Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Summer with Psalm 119 #1

As a few of you know, I love, love, LOVE Psalm 119. I thought it would be great to spend a summer focusing on that psalm and what others have had to say about it. I'll begin with Thomas Manton's Exposition of Psalm 119. It may take all summer to read all 158 sermons. But they're so GOOD, so RICH, I think it will be worth it.

The first sermon covers Psalm 119:1.

This sermon made a great first impression on me. I worried initially that it might not be all that accessible since these sermons are from the seventeenth century! But truth is truth is truth is truth. And Manton's style suits me just fine!

Essentially Manton is saying that everyone wants to be happy, but, their idea of 'happy' doesn't necessarily line up with what God means by being blessed. Everyone wants to be happy if it's easy, comfortable, NOW, NOW, NOW and ME, ME, ME. But the world's idea of "being blessed" leads to trouble--eternal trouble. And though the cost may be big, God's way is the one true way to actually be happy. And the way is revealed in the Word of God. To know and love God's Word is to put you on the blessed path.

My favorite quotes:
  • Pleasures being enjoyed, they do not satisfy; being loved, they defile; being lost, they increase our trouble and sorrow. 
  • To convince us of sin, to humble the heart, to reduce and bring us back to God, there is no rule for this but the law of God. 
  • To this end let me press you to take the law of God for your rule, the Spirit of God for your guide, the promises for your encouragement, and the glory of God for your end.
  • Study the mind of God, and know the way to heaven, and keep exactly in it. It is an argument of sincerity when a man is careful to practise all that he knows, and to be inquisitive to know more, even the whole will of God, and when the heart is held under awe of God’s word.
  • We can never walk in God’s way without the conduct of God’s Spirit. We must not only have a way, but a voice to direct us when we are wandering.
All of the quotes I liked: 
  • Blessedness is that which we all aim at, only we are either ignorant or reckless of the way that leadeth to it; therefore the holy Psalmist would first set us right in the true notion of a blessed man: Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.’
  • When true happiness is sufficiently revealed, we like it not upon God’s terms, John 6:34.
  • All would live for ever; but when they must follow a despised Christ up and down the world, and incur censures and dangers, they like none of that.
  • Heaven is a good place, but men must get to it with such difficulty, therefore they are loath to be at the cost. Men would be happy with that kind of happiness which is true happiness, but not in the way which God propoundeth, being prepossessed with carnal fancies. It is counted a foolish thing to wait upon God in the midst of straits, conflicts, and temptations: 1 Cor. 2:14 
  • God is very jealous of what we make our happiness, and therefore blasteth the carnal choice.
  • Pleasures being enjoyed, they do not satisfy; being loved, they defile; being lost, they increase our trouble and sorrow. 
  • Till an hungry conscience be provided for, we cannot be happy.
  • Nothing can give us solid peace, but what doth make us eternally happy.
  • Nothing but the favour of God is from everlasting to everlasting. We have not a sure possession of these things in the world.
  • Blessedness is a riddle which can only be found out by faith, which is the evidence of things not seen,’ Heb. 11.
  • Many times we are doctrinally right in point of blessedness, but not practically; we content ourselves with the mere notion, but are not brought under the power of these truths; that is the work of the Spirit.
  • The path to hell is most beaten; we are not always to follow the track. It is not for us to go where others have gone before; but what is the true way.
  • To convince us of sin, to humble the heart, to reduce and bring us back to God, there is no rule for this but the law of God. Men make laws as tailors do garments, to fit the crooked bodies they serve for, to suit the humours of the people to be governed by these laws; surely they are not a sufficient rule to convince us of sin, and to guide us to true happiness.
  • Likeness to God is the foundation of glory. Conformity to him will be carried on from glory to glory.
  • Sincere and constant obedience is the evidence of our right to future blessedness. 
  • To this end let me press you to take the law of God for your rule, the Spirit of God for your guide, the promises for your encouragement, and the glory of God for your end.
  • Take the law of God for your rule. Study the mind of God, and know the way to heaven, and keep exactly in it. It is an argument of sincerity when a man is careful to practise all that he knows, and to be inquisitive to know more, even the whole will of God, and when the heart is held under awe of God’s word.
  • We can never walk in God’s way without the conduct of God’s Spirit. We must not only have a way, but a voice to direct us when we are wandering.
  • When we have promises to bear us up, this will carry us clear through temptations, and make us act generously, nobly, and keep close to him.


© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

3 comments:

Carol said...

"I thought it would be great to spend a summer focusing on that psalm and what others have had to say about it." That's such a great idea, Becky! Plenty of scope in that Psalm, that's for sure. I just finished finished Lewis's Weight of Glory for your challenge & will post when I do the review. I always enjoy C.S Lewis & this book was no exception.

Unknown said...

Oh, I love Psalm 119 too! I've been studying/meditating on it for a few months now. Do you have a hard copy of Thomas Manton's sermons, or are you using an electronic version?

Becky said...

I have an e-book of it. It was probably the best $7 I ever spent. It is so good!