Sermon 3022. God's Innumerable Mercies
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 1907.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 22, 1868.
"I know not the numbers thereof." Psalm 71:15.
THE writer of this Psalm describes all the dealings of God with him under the head, "righteousness" and, "salvation." Thatdescription is perfectly accurate, for all that God does for His people is, first of all, in faithfulness to His promise.As He has spoken, so He does. Never, even in the sharpest trial, can the heir of Heaven accuse God of being unfaithful towhat He has promised. He told His disciples that they would have to endure tribulation-and when it came, they proved the truthof His prophecy-and everything that God does to us, whether little or great, whether sharp or kind, will prove to have beendone in accordance with His faithful Word.
And then the Psalmist calls the dispensations of God's Providence by the name of salvation. And this term is also the rightone, for everything that He does for us who are His people tends to our ultimate salvation. He is working out our deliverancefrom inbred sin as well as from outward temptation and trial. Very often the darkest days that we have are bright with DivineMercy, even though we cannot discern the brightness. There is a good reason, a necessity, for all that He sends to us andthat reason is to be found in the fact that He intends to present us "faultless before the presence of His Glory with exceedingjoy." Open your diaries, Beloved, and write across the record of your daily experiences, "All this is being done to us inrighteousness and all this is working out our full salvation." Never read the book of your life's history without puttingthat headline upon every page! Emblazon that motto as an illuminated picture at the beginning of every distinct chapter ofyour life-and believe that it is all righteousness and all salvation from first to last!
Having thus comprehended all God's mercies under these two heads, the Psalmist adds, "I know not the numbers
I. In considering these words, let us think, first, of THIS THING WHICH WE DO NOT KNOW, NAMELY, THE NUMBER OF GOD'S MERCIES.
Have you ever tried to count them? Probably you never did that for even any dayin your life. I would like you to undertakethat task and to jot down every mercy you receive from God in a single day-from the moment when the eyelids of the morningare opened till the moment when the curtains of the night are drawn. If your judgment were sufficiently enlightened to discernall the items, you would find that your arithmetic would fail to tell the total of them. But, Brothers and Sisters, the daysof most of us have been many and there are some here who are approaching the longest period of human life. If the merciesof one da/would surpass their computation, what shall we say of the mercies of all these days in which they have been livingas gentlemen-commoners upon the bounty of God, pensioners upon the loving kindness and faithfulness of the Most High? Truly,they may say, in the retrospect of all the loving kindness of the Lord, "We know not the numbers thereof."
Let me now-not by way of attempting to help you to count the mercies of God, but by way of showing you the utter impossibilityof even numbering them-just remind you, first, of the Divine Promises which have been fulfilled to you. They are very many.As you turn over the pages of Sacred Writ, you see them sparkling like grains of gold in the bed of some African or Australianriver. God's Words of promise are there in great abundance, each of them as mighty as those Words of power which built theskies and, in your experience, from first to last, these Words of promise have been fulfilled. It would be a colossal taskfor you to write out all God's promises that have been fulfilled to you. Take your Bible and put a pencil mark in the marginfor each one that has been proved true to you. Your task will be blessed to
your memory and will move you to gratitude. And the most of God's promises have been fulfilled to us over, and over, and overagain! We have taken these promissory notes into the great Bank of Heaven and we have received what was promised in them.But we have taken them to the bank, again, for, strange to say, after the Lord has fulfilled His promise today, that promisestill stands good for tomorrow and right on until the end of time! Reckon up the multitude of God's promises and think ofthe many times in which those promises have been fulfilled to you and others of His children, for this will help you to realizehow innumerable are the mercies of God!
Think of the mercies of God in another form, namely, the many deliverances which have been vouchsafed to you. You have haddeliverances when you knew nothing of your danger, when the Lord-
" Watched over your path
When, Satan's blind slave, you sported with death."
