Sunday, December 3, 2017

Psalm 119 #21

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 56 (Psalm 119:50)

  • The life of our soul is first received by the word, and still maintained by the same word:
  • Doct. That all other comforts in affliction are nothing to those comforts which we have from the word of God.
  • The general end of scripture is instruction; the special end is comfort and hope.
  • 1. From the quality of those comforts which we have from the word of God. 2. From the provision which the word hath made for our comfort. 3. From the manner whereby this comfort is received.
  • A comfort that is made up of our own fancies is like a spider’s web, that is weaved out of its bowels, and is gone and swept away with the turn of a besom. But God’s comfort is more durable and lasting; for then it floweth from the true fountain of comfort, upon whose smiles and frowns our happiness dependeth.
  • Now God’s comforts are such as God worketh, or God alloweth.
  • There is no sort of trouble for which the word of God doth not afford sufficient consolation; no strait can be so great, no pressure so grievous, but we have full consolation offered us in the promises against them all. We have promises of the pardon of all our sins, and promises of heaven itself; and what can we desire more? We have promises suited to every state—prosperity and adversity. What do we need, which we have not a promise of?
  • It is a reviving comfort, which quickeneth the soul. Many times we seem to be dead to all spiritual operations, our affections are damped and discouraged; but the word of God puts life into the dead, and relieveth us in our greatest distresses. Sorrow worketh death, but joy is the life of the soul.
  • The doctrines of the word do quicken and comfort us in our greatest distresses, all of them concerning justification and salvation by Christ; they serve to deaden the heart to present things, and lift it up to better, and so to beget a kind of dedolency and insensibility of this world’s crosses; but especially four doctrines we have in the word of God that are very comforting.
  • The doctrine concerning particular providence, that nothing falleth out without God’s appointment, and that he looketh after every individual person as if none else to care for. This is a mighty ground of comfort; for nothing can befall me but what my Father wills, and he is mindful of me in the condition wherein I am, knoweth what things I stand in need of, and nothing is exempted from his care, ordering, and disposal.
  • Our sorrows in affliction are lessened by considering they come from our Father:
  • When our outward condition doth vary and alter, we have the same blessed God as a rock to stand upon, and to derive our comforts from, that we had before: he is the God of the valleys, as well as of the hills.
  • The scripture showeth us the true doctrine about afflictions, and discovereth to us the author, cause, and end of all our afflictions. The author is God, the cause is sin, the end is to humble, mortify, and correct his children, that they may be more capable of heavenly glory.
  • We complain of every painful disease, but how was it with Christ when his back was scourged, and his flesh mangled with whips?
  • To instance in all would be endless. There are three great promises which comfort us in all our afflictions—the promises of pardon of sins, and eternal life, and the general promises about our temporal estate.
  • The promises of pardon of sin. We can have no true cure for our sorrow till we be exempted from the fear of the wrath of God. Do that once, and the heart of sorrow and misery is broken.
  • The promises of eternal life. Nothing will afford us so much content as one scripture promise of eternal life would do to a faithful soul. Heaven in the promise seen by faith is enough to revive the most doleful and afflicted creature:
  • The general promises concerning our temporal estate. There are many particular promises concerning the supply of all our necessities, removing of our grievances and burdens, or else that God will allay our troubles and enable us to bear them, mix with them the taste of his goodness and fatherly love. But I shall only speak of those general promises, that we may be confident that he will never utterly fail his people:
  • They are applied by the Spirit, who is a comforter, and received by faith.
  • The word of God cannot deceive us. Faith is contented with a promise, though it hath not possession;
  • Sickness with a promise, poverty with a promise, captivity with a promise, is better than health, riches, liberty without one; yea, death with a promise is better than life.
  • The first part of our life we know not ourselves; in the middle, we are filled with cares and sorrows; our last burdened with weakness and age. But now the godly are more appointed to troubles, because God will try their faith, perfect their patience, train them up for a better world.
  • God’s grounds of comfort are immutably fixed;
  • The scripture containeth all the grounds of hope, comfort, and happiness, the only remedy of sin and misery, our rule to walk by till our blessedness be perfected; but we have little benefit by it unless it be improved by diligent meditation:
  • It is not enough to seek truth in the scriptures, but you must seek life in the scriptures. It is not an object only to satisfy your understandings with the contemplation of truth, but your hearts with the enjoyment of life; and therefore you must not only bring your judgment to find the light of truth, but your affections to embrace the goodness of life offered.
  • Think not ye have found all, when you have found truth and learned it. No; except you find life there, you have missed the best treasure. You must bring your understandings and affections to them, and not depart till both return full.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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