41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
your salvation according to your promise;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever,
45 and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
and shall not be put to shame,
47 for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.
Sermon 52 (Psalm 119:46)
- Two things hinder a free confession of God’s truth carnal fear and carnal shame. Both are obviated by the resolution of the man of God; he would neither be afraid nor ashamed to recommend the ways of God to the greatest princes of the world.
- The terror of kings or men in power may be supposed to be a hindrance to the free confession of God’s truth; therefore he saith, I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings.’
- Carnal shame may breed a loathness to own God’s despised ways; therefore he addeth, 'I will not be ashamed.’ David would neither be afraid nor ashamed, if called thereto, to make this open confession, to own God and his truth.
- Doct. 1. That nothing is so necessary for kings, princes, and magistrates to know as God’s testimonies.
- Use 1. To inform us that religion hath a great influence on the welfare of human societies; for it equally respects governors and governed, carving out their respective duties to them, causing the one to rule well, and the other to obey for conscience’ sake.
- Use 2. It showeth us what to pray for, for our princes and governors, even a wise and an understanding heart, and a spirit of the fear of the Lord, that they may rule for God, and take his blessing along with them in all their affairs.
- Doct. 2. That God’s testimonies are so excellent, that we should not be afraid or ashamed to own them before any sort of men in the world.
- Fear represents danger in owning the ways of God; shame represents mockage, scorn, and contempt. Fear considereth our superiors and governors; we fear them that have power and authority in their hands. Shame may arise not only from the consideration of superiors, but inferiors and equals also. Fear respects the danger of the party professing; shame, the cause or matter professed. Therefore, of the two, to be ashamed of the ways of God doth more destroy godliness than to be afraid to own them, for then it is a sign we are not so soundly convinced, and deeply possessed of the goodness of them;
- In short, to be afraid respects our interest; to be ashamed respects the cause, the gospel itself.
- We are afraid to own God and his ways, because we have not such a high opinion of God as we should have, but too great a love to ourselves; therefore faith, fear, and love is necessary to confirm and strengthen this resolution in us, and also the lively hope of blessedness to come.
- Faith informeth us of the truth, goodness, power, and excellency of God, the worth of his favour, and the terror of his wrath, that the displeasure of God is much worse than the frowns of men. When we think of a higher Lord, why should we be afraid of a man that shall die, and the son of man that is as grass?
- A Christian, because he loveth Christ, will own him, and his ways and truth, though they be never so much, despised in the world. A superficial bare assent to the gospel may let Christ go, but a faith working by love will not.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible