as we too often have to think of men, as not to be depended on, not to be trusted to make good His word. It would be almost better to be Atheists than to think that. But the solution of the difficulty is in the fact that what God means by "deliverance" is other than what we mean. We are asking for one thing when He means another. And perhaps, also, we misunderstand God when He says, "Call upon Me." Do we not too often take it to mean that when we see no other help, then we should call on God for there is nothing else to be done? Is not this too much our idea; and is it a just idea? Have we any right to treat God in that way? to neglect Him and forget Him till we are in trouble, and then to call aloud on Him, simply to remove the trouble? I do not think we can interpret God's Word as meaning that He will answer such a call by such a deliverance. He means that the trouble is to do the work which He desires it should; to lead us to Him, to break in upon our worldliness, self-sufficiency, and forgetfulness of our dependence on Him, and to help us to receive the blessing it is meant to bestow, so that through it we may be delivered, not necessarily from it, but from the evils which it was intended to correct, from the dangers against which it was the warning. A man, for instance, who had wilfully committed a crime and been visited with the punishment of his crime, might feel so touched in heart and so distressed in mind, as to be led to the thought of God, and to cry to God for deliverance; but could be expect God to open his prison door and let him go free, or to pay his fine and let him off without a penalty? Would that be indeed a "deliverance" to him? Would not the only real deliverance be a deliverance from the evil heart and unrighteous spirit which led him to commit the crime; and would not the outward trouble, from which God did not deliver him, be doing its proper work, if through God's grace it was the means of delivering him from that evil heart and that unrighteous spirit? If it did that, could he say God had not heard his cry or wrought deliverance for him?

(R. H. Story, D. D.)

Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.
I. THE SPEAKER. "The mighty God;" possessing —

1. Boundless knowledge (Hebrews 4:13; Acts 10:5, 6; Matthew 10:80).

2. Infinite goodness (Psalm 145:9; Psalm 103:13; Psalm 147:11).

3. Omnipotent power (Psalm 148:6).


1. Those who fear and love God (1 Corinthians 3:21-23).

2. Those who are subjects of trial (Hebrews 12:6, 10).


1. Humility.

2. Sincerity.

3. Confidence.

4. Consistency.

5. Importunity.

IV. THE DECLARATION MADE. "I will deliver thee."

1. At what time He sees best.

2. In what way He sees best.

3. By what means He sees best.

V. THE GRATEFUL RETURNS REQUIRED. "And thou shalt glorify Me."

1. By a devout acknowledgment of the Divine goodness (Psalm 34:1-4). Be careful not to ascribe that to human agency which is immediately the work of God.

2. By unreserved devotedness to Him (Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 6:20).

3. By promoting His interests — your time, talents, influence employed for God. Present them through the merits of Christ.


1. To those who love and fear God. How blessed is your state I The Lord is your God, call upon Him.

2. To those who are humbly seeking God (Matthew 11:28).

3. To those who are living without God. How awful your state! (Romans 2:5).

(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

I. THE DAY. "Day of trouble."

1. All know more or less of this "day" — morning, noon, or eventide of it, or the whole "day."

2. Trouble various:(1) Business trouble — competition — dishonest traders — bad times, etc.(2) Domestic trouble — family cares — sick child — wayward son or daughter — poverty.(3) Soul-trouble — sins realized — con-science accusing — unworthiness and imperfections — doubts and fears, etc.

3. Only a "day"! not a week — month — year, etc.

II. THE REQUEST. "Call upon Me." Friends generally plentiful in prosperity, scarce in trouble. God wants us to come particularly then. Take your prayer-cheques and faith-orders to His Bank, and so ask and receive that your joy may be full. This the Divine cure for trouble. Don't worry — chafe — fret — despair; simply give Him a "call" — He is always at home, etc.

III. THE PROMISE. "I will deliver thee." Infinite ability and willinghood — power and love — are at the back of this promise. None ever called aright and were refused. Noah, David, Daniel, etc., cried and were delivered.

