Satisfy us in the morning with Your loving devotion, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
I. MAN CRAVES FOR SATISFACTION. He may have many advantages and gifts, much wealth, friends, health, and much beside; and these may divert, interest, and absorb him; but they cannot really satisfy. His soul will hunger still.
II. GOD'S MERCY ALONE CAN MEET THAT CRAVING. For:
1. It puts out of the way all that hinders our satisfaction. The sense of guilt; the tyranny of sin; the burden of care; the fear of death.
2. It brings along with it the true elements of the soul's satisfaction. Sense of acceptance with God; uniform victory over sin; perfect peace; the will and power to bless others; communion with God; abiding hope.
III. BUT IT MUST BE SOUGHT EARLY. "In the morning" is the literal rendering.
1. Each day should be begun with the seeking with all intensity this blessed mercy of God.
2. But especially should each life be so begun. The parents for their child at its birth; the child itself as soon as it is able to understand. What ills will be escaped, what good ensured, if this be done!
IV. THE RESULT SHALL BE THE BLESSED LIFE - heaven before you get there. - S.C.
I. THE PRAYER.
O satisfy us early with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.1. That a man may live happily, that he may rejoice and be glad all his days, it is necessary that he should be early freed from all fears of death. Will it be said, he may refuse to think of death? I answer, he cannot always banish this subject from his thoughts in a world like this, where so many things occur which are suited to remind him of it. But from this cause of unhappiness, the man who early obtains satisfactory evidence that he is a subject of God's pardoning mercy, is entirely free.
2. That a man may rejoice and be glad all his days, it is necessary that he should be freed in early life from a guilty conscience, and from apprehensions of God's displeasure. But from these causes of unhappiness the man who is early satisfied with God's pardoning mercy is free. He enjoys peace of conscience and peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. To render a man happy during the whole progress of life, it is necessary that he should be early freed from care nd anxiety, and especially from apprehensions of losing what he most loves. But it is impossible that an unpardoned sinner should feel perfectly safe, or that he should be free from care, anxiety, and apprehension.
4. That a man may rejoice and be glad all his days, he must early learn, in whatsoever state he is, therewith to be content. A discontented man is, of course, an unhappy man. But it is impossible that an unconverted sinner should be otherwise than discontented. While the soul is empty it cannot but feel uneasy, dissatisfied, discontented. But far different is the situation of one who is satisfied early with God's mercy. What the sinner seeks in vain he has found. The light which sheds its radiance on his ath is furnished, not by lamps, but by the sun, a sun which never sets. The water which quenches his spirit flows, not from broken cisterns, but from the inexhaustible fountain of living waters.
5. That a man may rejoice and be glad all his days, it is absolutely necessary that he should early obtain the mastery of his appetites and passions, and be secured against the evils into which they would lead him. And no young man can have any security that he shall not be left to form such habits, unless he obtains that security which is afforded by God's sanetifying grace and pardoning mercy. Presume not then, young man, upon thine own strength. Where so many others have fallen, thou mayest fall. Against such a fall thou canst have no security until thou obtainest the protection of God. Let Him hold thee up, and then, and then only, wilt thou be safe. This safety is enjoyed by all who are satisfied early with His mercy.
(E. Payson, D.D.)
I. THAT WHICH ALONE CAN SATISFY THE SOUL.
II. WHEN THAT SATISFACTION OUGHT TO BE SOUGHT. Oh, to seek it early! how much easier it is, how much more reasonable and according to the order of things, than to neglect it. Let not the frivolities, and the fooishnesses, and the delusions, and the day-dreams of life, cheat you of the one great thing.
III. THE BLESSED RESULTS OF THAT SATISFACTION, IF SOUGHT AND FOUND. The very design of the Gospel is to restore the human race to happiness, and glory, and immortality.
(H. Stowell, M.A.)
1. The kind of blessing sought. "Thy mercy."
2. The measure of it. "Satisfy us." I never knew a scholar who had so much learning that he did not wish any more; or a rich man who was so rich, that he wanted no more wealth; or a man of the world who had had so many pleasures, that he had no desire for more; or one who was so well off, that he was in every respect thoroughly content. There is always a craving for something that we have not. We never can say, "It is enough!" There is just one thing that will fill any heart, and that is, God's mercy. When a man has got that, he can say, with Paul, "I have all, and abound."