You have had deliverances from sickness when, had death come to you, you would have died unforgiven. You had deliverances,perhaps, in childhood, from many temptations which would have been your lot had you been born under less happy auspices. Thencame the great deliverance when your soul was released from the bondage of sin and Satan- and how many deliverances are wrappedup in that one? David says that God delivered him from all his fears-and that day when He delivered us from all our sins,He emancipated us from every yoke of bondage that had rested on us. O happy day of glorious liberty when Christ made us freeindeed! Well may, each one of us, sing-
"Oh happy day, that fixed my choice
On You, my Savor and my God!
Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
And tell its raptures all abroad.
'Tis done! The great transaction's done!
I am my Lord's and He is mine-
He drew me and I followed on,
Charmed to confess the voice Divine.
High Heaven that heard the solemn vow,
That vow renewed shall daily hear
Till in life's latest hour I bow
And bless in death a bond so dear." From that day onward, our march through the wilderness has been a series of remarkabledeliverances and salvations! You have been delivered, dear Friends, from pride-you have been brought low when you were exaltedabove measure. You have been delivered from depression of spirits-your eyes have been delivered from weeping and your heartfrom fainting. You have been delivered in your seasons of bereavement. You have been succored in your times of pain and sickness.You have been delivered during the rush of business and you have been delivered in the time of solitary temptations. You havebeen delivered from self, from sin, from Satan, from the evil that alarmed you and from the more insidious mischief that soughtto fascinate you! Until now the Lord has held you up and you have been kept in safety even while passing by the dens of lions,or fighting with Apollyon down in the Valley of Humiliation. Can you count all your deliverances? I feel sure that you mustsay with the Psalmist, "I know not the numbers thereof."
Let us think for a minute or two, just to stir up our gratitude to God, of the innumerable mercies attending our very existence.Any physician can tell you what a wonderful thing our life is. Dr. Watts truly wrote-
"Our life contains a thousand springs,
And dies if one is gone!
Strange, that a harp of thousand strings
Should keep in tune so long!'
The operations of Nature are conducted in a most intricate manner. The continuation of our life depends upon the slenderestthread-yes, often, upon particles of matter which are so minute as scarcely to be perceived by the eyes! As the blood circulatesthrough our system, there is a risk of death at every beat of our pulse. As the air is inhaled by us, there is a further riskevery time our lungs are inflated. I am not an anatomist, neither is it a part of my duty to dissect the fabric of the humanbody-but those who have searched into it have told us that life is a continued miracle from the cradle to the grave. We cannoteven imagine what innumerable mercies, from the crown of our head to the souls of our feet, are concerned in our continuingto still be in the land of the living!
Think, again, of the numberless mercies connected with happy existence-any one of which taken away would make life sadder-manyof which removed would make life an intolerable torture. Can you ever pass a lunatic asylum without thanking God that yourreason has not left her throne? Can you pass by a place where idiots are dwelling without thanking God that your mind hasnot become lowered till it has almost ceased to be? Can you go by our great hospitals without blessing God that you are nottossing on a bed that grows hard through unceasing pain? Can you look upon the many diseased folk whom we see in our streetsand not thank God for the health you enjoy? I like to feel grateful for every minute that my teeth do not ache, or that myhead does not ache, for some of these lesser pains do so distract us that we can scarcely attend to our daily duties! Whenwe have to endure these pains, we think how grateful we should be if they were gone-but when they are gone, we are apt toforget the mercy which has removed them!
Think, dear Friends, of the mercies which have made life happy for you in your domestic circle. "Ah," say some of you, "butwe now have sore sorrows there." Yes, it may be so, but you ought to think how long you had almost unalloyed happiness! Ifa man lends you something and after a long while takes it back, you ought not to mourn because he takes it, but to thank himfor letting you have it so long! Think of the ten thousand mercies that cluster around a happy fireside. What music thereis in that blessed word, "home!" Yes, and with all the troubles that a family may bring, those dear little prattlers bringa world of happiness with them and you ought to be thankful if they are still spared to you-and not only spared, but in robusthealth, firm of limb, clear in intellect and many of them hopeful and promising in moral and spiritual things! Truly, if Iwere to attempt to record the mercies that make life happy here below, I would need a vast volume written within and withoutwith thanksgiving! And even then I should have to make the Psalmist's confession, "I know not the numbers thereof."
Take another measuring line. Beloved Friends, think of the preventing Providences of God and you have quite another vistaopened before you. Walking in the street yesterday, you might have fallen and injured yourselves, for another did so. Sittingeven in your house, the deadly fever might have entered-it did go in at a neighbor's door or window. In travelling, you mighthave been killed as many others have been, or have been mangled and scarcely escaped with life. We talk of Providences whenwe have hairbreadth escapes-but are they not quite as much Providences when we are preserved from danger? I have told youbefore what the old Puritan said to his son who had ridden several miles to meet him. "Father," said the son, "I have hada remarkable Providence! My horse stumbled badly three times, yet did not throw me." "Ah, my Son," said the father, "I havehad a still more remarkable Providence than that, for my horse did not stumble once." We do not think, as we should, of thepreventing Providences of God which keep off evil from us. It is a mercy that so many of you are not brought to poverty-thatwhen so many others are out of work, you workingmen are not among the unemployed, but are able to provide for your families.We could probably all make a long list of trials from which we have been preserved and, after making out the list, we wouldstill have to say, "We know not the numbers
But when I turn to a still wider field, the best arithmetician must find his powers in vain. Think of the bounties of God'sGrace. Your sins, though many, are all forgiven and every forgiveness a mercy-do any of you know the numbers thereof? Theevils which sin has worked in you, all remedied by the Great Physician, or to be ultimately removed by His gracious hand-doyou know the numbers thereof? Think now, you are the elect of God-trace the streams of His love up to that Eternal Councilin which He planned your redemption and then say, with David, "How precious, also, are Your thoughts unto me, O God! How greatis the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand." Besides that, you have been redeemed bythe precious blood of Christ! Do you know the number of mercies included in that one word, "redeemed"? It includes that mercyof mercies-God descending to take our Human Nature into union with Himself! It includes the whole life of Christ and His deathupon the Cross-yes, and His Resurrection, and Ascension, and the Glory of His Second Coming-for all this has to do with yourredemption! Truly, you know not the numbers thereof! You have also been called by Grace. You resisted God' s calls, perhapshundreds of times, yet were the sweet persuasions of the Holy Spirit continued until you were at last constrained to yield!And repentance was given to you, faith was worked in you-you were made to pray and your prayers were heard and answered. Doyou know the numbers of all these mercies?
Further, the work of sanctification has gone on in you by the power of the Holy Spirit. Every good thought you have ever had,every right word you have ever spoken, every holy action you have ever done has been a mercy from God to you! He gave theseblessings to you, or else you would never have had them-and I challenge you to try to count this great budget of mercies!Besides all that, you are this day an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ! You have Heaven in reversion, assuredto you by the faithful promise of God who cannot lie! Sit down and take your pen and count your mercies if you can. Even asyou count them, your mercies multiply-and every beating pulse increases the innumerable multitude of them so that you mustutterly despair of counting them! To what shall I liken them? To the countless odors that rise from the garden when the summer'ssun is smiling on the innumerable beauties that are gathered there? Shall I liken them to the drops of dew that sparkle onten thousand times ten thousand blades of grass? Shall I liken them to the innumerable birds and insects that fly in the air,or to the fishes without number that swim in the seas, or to the beasts untold that wander on the mountains or range the woodsand forests? Shall I liken them to the innumerable leaves of autumn that fall when the frost comes, or to the shells or sandsupon the seashore, or to the stars of Heaven which no man can number? I know not whereunto to liken God's mercies to you,for all comparisons fail me- and I can only wonderingly say with the Psalmist-"I know not the numbers thereof."
II. Now, turning from that to another point-as we know not the numbers of God's mercies, we need not be surprised that THEREARE OTHER MATTERS WHICH ARE ALSO BEYOND OUR KNOWLEDGE.