IV. THE RESULT. "Thou shalt glorify Me."

1. By presenting praise (ver 23).

2. By publishing His fame — gratitude will constrain to this.

3. By trusting implicitly at all times.

(J. O. Keen, D. D.)

One book charmed us all in the days of our youth. Is there a boy alive who has not read it? I am not ashamed to confess that I can read it even now with ever fresh delight. You remember how Robinson Crusoe was wrecked. He is left in the desert island all alone. He is smitten with fever. He is ready to perish. Now he begins to think, and opens a Bible which he finds in his chest, and he lights upon this passage. That night he prayed for the first time in his life. It is a text which I would have written in stars across the sky, or sounded forth with trumpet at noon from the top of every tower. Observe —

I. REALISM IS PREFERRED TO RITUALISM. Note the content. How this is so.

1. Because there is meaning in it. There is none in ritualism when grace is absent. But when you call upon God in the day of trouble there is meaning, and God understands, and cares for it when all the pomp and show, and the gorgeousness of ritual are to Him as nothing.

2. There is spirituality in it, and worship in spirit and in truth is what God would have.

3. It recognizes God as the living God.

4. It is sincere. In prosperity we are apt to forget our prayers. Too many of us are like boys' tops, that cease to spin except they are whipped. Certainly trouble gives intensity to prayer.

5. It is humble. Too often we are over-satisfied with our own performances in the way of worship, but when in deep trouble the soul bows down then.

6. And there is a measure of faith in such prayers. When faith does, as it were, only cross over the field of the camera, so that across the photograph there is a dim trace of its having been there, God can spy it out, and He can and will accept prayer for the sake of that little faith. Next we have —

II. ADVERSITY TURNED TO ADVANTAGE. God cannot deliver a man who is not in trouble: even Jesus Christ cannot heal a man who is not sick. Now, if you be in trouble, you have —

1. A plea from the time. This is the day of trouble. Your case is urgent.

2. From the trouble itself. It is so great.

3. From the command. God bids you pray.

4. From His own character — so great, so good.

III. FREE GRACE LAID UNDER BONDS. "I will deliver thee:" thus God pledges Himself. The text is unconditional as to the persons. And God's "I will" includes all needful power which may be needed for deliverance. But we are not told exactly when God wilt do this. You are in a great hurry, but the Lord is not. When the gold is cast into the fining-pot, there it must stay till the dross is purged away. But promptitude is implied. He will deliver you in the best possible time.

IV. GOD AND THE PRAYING MAN TAKING SHARES. Here is your share, "Call upon Me"; here is God's share, "I will deliver." Again, here is yours, You shall be delivered; and then, again, it is the Lord's turn, "Thou shalt glorify Me." Here is a delightful partnership. Who would demur to these terms? If God will pardon and justify us, adopt and sanctify us, and bring us home to heaven at last, shall He not have the glory of it? Even some divines will give man a little of the glory. Oh, that Dagon of a free will! How men will worship it! Go out henceforth, you saved ones, and tell what the Lord has done for you. An aged woman once said that if the Lord Jesus Christ really did save her, He should never hear the last of it.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

God here reproves Israel not for keeping back from Him abundant ceremonial service — they were not at fault there — but for not rendering Him the worship of the heart. That was what He desired more than all burnt offering and sacrifice. And the reasons of God's preference are evident. For —


1. It shows that God is a reality to the man.

2. There is spiritual intercourse in it. How easy it is to say a prayer without coming into contact with God! Year after year the tongue repeats pious language, as a barrel organ grinds out the old tunes, and there may be no more converse with the Lord than if the man had muttered to the ghosts of the slain. Many prayers might as well be said backward as forwards, for there would be as much in them one way as the other. The abracadabra of the magician has quite as much virtue in it as any other set of mere words.

3. It is filled with a manifest hope in God.

4. It exhibits a clinging affection to Him, and —

5. A most stedfast confidence. Therefore is it that such prayer brings glory to God.

II. ALSO, THROUGH THE ANSWER WHICH IT WINS. The answer is personal, positive, practical, permanent.

III. AND THE LORD WILL BE GLORIFIED IN YOUR CONDUCT AFTERWARDS. Adoration, gratitude, trust, patience, a consecrated life. It is by the sharp needle of sorrow that we are embroidered with the praises of the Lord. The brightest of the saints owe much of their clearness to the fire and the file. We must be tried that the Lord may be glorified.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE DUTY ENJOINED. "Call upon Me," etc. This bears fully upon our present circumstances (2 Chronicles 7:13, 14). The word "call" implies —

1. Earnestness of heart.

2. Faith, which realizes both God's truth and God's grace.

3. Expectation.

II. THE PROMISE GIVEN — "I will deliver thee." Who else can? Medical science seems of but little avail. But God can (Revelation 7.). The command to the angel of penitence; and 2 Samuel, last chapter. All show that the Lord can limit the powers of evil. Let us remember the love of God — His presenting, forbearing, redeeming, sanctifying love.


1. Acknowledge God's hand in this affliction.

2. Do not exaggerate it.

3. Do not neglect it. Humble yourselves and help the poor.

(H. Montagu Villiers, M. A.)

What an encouraging character does this psalm give us of the religion He would see in us. He represents it as consisting chiefly in thanksgiving and prayer.

I. A COMMAND FOR GOD'S PEOPLE. They are represented as in trouble. There is "a day of trouble," it is intimated, either come on them or coming. And it is a touching circumstance, that whoever else may overlook our troubles, the Lord does not. Call upon Me in the day of trouble. Afflicted souls should pray more and oftener, and to bring us to this is the design of trouble, and when we are brought thus to pray, it is one of the very best evidences that our trouble has been blessed to us. One thing more we must add — the Lord will assuredly bring all His troubled people to this, this calling upon Him. He will knock away their props from under them, or He will wither their strength, or He will add more and more to their burden; in some way He will make them feel that they cannot possibly stand without Him (Psalm 107.).

II. A GRACIOUS PROMISE THE LORD GIVES TO HIS PEOPLE. "I will deliver thee." This means —

1. Deliverance in trouble; or —

2. From trouble.

III. THE HAPPY EFFECT WHICH IS TO FOLLOW — "Thou shalt glorify Me." And this will be both in and after our trouble. The believer ever recognizes God's hand in such deliverance, and therefore glorifies Him. Let us all turn to God now, so that we may be able to turn to Him when trouble comes.

(C. Bradley, M. A.)

Why not "deliver" without calling? He knows the sorrow and need of His people, and if it be in His heart to "deliver," why wait to be "called upon"? When a man is in "trouble," and his neighbours help him out, he is not in much danger of confounding his benefactor with himself, or of questioning, after all, if the deliverance did not come in some other way. But if God delivered men without being "called upon," they would soon become rationalistic, in their way of looking at things, and not only account for "the day of trouble," but also for their "deliverance," upon the mere principles of reason or natural law. It is the calling spirit which He seeks to evoke — the spirit which recognizes Him as the only "deliverer" of His people.

I. THE TIME. "The day of trouble "does not appear to be governed, as is our natural day, by planetary revolutions, or the swing of the pendulum. It may come at any hour, and may stay long after the natural day is done.

II. THE REQUEST. "Call upon Me."

1. Humbly.

2. Believingly, etc.

III. THE PROMISE. "I will deliver thee." God can always repeat Himself; He can always "deliver" more gloriously the next time you "call upon Him," if you only honour Him by asking, and believing that He will.

IV. THE RESULT. "Thou shalt glorify Me."

1. By our faith.

2. By gratitude.

3. By obedience.

4. By testifying of His goodness.

5. By devotion to His cause.

6. By praising Him.

(T. Kelly.)

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