Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My Summer with Psalm 119 #17

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.

Sermon 21 (Psalm 119:20)

  • Desires are the vigorous bent of the soul, and therefore, as the stream of a river, they can run but one way. Our passionate desires of earthly things certainly will be abated if spiritual desires prevail in us; for being acquainted with a better object, they begin to disdain and loathe other things.
  • A child of God is not satisfied with a slight taste of the word, but he desires more; when he hath felt the comfort of it, he is still longing to receive more from God: James 1:18, He hath begotten us by the word of truth.’ What follows? Wherefore be swift to hear.’ A man that hath had experience of the power of the word taketh all occasions; he knows there is strength, grace, and liberty of heart to be found there. So 1 Peter 2:3, As new-born babes, &c., if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.’ Certainly a man that hath had any taste of communion with God will desire a fuller measure, as by tasting of excellent meats we get an appetite to them. Carnal men do not know what it is to enjoy God in ordinances, and therefore do not long for them; they do not taste the sweetness of the word: Ps. 19:10, The statutes of the Lord are sweeter than the honey or the honeycomb.’ The children of God find more true pleasure in the ordinances, in the statutes of God, than in all things in the world, though to carnal men they are but as dry sticks, burdensome exercises. The reason follows, ver. 11, Moreover, by them is thy servant warned; and in keeping of them there is great reward.’ He commendeth the word from his own experience; he had felt the effects and good use of it in his own heart; he had been warned, and had a great deal of comfort and refreshing by it; therefore it is sweeter than the honey and the honeycomb. So Ps. 63:1,2, O God, my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee.’ What to do? To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.’ He that hath had once a sight of God, would not be long out of his company. He compareth his desire of communion with God with hunger and thirst; his desire is greater than the hunger and thirst that men suffer in a dry wilderness where there is no water to give refreshment. He had seen God, and would now see him again; the remembrance of those former pleasures of the sanctuary revived his desires: so that besides nature, there is this experience.

Sermon 22 (Psalm 119:21)

  • Moral pride is an over-high conceit of ourselves, or our own excellencies, discovered by our disdain and contempt of others.
  • Spiritual pride, that is, disobedience and impenitency, which is discovered by a neglect of God and contempt of his law; and that pride is often so taken appeareth by these scriptures.
  • Fearing the commandment, that is the effect of a wise heart.
  • Do you know what God is? and will you contend with him? Certainly you will fail in the enterprise and undertaking.
  • In seeking to reclaim us, and soften us by many mercies, and by his kind dealing with us. God would break the heart rather than the back of the sinner, and therefore he seeks to melt us with acts of kindness. Now for us to continue our pride and rebellion after all this, what a pride is this—of how horrible a nature?
  • It is not enough to come weary and heavy laden, not only to be sensible of the burden of sin, and beg for pardon, but we must take Christ’s yoke, Mat. 11:29. Nature sticks at this: a proud heart is loath to come under the yoke. We would taste of the sweetness of mercy, but cannot endure the bonds and restraint of duty; as Ephraim would tread out the corn, but was loath to break the clods, Hosea 10:11. The prophet alludes to the manner among the Jews; their fashion was to tread or thresh out their corn by the feet of beasts, and the ox his mouth was not to be muzzled; it was easy work, and afforded abundance of food, Deut. 25:4. We would have comfort, but not duty.

Sermon 23 (Psalm 119:22)

  • God hath an aim in all things that befall you.
  • Pride is one of the oldest enemies ever God had; it was born in heaven in the breast of the fallen angels, for which they are laid low; and when his children harbour it, God hath a quarrel against it.
  • There is nothing so bad but we may make some good use of it, a Christian may gain some advantage by it.

Sermon 24 (Psalm 119:23)

  • When God meaneth good or evil to a nation, he usually dispenseth it by their magistrates. If good, then he puts wisdom and grace into the hearts of those that govern, or government into the hands of those that are wise and gracious. When he meaneth evil, he sendeth them evil magistrates.
  • They that are not holy in a time of peace will not be holy and constant in a time of trouble.
  • The best way to ease the heart from trouble that doth arise from the opposition of men of power and place, is by serious consulting with God’s word.
  • A cursory reading doth not work upon us so much as serious thoughts. In all studies, meditation is both the mother and nurse of knowledge, and so it is of godliness, without which we do but know truths by rote and hearsay, and talk one after another like parrots; but when a truth is chased into the heart by deep inculcative thoughts, then it worketh with us, and we feel the power of it. Musing maketh the fire burn, ponderous thoughts are the bellows that blow it up.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

No comments: