Sermon 3375. Standing and Singing
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1913.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, JANUARY 31, 1867.
"My foot stands in an even place; in the congregations will I bless the Lord." Psalm 26:12.
You will remember our taking a pathetic verse for our meditation, some little while ago, which was the prayer of a saint introuble, whose prayer was, "Look upon my affliction and my pain." [See Sermon #741, Volume 13-a troubled prayer.] We mustnow look upon the reverse of the picture and think
upon a Christian in prosperity and joy and, perhaps, as there may have been some comfort to afflicted souls before, so theremay be some instruction tonight to those who are prosperous.
It is worthy of remark, at the outset, that the condition of a Christian cannot readily be judged by anyone but himself. Certainlyhis outward condition is a very unfair test of his real state. When Paul and Silas had been scourged and laid with their feetfast in the stocks, they seemed to others to be very miserable. But when, in the dead of the night, they began to sing God'spraises and the prisoners heard them, they proved themselves to be among the happiest of men! So was it with David. When thePsalmist wrote this song, he was slandered and vilified-every evil thing was laid to his charge. This was the case externally,and yet within, his mind was at such perfect peace that he could say, "My foot stands in an even place."
It seemed to the common onlooker as though his foot would slip, as though he were like one hurled from the Tarpe-ian rockto be certainly dashed to pieces-but his soul's experience was the absolute reverse of this. He seems to say to them all,"Hoot at me if you will! Seek to trip me up as you please! God is high above you all, and in Him I shall still stand my ground,for, blessed be His name, notwithstanding every attempt of the enemy to throw me down, my foot stands in an even place andin the congregation will I bless the Lord."
There are two things in the text to which I would call your attention. The first is a Believer in a happy position. And thesecond is, a Believer engaged in a happy occupation. His "foot standing in an even place," a happy position. "Praising andblessing God," a happy occupation. We have here, first, then-
I. A BELIEVER IN A VERY HAPPY POSITION.
Now, what does he mean by his "foot standing in an even place"? Well, is it not the very worst evil that a genuine Christiancan suffer to fall into sin? To fall finally, would, of course, be our everlasting ruin. To fall at all, in any sense, isour greatest grief. Every true child of God would sooner sorrow a thousand times than sin once. His Father's rod he has learnedto love, but sin, even when it is the choicest pleasure, he has learned to hate. "Lord," he says, "allow me to go anywhereexcept into sin. If the way is rough, so be it, if it is Your way, I will bless You for being in it. But if the road is everso smooth, allow not my feet to tread it, if it is Bye-Path Meadow." The worst evil that can befall a Christian, I say, isto fall into sin and continue to do so. On the contrary, one of the richest blessings that a Christian can enjoy is to bekept aright in his walk and conversation-year after year to wear a spotless character-year after year to be such an one asDaniel, that even the man's enemies can find nothing against him except touching the Law of his God. Oh, this is a great honor!This is a rare jewel! There are some of God's servants who will get to Heaven who never wore this jewel. They have been theLord's people, but yet their slips and falls have given them broken bones and troubled hearts-and they have been saved atthe last "so as by fire." But it is a choice mercy if the child of God is able not only safely to get into the harbor, butto get into the harbor without having touched a rock, without having sunk in a quicksand, without
having suffered shipwreck-not only to come safely to Heaven, but to have "an abundant entrance ministered to him" into theKingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Now, dear Friends, the standing which is spoken of in the text relates to the secure standing of the child of God in respectto sin-and it may be understood in two senses. Sometimes the Christian is in an even place with regard to common, outwardsin. And secondly, he is at all times in an even place with regard to the sin of other men-there he stands in such an evenplace that sin touches him not.
First, I say there are some Christians who may take the language of the text in regard to outward sin and thank God that theyare not just now exposed to vehement temptations. They are not journeying in slippery places, but their foot stands in aneven place.
This may be occasioned by several causes. Sometimes it is caused by Providence. My Brothers, you have, perhaps, sometimeswished that you were rich. You have been in a little way of business and you have thought, "I wish I had a larger capitalthat I might launch out a little, that I might speculate, that I might get a larger income and accumulate at a faster rate."Ah, you do not know. Those high places are slippery places, as some of late have proved to their own sorrow. You have need,instead of asking God to put you there, to thank Him that you are not so rich, that you are not therefore subject to the peculiartemptations incidental to great transactions of business, or great accumulations of gold. Comparatively, you may sit downand thank God that you are not in this position, but that your "foot stands in an even place."
You may be thankful, too, if you are not extremely poor, for extreme poverty, like extreme wealth, is a very dangerous position.When a person is extremely poor, he may be tempted to steal. If he should be able to overcome that, he will be tempted toenvy and may be very jealous of those who are better off than himself. And I do not know a more miserable spirit than an enviousone! Nothing can be more un-Christian than to be angry with my fellow man because he happens to have more of outward good,and of inward excellence, too, perhaps, than I may happen to have. Thank God that your lot is cast in the middle place! IfAgur's prayer is fulfilled in you-"Give me neither poverty nor riches"-if you have just enough to have food and raiment, becontent therewith and say, "I thank God that Providentially I am not exposed to the temptations of fashion and all its mazes,and I am not thrust into the temptations of penury with all its grief-in that respect my foot stands in an even place."
How many a young man is dazzled with the idea of fame! "Ah" he thinks, "if I could but carve my name on that rock! If I could,I would mount higher than that last, and carve my name high up there!" Yes, but how many have rolled back, have tried to scalethe battlements and have fallen to the bottom, mangled corpses?-
"The path of glory leads but to the grave!" Be thankful, young man, if God should mark out for you a quiet path of usefulnessin the Sunday school, or in some village station, or in some place where, in the midst of your little family, you may bringyour children up as a godly parent should, and at last, before the clods of the valley shall close over you, you may have,before you go hence, to thank God that your foot stood in an even place, though it might have slipped if you had been calledto a more dangerous point on the hill! It is best for us to be thankful for the position in which Providence has placed us,for I suppose that most of us now present will see that we are not peculiarly exposed to either of the extremes and, therefore,in that sense our "foot stands in an even place."
Sometimes this is the case not so much with regard to our own condition, as to the place of our abode and the surroundingsof our family circle. How many of you young people ought to bless God that you are converted and live where you do! I knowthe temptation with some young persons is to wish to get away from the parental roof very early and to try to set up on theirown account. Young woman, if you have a godly father and a godly mother, be in no great hurry to go away from the hearth wherepiety has been your joy! Young man, if you are apprenticed with godly people, do not be in such hot haste to be away fromthe place. This is a wicked city and for every place where a young man's foot may stand "in an even place" in it, there are50 places where it will need all the Divine Grace he has and a great deal more that only God can supply, to keep him fromgiving way to temptation!
I am afraid that now-a-days, such is the general business habit, as we say, and the fastness of our living, that many of ouryoung people do not think enough of religious privileges. I have read of a Jew who would not trade in a certain town becausethere was no synagogue in it-he said he would rather be at another place because there was a synagogue there.
And what the Jew felt in this respect, surely the Christian ought to feel far more! If you have to put up with far less money,yet if you have an opportunity of hearing the Gospel, and mixing with God's people, be not in a haste to throw away your goldenprivileges for the sake of those poor brazen gains which are pitiful in comparison with spiritual wealth! It is a wonderfulmercy-a mercy which some of my dear Friends now present would prize very much if they could have it-it is a wonderful mercy,I say, to live in the midst of godly people! Contrast it to the living with the ungodly! There are those in this place nowwho, when they go home from this place of worship tonight, will hear oaths and blasphemy before they fall asleep. They willprobably be startled in the morning by hearing the name of God profaned. Their religion provokes the animosity of their dearestfriends! They cannot be at their work without hearing ribaldry and without being selected to be the butt of all the archerswho shoot at them, sorely wound them and grieve them-for though there are no burnings at the stake now-a-days, yet there are"trials of cruel mocking," and these "mockings" are sometimes very "cruel" indeed! There is all the difference between theplant in the sheltered corner of the garden and the other plant set out in the wild, bleak waste for every frost to nip! Bethankful, dear young friends, yes, and let us be thankful who are not so young, if we are placed in a position where we arenot continually exposed to the vicious example, or to the frowns of gainsayers. Let us say thankfully with David, "My footstands in an even place in that respect: and in the congregation will I bless the Lord for it."
Besides this, our foot may be kept by Providence and Grace combined. Providence may have placed us where the ministry is instructiveand established-and then our foot stands in an even place. I have known some shepherds of flocks and, in the short time inwhich it has been my privilege to preside here, I think I have seen them veer to all points of the compass. There are someI know now whose particular position in theology no one ever did know and, I suppose, will never be able to ascertain, forthere seems to be no definite teaching, no declaration of Doctrines, no laying down of established Truths of God! And, markyou, it is a great mercy when the Lord teaches us something and makes us know what we do know, and when what we hear we understandand receive into our souls by the teaching of the Holy Spirit! It is a great mercy when we are not carried away by this fanaticism,nor the other enthusiasm, but when we are cast into connection with people who hold fast to the faith which is delivered tothem and are not to be carried about by every novelty, but are conservative of the grand old Truths and hold fast to the Doctrinesof the Cross of Christ! It may have been the lot of some of you, dear Friends, to sometimes be members of one church and sometimesof another-sometimes of a church given to quarrel and to break up, or, on the other hand, members of churches that are takenup with every novelty. Oh, be thankful that you have, many of you young Christians, round about you, fathers in Christ andmatrons in Israel who confirm you in the faith, under God, and through whom your foot has been made to stand in an even place.For this mark of Grace, bless the Lord!
But to go still farther. Sometimes the Christian may thank God for his standing, not so much because of his position in life,nor because of the outward means of Grace, but because of the inward establishment and spiritual growth which God the HolySpirit has given him. Oh, what a mercy it is, Christian, if your experience has been your own and you are come at last toa settled state of rest of heart! The devil sometimes says to you, "You will never be able to attain to the Glory and theKingdom-you will never overcome your foes." But you can say, "Ah, in this respect my foot stands in an even place, for I knowwhom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him until that day." Sometimesyour outward troubles are very many and the fear is that they will be too much for you-but oh, what a mercy it is to be ableto stand in an even place in that respect, and say, "Goodness and mercy followed me all the days of my life, and I am persuadedthat they always will. Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for God will bewith me to be my Stay!" When experience and patience have produced in us unstaggering faith in God, what a blessed life welead! But the unbelieving heir of Heaven, the man of little faith and little confidence in God-he is blown about by everywind and every difficulty staggers him-he is ready to weep under every trial! But the true Christian knows that these lightafflictions, which are but for a moment, will work out for him a far more exceedingly and eternal weight of glory! He believesthat Jesus walks the stormy waters. He can hear Him say, "It is I," and he is not afraid. He feels that he cannot suffer shipwreckwhile Christ is in the vessel with him and, therefore, if not always rejoicing, yet he is calm and patient, waiting for thesalvation of the Lord. I think I know some of you who have been for years in this condition. You are not now as you used tobe-all in Heaven one day and all in the depths the next. You are not so readily excited as you once were. An earnest PrayerMeeting fills you with holy joy, but it does not transport you quite out of the body as it once did. On the other hand, ifsome sharp affliction should come upon you, it still distresses you, but it does not perplex you and cast you into despairas it would once have done! You are no longer an infant, but you have become a man or woman in Christ Jesus! You have grownstrong. You are rooted, grounded, and settled in the faith! Now, be very tranquil, dear Friends, and thankful that you cansay concerning these things, "I am not to be moved by them-temptations that were once formidable to me are so no longer, forI know the promise and the faithfulness of my God-and my foot stands in an even place."
Once more. This may sometimes be peculiarly true of the Christian, when he has been enjoying near, dear, and ripened fellowshipwith the Lord Jesus. We sometimes stand on Tabor with our transfigured Lord! It is not always Geth-semane. It is sometimesthe mount of the first Glory and sometimes whatever occurs has no more effect upon us than tempests upon solid rocks! Thejoy of the Lord, the Presence of our Savior, the light of His love, the feast at His banqueting table-these things becomeso all-absorbing to us that we can say with Dr. Watts-
"Let earth against my soul engage,
And hellish darts be hurled.
Still I can smile at Satan's rage,
And face a frowning world."
Such a soul, all taken up with Divine Love, sitting at the feet of Christ with Mary, has neither room nor time for Martha'scares and encumbrances, but can rejoice and say, "My heart is fixed, oh my God! My heart is fixed, I will "sing and give praise."Such an one may be poor and yet cannot be poor! Such an one may be sick and yet must be well! Such an one may be alone andyet not alone, for his Lord is with him! I wish that you and I could more often say in this respect, "My foot stands in aneven place, and in the congregation I will bless the Lord."
Now you can see that all this view of the text is but occasional. But there is a view of the text that is permanent. As Ihave already said with regard to the great sin, the sin which is unto death, the sin which would destroy a Christian, everychild of God may at every time say, "My foot stands in an even place." The child of God may sin, but he cannot sin away hisbirthright. The heir of Heaven may fall, and he may fall foully, too, but though he falls seven times, he shall be liftedup again-and the eternal hand of God shall keep him, even to the end! Beloved, it is our mercy to believe that-
"Once in Christ, in Christ forever, Nothing from His love can sever."
If you stand on the Rock of Ages, my dear Brothers and Sisters, you stand on a Rock which never can reel beneath you, andfrom which no power, either earthly or infernal, can ever tear you! If you are in the hands of Christ, you know what He says-"Noone is able to pluck them out of My hands; My Father which gave them to Me is greater than I, and none is able to pluck themout of My Father's hands." Oh, how safe they are, then, in the hands of Christ, first, and in the hands of God after-as ifto give a double security, a two-handed guarantee-the power of Christ and the power of the Eternal Father being both guaranteedto the safety of the Believer!
But may the Believer ever say within himself that he is safe? Beloved, he may never say that he is safe in himself! No, thatwere, indeed, but a lie! But he may always say that he is safe in Christ Jesus. He may never say, "My mountain stands firm;I shall never be moved." But he may say-
"My life is hid with Christ in God, Beyond the reach of harm,"
And, "Because He lives, I shall live also." He may not say, "I know that I, by my own strength, shall persevere to the end."But he may say, "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Himuntil that day." The perseverance of the Christian is not ensured by the Christian's resolve to persevere unto the end, norby the Christian's own power, nor by any plans which the Christian can adopt! That perseverance is secured by the promiseof Christ, by the energy of the Spirit, by the watchfulness of God and by the faithfulness of God to His own Covenant!
Oh, Christian, how happy are you to be loved with an everlasting love, to have your name written in an Everlasting Covenant,to know that if your house is not so with God, yet He has made with you an Everlasting Covenant, ordered in all things andsure! Your foot stands at all times, in this respect, in an even place where justice and mercy are sweetly balanced, wherejustice and truth have taken away all irregularities, where the path is even and plain! Oh, let your tongue sing praises untothe Lord!
And now just a few words, and only a few words, though as earnest as possible, upon- II. THE CHRISTIAN'S HAPPY OCCUPATION.
The Psalmist says, "In the congregation will I bless the Lord," and surely we ought to do the same. Oh, think, dear Friends,in your own remembrance, how many professors have perished! I scarcely dare to look back upon them. They once floated as calmlyupon the surface of the sea as you or I do. There they are. I see the broken hulks, the boards and broken pieces still tossingupon the surf! Can you see the corpses as they strew the ocean-corpses of warriors apparently as brave and as well armed aswe are! There is Demas, he has made shipwreck. There is Judas, too, the first son of perdition. Now, Brothers and Sisters,if we have been kept, if our feet have been made to stand in an even place and we do not bless the Lord, the very stones willcry out against us! Why is it that we have not fallen into sin as many others have done? Why, indeed, but that the Grace ofGod has prevented us? There was everything in us that would have led us into the same mischief-the same sin, the same unbelief,the same evil habit of departing from the living God-and if it had not been for preventing Grace which has held us fast, wewould have made shipwreck as well as others! Let us praise God if, after 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years, or perhaps more, we arestill spared to stand in the midst of the Christian Church upholding our integrity! Surely we ought to say, "In the congregationwill I bless the Lord."
And then, again, as the Christian ought to do it, so it is the best thing that he can do, for nothing can be more useful tohim. I fancy if we praised God when we are in the enjoyment of mercies, we would keep mercies longer. If God had more gratitudefrom us when we are well, He would help us to continue in good health, but He knows that we need to be sick, sometimes, tomake us know the value of health and, therefore, He sends us to the bed of sickness that we may learn a lesson of gratitude?And if we were more grateful, we might, perhaps, be spared some of our troubles. And so while we are kept standing, if webless the Lord for it, it may be that He will continue thus to keep us, but if not, He may allow us to slip in order thatwe may learn where our great strength lies-and may thenceforth praise His name! Christian, to praise God will be of the utmostservice to you. The fact is, you must praise somebody-and if you do not praise God, you will slip into praising yourself-andthat will make you hateful in God's esteem, for the Lord hates a proud look. If you once begin to say, "It is my own goodnessand the excellency of my natural temperament that have kept me," you will soon come down-and great will be the fall thereof.But if you praise God, it will keep you from, self-conceit.
To praise God is, also, one of the sweetest medicines for worldliness. Most medicines are very strange-sour or bitter. I sometimesthink doctors make them thus, for many persons would not think them effectual if they were not nasty! Probably there mightjust as well be sweet medicines as bitter. I do not know why there should not be. Certainly praise, though it is sweet andpleasant, is profitable and curative, too!
It will cure you of worldliness quite as much as will sorrow. If you sit down to a loaded table and bless the Lord for it,the abundance will not give you "fullness of bread." If you go abroad in the world and God increases your wealth, and youare grateful for it, it will not eat as does a canker, nor injure you, but the gratitude you have will be a sweet correctiveforce to keep you from being a mere earth-grubbing mole-as you would have been if you had not been lifting your eyes to Heavenand mounting up on the wings of praise, as the eagle does, with his face towards the sun! Praise God that you have been ableto bear your prosperity and you will probably have a longer time of it, and you will get good out of it. Moreover, as youought to praise God and it is useful to praise God, so let me say that it is honorable to God that you should praise Him.There ought to be somebody to speak well of Him, for this wicked world is constantly abusing Him. If a man's own childrendo not praise him, where can he expect to have a good name? Oh, you who are the children of God, I am afraid you sometimesgive your God a bad Character! Those long faces of yours. Those dolorous tales about Providential afflictions-when they hearand see these, the world says, "Ah, we always said so-they are a miserable set and they serve a very hard Master!" But itis a gross lie! There never were servants that had such a good Master as we have! We love His House! We love His service!We love His wages! We love Him! We are the happiest people in all the world and though the worldling will have it that wemust be wretched because we are religious, we reply, "Our religion is our joy and our comfort! It is our delight and our bliss!We wish we had more of it! We serve a blessed God and we will speak well of His name."
To bless the Lord, while it is honorable to Him, will often be useful to our fellow creatures, and this should be the mostpractical point. David said, "In the congregation will I bless the Lord," by which I understand he felt that his blessingGod might be useful to others, else he might have shut himself up in his room and praised God there. David was not
like some of whom we know. I hear of some about the country who say, "I shall not go to the place of worship in my village.I cannot get on with the minister. I buy Mr. So-and-So's sermons and I find more Truth in them, so I shall stay at home."You remember the view the Apostle took of this when he wrote, "Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as themanner of some is"-a very bad manner, let me say, by the way the Apostle mentions it! If there are a few people of God anywhere,join with them, and if they are such a people as you cannot think of joining as people of God, open a place of your own! Makeit a point of conscience that where you have a house, God shall have one, and that where there is a tent for you, there shallbe an altar for Him! How much might the Kingdom of God spread if Christian people everywhere took care of this! David couldhave praised God alone, it is true, but he was not satisfied with it. He loved that genial warmth, that glow of holy firewhich always comes when hearts come together. And so he says, "In the congregation will I praise the Lord."
There are several ways of doing this. You may praise the Lord, you know, by singing-and what a delightful employment thatis! I sometimes wish we all knew how to sing. It is very well for us to sing our best, but that best might be a great dealbetter. Our Moravian friends can, nearly all of them, sing, and if you were to go to their settlement you would find all ofthem able to join in the sacred song. It is miserable work where there are two or three fellows in white surplices who getup to praise God, or where there is a big machine out of which the music is brought. I suppose the Lord does have mercy uponsuch folly, but how there can be anything like spiritual worship coming from a box of pipes I cannot understand! The heartsof God's people praise Him out of living organs! We must bring something like spiritual worship and when we have learned topraise God with the understanding as well as with our hearts, surely it will be none the less acceptable to Him, but all themore! He ought to have the best of the best and when we bring Him our praise it should be the best praise that it is possiblefor even hearts to make!
But there are other ways of blessing Him. You who cannot sing, can perhaps praise Him by your preaching. Oh, how we can helpthe Lord when we speak well of His name from the pulpit! It enlarges the scope and sphere of our praise when we can call uponhundreds, or on these occasions here, in this house, upon thousands of others, and say, "Oh, magnify the Lord with me andlet us exalt His name together! Come, let us bow down and worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker-let us come intoHis Presence with thanksgiving and unto His courts with joy." It is sweet work to preach when our preaching is blessing God!
Some of you cannot preach and you cannot sing. Well, you can bless God by your conversation. May the Lord give us many ofHis servants to bless Him in the farmyard, in the counting-house, behind the counter and in the factory! To bless Him whenthey are driving their carts, whose hearts are so full of praise that they naturally speak well of God as they speak wellof some good friend who has helped and prospered them! Let me enlist you to bless God this very night before you go to bed-blessHim, I mean, in talking to someone else to whom your testimony for God may be blessed. Now, I charge you-you who love theLord Jesus Christ and are His followers-if He has treated you badly, tell of it, speak honestly!
If you have found Him to be a hard Master, tell it to warn others against Him! But I know you cannot! You dare not say a wordagainst Him, though you can say ten thousand words for Him-and would do so if it were not for your bash-fulness. You can allsay-
"Lord, unloose my stammering tongue. Who should louder sing than I?"
Tell others that you have tasted and handled the good Word of Life, that you have found it a delightful thing to weep thetears of penitence, to turn with faith to the Savior and trust in Him. Do you say, "To whom shall I tell it?" Go, husband,tell it to your wife! My good Sister, tell it to your husband! Tell it to your child! Tell it to your brother! "Andrew firstfinds his own brother, Simon Peter." You go and do the same! Tell others and so help them to praise Him, too!
And there is another way of blessing God, even without much time. A Christian can bless God by his life. I heard somebodysay of a Christian Brother at Manchester that "he preached with his feet." Ah, that is a noble way of preaching! May we havemany such preachers! That is to say, by practical living, by walk and conversation. May you praise God by your consistentcheerfulness! There are Brothers and Sisters in this place to look at whose face is always enough to make one feel happy!They are not better nor richer than many I know of, but they seem always happy. They seem to live with Jesus-and when theyspeak, they speak well of Him. I am sure they are the most likely people to bring in converts.
Ask the Lord to make your face to shine. Pray that you may look at Him until you are changed from glory unto glory! You knowwhat that means-that the Glory there is in Christ may come upon you-from glory to glory-that your face may shine like thatof Moses, the Light of God's Countenance being upon you through your praising and blessing
I am afraid my sermon has no relation to some here present, but I ask them whether God has not been good to them in many respects.They have been kept alive-let them be grateful for the mercies they have and let their gratitude lead them to penitence, tothink that they have sinned against so good a God! Ah, my Hearers, if you will but repent and come to Him, He will be foundof you. Knock and His door will be opened. Speak to Him and He will hear and listen to you! Trust in the Lord Jesus Christand He will wash you in His blood and bring you to His Father's right hand in the Kingdom! The Lord bless these words, spokenin much conscious weakness, for Jesus' sake. Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: PSALM37:17-40.
17. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholds the righteous. They must stand, therefore, for how shallhe fall whom God upholds?
18-19. The LORD knows the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be forever They shall not be ashamed in the eviltime: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. These are bad times now. Everyone complains and, indeed, there seemsto be abundant cause, for distress is universal. But let us fall back on the promise. "In the days of famine they shall besatisfied."
20-23. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall be consumed; intosmoke shall they vanish away. The wicked borrow and pay not again: but the righteous show mercy and give. For such as areblessed of Him shall inherit the earth: and they that are cursed of Him shall be cut off The steps of a good man are orderedby the LORD: and He delights in his way. There is a mutual delight, you see. If we delight in God, God delights in us. Hedelights in the conduct of His people. When they walk with Him, He takes pleasure in every step that they take. What do yousay, Brothers and Sisters? Have you tried to live today so that God may take pleasure in you? He cannot do it if we have livedcarelessly, or fruitlessly, or selfishly. But when we live to Him, then the Lord delights in our way.
24. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him with His hand. Just going to fall, but incame the interposing hand. Grace catches us up when sin would throw us down.
25. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. It was so unusuala thing that David had never seen it. I have several times seen the seed of the righteous begging bread, but in every caseit has been because of their drunkenness or their laziness, or because of their own vice which they brought upon themselves.But, as a rule, God takes care of the children of His children. He does not allow them to want. They may be brought into greatstraits, but He will not permit them to come to beggary.
26-29. He is always merciful, and lends; and his seed is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forever-more. Forthe LORD loves justice, and forsakes not His saints; they are preserved forever: but the seed of the wickedshall be cut off.The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever. There is a grand time coming (oh, that God would hasten it!)when truth and righteousness shall rule the earth, and then shall the godly have their portion! At the present time-
"Every prospect pleases, And only man is vile."
But the day shall come when the vile person shall cease from off the earth and the saints shall have the Kingdom.
30. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice.You may often judge a man by his mouth. Thephysician looks at the tongue to see how the man is-and so is a righteous man known by his mouth and his tongue, for he talksofjustice.
31-40. The Law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slayhim. The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. Wait on the LORD, and keep
His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut of, you shall see it. I have seen the wickedin great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yes, I sought him, buthe could not be found. Mark the perfect man and behold the upright. For the end of that man is peace. But the transgressorsshall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: Heis their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: He shall deliver them from the wicked,and save them, because they trust in Him.