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Prayer, as Psalm vii. A Psalm of David, written, perhaps, when persecuted by Saul.
(I. Appeal to God.) 1 Judge me, O Lord;
For I have walked in mine integrity :
Therefore I shall not slide.
Try my reins and my heart. 3 For Thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes : And I have walked in Thy truth.
(II. Separation from the wicked.) 4 I have not sat with vain persons,
Neither will I go in with dissemblers. 5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers ;
And will not sit with the wicked.
(III. Resolve to worship God.) 6 I will wash mine hands in innocency:
So will I compass Thine altar, O Lord : 7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving,
And tell of all Thy wondrous works. 8 Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house, And the place where Thine honour dwelleth.
(IV. Prayer and Resolve.) 9 Gather not my soul with sinners,
Nor my life with bloody men: 10 In whose hands is mischief,
And their right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity :
Redeem me and be merciful unto me. 12 My foot standeth in an even place :
In the congregations will I bless the Lord.
REFLECTIONS. 1. Here see the good man.
As to conduct, he walks in integrity, according to God's word. As to principle, he trusts in God. As to sincerity, he appeals to God to examine and prove him. And what is the bappiness which he enjoys?
Security: he shall be preserved in the way of righteousness. The favour of God is what he values and seeks; and this he enjoys. How happy is that Christian who can say, that this is a description of himself!
2. A good man is in the world,” but he is not “of the world.” The divine grace has made him a separate character: in his sentiments, principles, spirit, and conduct he is distinct from the heedless multitude around him: and he is resolved to have no fellowship with them. It is, indeed, a part of our integrity as Christians to maintain our separation from the ungodly in
every thing that is contrary to Christian holiness, and therefore displeasing to God.
3. One of the distinguishing features in the character of a good man is, his delight in the public worship of God. He loves the ordinances of the Church. He enters into God's house with a thankful heart, to hear of His glory, goodness, and wondrous works. In vain do we worship God unless we can lift up to Him holy hands ; unless we renounce sin and walk in the way of obedience.
4. If we would be kept from the ways and from the end of the ungodly, we must pray for, and depend upon, the redeeming mercy and grace of God in Christ Jesus. Thus only can we walk in our integrity: thus only can we worship God acceptably: thus only shall we be able to speak always of the goodness of God, and to bless His Name in private and in public. It is only by prayer that we shall be able to perform our pious resolutions.
PRAYER. Grant, O Lord, that by Thy Holy Spirit we may live according to Thy will, upright in heart and conduct; separate from the ungodly; and worshippers of Thee in Thy house of prayer. Conscious of our sinfulness and weakness, of our enemies and dangers, and also of Thy righteous requirements; may we always abound in earnest supplication; proceed in Thy strength; and thus rejoice in Thy salvation, to the glory of Thy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer, as Psalm iii. A Psalm of David, written, probably, when persecuted by Saul.
(I. Confidence in God.) 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid ? 2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes,
Come upon me to eat up my flesh,
They stumbled and fell. 3 Though a host should encamp against me,
heart shall not fear : Though war should rise against me,
in this will I be confident.
(II. Desire of God's service.) 4 One thing have I desired of the Lord,
that will I seek after;
all the days of my life,
(III. Protection and deliverance.) 5 For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion :
He shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall my head be lifted up above mine
enemies round about me: Therefore will I offer in His tabernacle sacrifices
I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
(IV. Prayer for support and protection.) 7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice : Have mercy
also upon me, and answer me. 8 When Thou saidst, “ Seek ye my face,"
My heart said unto Thee,
“ Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”
Put not Thy servant away in anger :
Neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. 10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take me up. 11 Teach me Thy way, O Lord, And lead me in a plain path,
because of mine enemies, 12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies;
For false witnesses are risen up against me,
(V. Faith; Exhortation.)
The goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen thy heart :
REFLECTIONS. 1. Here is true faith: we trust in God as our light and salvation ; 'we heartily acknowledge Him to be such. Here is the blessedness which it brings us : we banish fear from our hearts : we know that no enemy shall prevail against us. The true believer speaks of the past with gratitude; of the present with tranquillity; and of the future with confidence, knowing the truth, power, and goodness of God.
2. Happy is he who makes the worship of God a primary object of his desire ! In that worship the