To know the numbers of certain things would not be so difficult as to know their value. My God, I know not the numbers ofYour mercies and I do not even know the value of any one of them! If I were to take one of them and try to estimate its worth,I would find that it would exceed all my powers of computation. I have never been able to weigh one of them in the scalesand especially Your loving kindness in working by Your Grace in my soul. To have been washed in the precious blood of Jesus-angels,can you tell what a priceless gift this is? Devils, call you tell-for you are still covered with sin! Lost spirit in Hell,can you even imagine what it must be to be a forgiven soul? Bright spirits before the Throne of God who have washed your robesand made them white in the blood of the Lamb-do not even you, who have experienced this wonderful bliss, continue to marvelat the greatness of it? Then, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we need not be surprised that we do not know the valueof the mercies which our God has so abundantly bestowed upon us!
It is even more to be regretted that we have never felt due gratitude for the mercies of God to us. We might be forgiven fornot being able to number that which reaches almost to the infinite. That would be an imperfection rather than a sin, but alas,we have been so ungrateful that we have not been thankful to God for the favors which He has so liberally showered upon us.They have been buried in forgetfulness and yes, have gone on, from year to year, as if we owed nothing to the Lord, but hadreceived all His good gifts by mere chance! How many men are like the swine that eat the acorns which fall from the oak, butnever thank the tree on which they grew, or the God who made it grow? They receive the benisons of Heaven, but thank not theGod of Heaven for them as they should. The mercies of God are uncountable-the ingratitude of man is unaccountable! We, Christianmen and women, cannot tell how it is that we can be so stolidly indifferent when we ought to be so devoutly thankful to Godfor all His goodness to us.
And, Beloved, as our gratitude has never kept pace with God's goodness, I am also sure that our praises have not How manytongues there are that are blistered through their murmuring and complaining because of the hard lot which God has given them?There are some of us who have learned too well how to make discord, yet who know little about harmonious praise. Yet our Godis a good God. Let us say so and stand to it-and repent that we have not said it more often and proclaimed it more publiclyamong the sons of men! God has been so gracious to us that we cannot count His mercies! May we be pardoned for our past silenceconcerning them-and henceforth may our mouth be filled with His praise and with His honor all day.
And, my dear Brothers and Sisters, as we have fallen short in our praise, I am sure that we have fallen much more short ofanything like a proper return for God's goodness in our conduct and conversation. If we had been His slaves, we could nothave served Him worse than we have done though we are His children. If He had been a tyrant to us, we could scarcely havedone less for Him than we have done although He is our Father! I have often felt that I could blot my diary with tears againand again, and again, as I have said to myself-
" What have I done for Him who died To save my guilty soul?
How are my follies multiplied
Fast as my minutes roll!
Much of my time has run to waste,
My sins how great their sum!
Lord, give me pardon for the past,
And strength for days to come!' Let these practical reflections abide in your memories, dear Friends. You do not know thenumber, or the value, or the weight of God's mercies. You do not feel the gratitude for them that is due. You do not giveto God the praise that is fitting, nor live the life that is consistent with His goodness to you. Here are reasons for deephumiliation and for seeking the Grace that will enable us to mend our ways.
III. Now, lastly, while there are these things which we do not know, THERE ARE SOME THINGS WHICH WE DO KNOW, which ought toincrease our thankfulness.
First, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, you and I know very well the source from which all these mercies come to us. Wecannot count them, but we know that they all spring from the eternal love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord towards His ownpeople. We can trace every one of these sacred drops of mercy to the Fountain of God's discriminating, distinguishing Love.He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion. It was accordingto the greatness of His loving kindness to us, before the earth was, that He chose us to be a people to show forth His praise-apeople to be "filled with all the fullness of God." Let us trace even our common mercies up to this source and let us especiallysee the love of God in every spiritual gift that we receive, for so shall we be moved to praise and bless Him more than wehave ever yet done!
Further, we know the channel through which every mercy comes to us. It comes through our blessed Lord and Mediator, JesusChrist. And-
" There's never a gift His hand bestows But cost His heart a groan."
I like to see the mark of my Master's sufferings upon every jewel with which He adorns my spirit-to know that if I am righteous,it is in His righteousness! If I am washed, it is in His blood! If I am saved, He is my Savior! If I am fed, He is my food.If I am glad, He is my crown ofjoy and if I ever enter Heaven, He will be my bliss forever! All-in-All is He to His people-everythingcomes to us through Him-so that we have a reason for gratitude in the way in which the mercy comes to us as well as in themercy itself! We do not know the numbers of God's mercies to us, but we do know that every one of them comes to us by wayof the Cross and bears the mark of the Redeemer's blood upon it!
We do not know the number of God's mercies, but we do know the rule of them. That is to say, we know that they are alwayssent in love. If they seem to be stinted, it is love that stints them. And if they are increased, it is love that increasesthem. The whole of the day God's Love is shining upon us and when the natural sun has gone to its rest, there is no harmfulmoon to smite, us, but the same Love of God makes it light within our soul. If the Lord chastens me, it is because He lovesme. If He takes away your child, your husband, or yourself, Believer, it is because He loves you! The rule of every mercyis the great rule of our Father's wisdom, our Father's faithfulness, our Father's affection!
We know, also, with regard to all God' s mercies, the design of them. We know that they are all sent to us to be tokens ofHis Love and helps in our journey to Heaven. In addition to the mercy and the love that gives it, and the way by which itcomes, there is a blessed end that sanctifies it all. The Lord said to Israel, concerning the Angel whom He promised to sendwith them, "He shall bless your bread and your water." Oh, to have the common mercies of life so blessed that they becomespiritual helps to us! It can be so, for it is the design of God-in all that He sends to us-to bring us nearer to Him.
Then, we know, over and above all this, the grand climax of it all. I know not the numbers thereof, but I know, my God, thatwhen I shall have received my last mercy on earth, I shall receive my first enjoyment in Heaven! When I shall have had thelast blessing of this mortal life, I shall have the first blessing of the life everlasting! When the goodness and the mercythat have followed me to the brink of Jordan shall cease, I shall have angels there to escort me up to the celestial hills,and to admit me to my Savior's Presence where there are pleasures forevermore! It is an endless chain, Beloved! When it hasseemed to conclude in one place, it begins in another. David said, "Surely goodness and mercy shall
follow me all the days of my life." And what did he say next?-"And I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever." Foreverto behold the face of their Father, in His House above, is the portion of all the children of God!
After all that I have said, I hope you will all say that a Christian's life is a happy one. It is! It is! We have our crossto carry. We have our daily sorrows, losses and trials-but each one of us can say, with Dr. Watts-
"I would not change my blest estate, For all that earth calls good or great!" We enter our Master's service and accept thecross and all He gives us. We take the road to Heaven with all its thorns and briers. Yes, let what will come, He is so goodand blessed a God who has made Himself to be His people's portion that if the rod is a part of the Covenant, then blessedbe the rod and the hand that wields it-and let the Lord be praised from the rising of the sun even unto the going down ofthe same!
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, since God is never wearied in giving, let us never be wearied in serving Him! Let us be steadfast,immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord! Since He never stays His hand in bestowing mercies upon us, let us neverstay our patient endurance of any of the ills of life that He is pleased to send us. And since His mercy will continue withus as long as we are here, let us never cast away our confidence in Him! Let us stay ourselves upon Him and fall back intoHis arms when we are weary. If we faint, let us faint on His bosom.
I wish that all of us here, constantly receiving, as we do, so many mercies, had more thought of the hands and heart fromwhich they come. Alas! Alas! With many, "the ox knows his owner, and the ass his master's crib," but these people do not knowGod! Feed a dog and he will get to know you. But there are men and women who know not the God who made them and in whose handstheir breath is! Let this text abide with you-"The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God."You have not done anything amiss, you say. You do not drink, or swear, or lie, but, "all the nations that forget God" areto have the same portion as "the wicked" will have. Beware, you that forget God! And if you would remember Him, the easierway to do that is to see His love in the death of His Son, Jesus Christ! Think of Jesus bleeding for sinners. Trust yourselfto Jesus and so you shall be saved, for, "He that believes on the Son has everlasting life."
May God bless you all, for Jesus' sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: PSALM 71.
This Psalm, written by an old man, is especially suitable for an old man. It is numbered seventy-one and it may suit thosewho have reached that age-but it is also appropriate to us all in prospect of the days of feebleness that will come to us,sooner or later, if we are spared to grow old.
Verse 1. In You, O Lord, do I put my trust let me never be put to confusion. "Stand by me, O Lord, for I only stand as Youuphold me-and if You should leave me, after I have trusted in You-what could I say or do? Therefore, O Jehovah, since I putmy trust in You, 'let me never be put to confusion.'"
2. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape. "I am like a poor dove taken in a net-I cannot get away. Stretchout Your hand, O Lord, and tear the net and so deliver me, and cause me to escape. I cannot do anything for myself, exceptpray to You to deliver me."
2. Incline Your ear unto me, and save me. "My prayer is weak. Therefore, O Lord, bend Your ear down to my lips, that You maycatch my faintest words. Listen to my lisping, O Lord, and save me."
3. Be You my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort You have given commandment to save me; for You are my rockand my fortress. If David wrote this Psalm after the rebellion of his wicked son, Absalom, I think there is an instructiveillustration here. You remember that when the troops went out from Mahanaim to fight with Absalom, David commanded the threecaptains of the host-Joab, Abishai and Ittai-"Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom." They might slayhis followers, but he commanded them to spare him. Alas, David's command was ineffectual, for Joab slew Absalom! But God'scommand was certain to be obeyed, so the Psalmist wrote, "You have given commandment to save me," with the full assurancethat he would be saved. And all God's people can say to Him,
"You have commanded angels and men, 'Touch not My anointed, and do My Prophets no harm.'" And each Believer can say to Him,"You have given commandment to save me; for You are my rock and my fortress."
4, 5. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hands of the wicked, out of the hands of the unrighteous and cruel man. For You aremy hope, O Lord GOD: You are my trust from my youth Happy is the man who can truthfully say that, "You are my trust from myyouth." God does not cast off His old servants, as men often do. Those who give Him the best of their days will not find thatHe will desert them when the feebleness of age creeps over them.
6. By You have I been held up from the womb: You are He that took me out of my mother's womb: my praise shall be continuallyof You. We do not think, as often as we should, of what we owe to God for His care over us at the time of our birth. Our mothersreturned thanks on their own behalf and ours, but, as we look back, we are bound to return thanks, too, for that kindly careof God in our most extreme weakness-when the little candle of life was scarcely lighted and might have been so easily blownout. Then, as God took care of us in our first infancy, do You not think that He will take care of us when we get into oursecond childhood? We are never likely to be quite as weak as we were then, but, as the Lord guarded us at that time, willHe not guard us in those dark days which are already looming before some of us? Of course He will! Therefore, be of good courage,for He shall strengthen your heart and your praise shall be continually of Him.
7. I am as a wonder unto many. A prodigy to some, a monster to others, a marvel, a mystery, a riddle to all, but here is thesolution to the problem that puzzles so many.
7. But You are my strong refuge. Even the weak are strong when God is their refuge! The most defenseless are safe when Godis their defense. Wonder not at the mysterious life of a Christian, for this Truth of God explains the mystery- "You are mystrong refuge."
8. Let my mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your honor all day. What a blessed mouthful, and what a sweet mouthfulthis is-and what a blessed means of keeping the mouth from saying unkind, slanderous, or murmuring words!
9. 10. Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength fails. For my enemies speak against me andthey that lay wait for my soul take counsel together When the lion is sick, every cur is bold enough to bark at him. Men wereafraid of David when he was strong, but when he grew feeble, they began to howl at him and gather round him like a pack ofhounds around a wounded stag. Worst of all, they uttered this monstrous lie, which was most grievous to David's heart.
11. Saying, God has forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him. If they had possessed even ordinarycompassion, they would have said, "Since there is none to deliver him, let us not attack him. If God has forsaken him, heis in misery enough, so let us try to comfort him." But, instead of doing this, they acted after the fashion of their father,the devil, who has no tenderness and nothing of a compassionate spirit within him.
12. O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help. Notice the still more intense grip of faith in the secondclause. The Psalmist first says, ' 'O God," then He says, "O myGod." It is grand pleading when we so grasp God with the personalgrip of faith that we cry, "O my God, make haste for my help."
13. 14. Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonorthat seek my hurt. But I will hope continually, and still yet praise You more and more. Hoping and praising are among thevery best styles of living. Hoping honors God in secret-and praising honors Him in public. Oh, for more of these two goodthings!
15. My mouth shall show forth Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof When Davidspoke of those who hated him without a cause, he said that they were more than the hairs of his head. He could not count them,but he went as near to doing so as he could. But when he began to speak of God's mercies as displayed in His righteousnessand His salvation, he did not draw any comparison, or attempt to number them. This is a calculation in which we are utterlylost-our system of numeration fails us altogether when we come to deal with the loving kindness of the Lord!
16. I will go in the strength of the LORD GOD: I will make mention of Your righteousness, even of Yours only. He did not reckonthat any other righteousness was worth mentioning-and certainly not his own. The best of men, those who have been the mostnoted for their good works, have always been the first to feel that they had no works in which they could put any trust! Onegodly man, when he was dying, said to a friend, I have been trying to separate my good
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works and my evil works from one another, but I have found the task too great for me-so I have thrown them all overboard andnow I will float to Heaven upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ alone."
17. O God, You have taught me from my youth: and until now have I declared Your wondrous works. [Mr. Spurgeon delivered aremarkable discourse upon this text, illustrating the theme from his own early experience. See Sermon No. 2318, Volume 39-GOD'S PUPIL, GOD'S PREACHER-AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY-Read/download the entire sermon, free of charge, at http://www.spurgeongems.org.] I pray very earnestly for you young people, and I beg you to pray for yourselves, that you may have the great privilegeof being able to say with the Psalmist, "O God, You have taught me from my youth." They make good scholars who go to schoolearly and keep at school long-and have such a blessed Schoolmaster as the Psalmist had-"O God, You have taught me." David'smother taught him much that was good, but it was still better for him to have God as his Teacher. Then, after being a scholar,he became a pupil-teacher. He still went on learning, but he also began to teach-"Until now have I declared Your wondrousworks." All God's scholars ought to be pupil-teachers, always learning more and more from Him, and then teaching others allthat they learn.
18. Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shown Your strength unto this generation,and Your power to everyone that is to come. Old men ought to tell younger men what God has done for them. There is great weightin the testimony of a godly man of ripe experience. Full of years, he speaks of what he knows, and testifies of what he hasseen, tasted and handled of the Truth of God. We need many a Nestor in the camp of Christ, whose valor in former times andwhose experience in days of battling for the right may inspire with valor the younger men to whom he speaks!
19. Your righteousness, also, O God, is very high, who has done great things: O God, who is like unto You?The more we knowof God, the less we think of all others. We sink ourselves out of sight and all other creatures seem to be as nothing in comparisonwith our God.
20. You, which have shown me great and sore troubles, shall quicken me again, and shall bring me up again from the depthsof the earth.This we shall experience in part even in our present lifetime, but we shall much more fully experience it onthe Resurrection Morning-
" When Christ His risen saints shall bring From beds of dust, and silent clay, To realms of everlasting day."
21. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. Think of poor old David talking like this when he was driveninto exile and many of his former friends had forsaken him-"'You shall increase my greatness.' I shall get good out of thisevil. I shall rise by this fall. I shall be a gainer by these losses."
22. I will also praise You with the psaltery, even Your Truth, O my God. "When I have proved Your Truth. When my joyful experiencehas proved that every promise of Yours is true to Your servant, then I will praise both yourself and Your Truth, O my God."
22, 23. Unto You will I sing with the harp, O You Holy One of Israel My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto You.Thatis the best kind of praise to God when our very lips are happy in singing-when we do not merely speak the sound, but whenthe meaning wells up from our heart and our lips are glad to sing it out.
23, 24. And my soul, which You have redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all daylong: for they are confounded,for they are brought unto shame that seek my hurt