Monday, December 11, 2017

My Autumn with Psalm 119 #25

I will be continuing on in my study of Psalm 119 this autumn. I have spent months reading Thomas Manton's exposition of Psalm 119. In December, I hope to cover the next sixteen verses of Psalm 119.

49 Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.
50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
51 The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law.
52 I remember, Lord, your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them.
53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law.
54 Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge.
55 In the night, Lord, I remember your name, that I may keep your law.
56 This has been my practice: I obey your precepts.
57 You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord; teach me your decrees.

Sermon 61 (Psalm 119:55)

  • A man addicted to God, that is to say, one who hath taken God for his happiness, his word for his rule, his Spirit for his guide, and his promises for his encouragement, his heart will always be working towards God day and night. In the day he will be studying God’s word; in the night, if his sleep be interrupted, he will be meditating on God’s name; still entertaining his soul with God. The predominant affection will certainly set the thoughts awork.
  • In which words observe— 1. David’s exercise, I have remembered thy name, O Lord, in the night. 2. The effect and fruit of it, and have kept thy law.
  • Remembrance is an act of knowledge reiterated, or a second agitation of the mind unto that point unto which it had arrived before. Or, more plainly, remembering is a setting knowledge awork, or a reviving those notions which we have of things, and exercising our thoughts and meditations about them.
  • The notional and speculative remembrance of things is when we barely think of them, without any further profit or benefit; but the practical, powerful and affective remembrance is to be affected with matters called to mind as the nature of them doth require: as when we remember God so as to love him, and fear him, and trust in him, and make him our delight, and cleave to him, and obey him. And we are said to remember his commandments, when our hearts are set upon the practice of them.
  • Doct. 1. Remembering God is an especial help to the keeping of his law. Doct. 2. God is best remembered when his name is studied. Doct. 3. Those that have spiritual affections will take all occasions to remember his name.
  • First, What it is to remember God. 1. It supposeth some knowledge of God, for what a man knoweth not he cannot remember. The memory is the cofferer and treasurer of the soul; what the understanding taketh in, the memory layeth up; and actually we are said to remember when we set the mind awork upon such notions as we have formerly received.
  • 2. It supposeth some faith, that we believe him to be such as the word describeth him to be; for spiritual remembrance is the actuation of faith, or, in this case, the improvement of that wisdom, power, goodness, holiness, justice, and truth, which we believe to be in God.
  • From first to last there is great use of meditation and serious thoughts of God in the spiritual life.
  • Our faith, our love, our desires, our delight, they are all acted and exercised by our thoughts; so that the spiritual life is but an imagination, unless we do frequently and often take time for serious meditation of him.
  • It is not consistent with any of the three vital graces, faith, hope, and love, that a man should be a stranger to the remembrance of God;
  • I cannot see how we can keep afoot any interest of God in ourselves, if we seldom think of God, and do not sometimes sequester ourselves to revive this memorial upon our souls.
  • Our food is not only to nourish nature, but that we may taste the sweetness and goodness of God in it. 
  • Ministry was instituted to put you in remembrance, and give you still new and fresh occasions to think of God.
  • We are apt to forget God, and instructions, and rebukes in their season: the Holy Ghost is our monitor.
  • God hath described his name by his attributes. To go over all, the compass of a sermon will not permit. I shall single out three from all the rest—his power, wisdom, and goodness; they are manifested in all that God doth.
  • The creation is nothing else but an effusion of the bounty and goodness of God. He made the world, not that he might be happy, but that he might be liberal; he made the world not by necessity, but at his pleasure.

Sermon 62 (Psalm 119:55)

  • The whole world is a theatre of mercy.
  • These three attributes suit with God’s threefold relation to us. By his almighty power he becometh our creator; as most wise, our supreme governor; as most good, our gracious benefactor. We depend upon him for our present supplies, and from him we expect our future hopes. His creation gives him a right to govern us, his wisdom a fitness, and his bounty doth encourage us voluntarily to give up ourselves to his service.
  • These three attributes do most bind our duty on us, as they beget in us love, fear, and faith, or esteem, reverence, and trust, which are the three radical graces that result from the very being and owning of God, and are the cultus naturalis enjoined in the first commandment.
  • His wisdom as a lawgiver begets reverence and fear; his goodness is the object of love, and his power of trust. If he be most wise, there is all the reason in the world that he should rule and govern us; for who is fitter to govern and make laws than he that is most wise? If he be most good, infinitely good, there is all the reason in the world that you should love him, and no show of reason why you should love the world and sin before him. If powerful and all-sufficient, there is all the reason you should believe in him, as one that is able to make good his word, either by promise or threatening.
  • Why God is best remembered when his name is studied? The reason is, because the study of his name doth increase those three fundamental radical graces before mentioned. 1. The studying of his name increaseth our love. 2. The studying of God’s name increaseth our faith and trust. 3. The studying of God’s name increaseth our reverence and fear.
  • We little study God, and because we study his name so little, our faith is weak, and therefore we are so uncertain in our conversations. The more you study the nature of God, the more awe-ful, serious, humble, watchful will you grow. Thus you see serious and becoming thoughts of God do much increase our faith, fear, and love.
  • Let us think often of the name of God, his attributes. (1.) Of his wisdom, that we may compose ourselves to worship, adore him, serve him according to his will and pleasure, and may admire him in the justice and equity of his laws, and the excellent contrivance of his providence, that so we may submit to the directions of the one and the determinations of the other. To the directions of his word: Can we count God to be a wise God, and refuse his counsel? Doth not our practice give our profession the lie when we rather walk after our hearts’ counsels, and the examples and fashions of the world, than observe the course God hath prescribed to us in the word? (2.) The name of his power. Oh! think often of that almighty power that maketh and conserveth all things, that giveth a being to you and every creature, and will do so to his promises, though never so unlikely; for what cannot he do that bringeth all things out of nothing by his word? Therefore our confidence in him should be more strong and steadfast; for why should we have any jealousies and distrusts of him who is omnipotent? (3.) The name of his goodness. God is infinitely good, effectually good, independently good, and all-sufficiently good. If good be amiable in our eyes, so should God be. He hath all that is lovely in the creatures in a more eminent degree, and therefore our affections, that are scattered to them, should be united in God. He is the supreme good, and the fountain of all goodness.
  • To study it so as some good may come of it. We should keep our thoughts on this holy subject— [1.] Till we admire God. [2.] Till we make some practical improvement of him; otherwise to know God is but a vain speculation, a work of curiosity rather than of profit.
  • By the sight of God the heart must be— (1.) Drawn off from the creature, self, and sin. (2.) Drawn unto God.
  • A sight of God will best discover thyself unto thyself, that in the light of God’s glorious majesty thou mayest distinctly behold thine own vileness and misery.
  • The heart must be drawn unto God by love, fear, and trust.
  • Doct. 3. Those that have spiritual affections will take all occasions to remember God’s name.
  • Oh, what an advantage it is to have the heart thus thronged with thoughts of God in the night! When others sleep, good men are awake with God.
  • Let us take more occasions to think of God, and that with admiration. Many take no more notice of him than if he were not at. all; but let us take all occasions.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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