3. The time of it. "Early" — in the morning. This is the very prayer for young people. They may be said to be in the morning of life. You can never ask or get the blessing too early — too soon.
II. THE PLEA. "That we may rejoice and be glad all our days." The reason given in support of the prayer is, that it would make those who offer it happy and glad, then and ever after. That would be no plea with a stranger, but it would be with a father. We have here the secret of true happiness. Many would put it differently — "That we may be good and holy all our days;" or, "That we may do what is right, and please Thee all our days." That is all very good, and one may pray that too, but mark this — the plea is, that we may rejoice and be glad, as if joy and gladness could not be got in any other way. The sooner you experience the mercy of God, the sooner will you be truly happy and glad.
1. It will give present joy and happiness. John Bunyan was so overjoyed when he first found mercy that he could hardly contain himself, and tells us that as he went along the road, he could have told "the very crows on the ploughed land" what God had done for him, and how glad and happy he was, now that he was a pardoned man.
2. It will give future joy and happiness. "All our days." When a child has got a new toy, at first it is everything to him; he is overjoyed about it, but soon he tires of it, and lets it fall out of sight, and seeks something else. But God's mercy makes a man glad all his days. The gladdest hour of his life may be when he first finds it, but his peace is "like a river," and flows on from day to day. And then, when the end comes, it is best of all: "all our days," — not only here, but hereafter, — and that is the great thing.
(J. H. Wilson, D.D.)
II. SATISFACTION CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN THE REALIZATION OF DIVINE MERCY.
1. Divine mercy is that which meets man's greatest need — the need of pardon for sin.
2. Divine mercy brings all other blessings in its train. Pardon with Him is meant just to put us into a condition, legally, in which He can lavish upon us all the wealth of blessing that He possesses. It is one link only in a chain of benefits, reaching from the moment when it is bestowed right on through the ceaseless cycles of an eternity to come. He gives him a new heart; He sends His Holy Spirit to dwell in him; He sanctifies, and gradually makes him meet for heaven.
3. Divine mercy is a permanent good — it endures. The blessings which it involves are eternal in their nature. You cannot affirm this of any other gifts.
III. DIVINE MERCY IS TO BE SOUGHT BY PRAYER. How easy, suitable, gracious is this method!
(C. M. Merry.)I. WE WILL MAKE OUR TEXT THE GROUNDWORK OF A SOLEMN PLEADING WITH YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN TO GIVE THEIR HEARTS TO CHRIST THIS DAY.
1. The voice of wisdom reminds you in this our text that you are not pure in God's sight, but need His mercy. Remember, then, that if you be saved in the morning of life, you will be wonderful instances of preventing mercy.
2. Salvation, if it comes to you, must not only be mercy, but it must be mercy through the Cross. Nothing else can "satisfy" a sinner.
3. I would press this matter of a youthful faith upon you, because you have a dissatisfaction even now. Well, then, I would have you come to Jesus, for depend upon it there is that in Him which can thoroughly satisfy you. What can you want more to satisfy your heart than love to Him? You say that not only does your heart want something, but your head. My witness is that there is in the Gospel of Christ the richest food for the brain. You get Christ as the central sun, and then every science and fact begins to revolve round about Him just as the planets travel in their perpetual circle around the central orb.
4. Our text says, "O satisfy as early with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days." We never rejoice in the true sense of the term; we never possess solid gladness, till we are satisfied with God's mercy. It is all a mockery and a pretence; the reality never comes to us till God's mercy visits our heart; but after that what joy we know!
II. Take the text as YOUR ADDRESS TO GOD. Every word here is significant.
1. "O." This teaches us that the prayer is to be earnest. Dull, dead prayers, ask God to deny them. We must pray out of our very souls. The soul of our prayer must be the prayer of our soul. "O satisfy us."
2. Makes it a generous prayer when you are at it. "O satisfy us early!" Pray for your brothers and sisters. I am sure we are verily guilty in this thing. Those that sprang from the same loins as ourselves, would to God that they were all saved with the same salvation.
3. See to it, next, that your prayer be thoroughly evangelical. "O satisfy us early with Thy mercy." The prayer of the publican is the model for us all.
4. Let the prayer be put up now at once. The text says, "O satisfy us early." Why not to-day? Oh that it had been done years ago! But there was time enough, you thought. There is time enough, but there is none to spare.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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