(The following texts highlighted in this color of blue is taken from
The Treasury of David by Charles Haddon Spurgeon) "Excerpted text
Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved. Materials are reproduced
Title. A Psalm of Asaph. This is the first of the Psalms of Asaph, but
whether the production of that eminent musician, or merely dedicated to
him, we cannot tell. The titles of twelve Psalms bear his name, but it could
not in all of them be meant to ascribe their authorship to him, for several of
these Psalms are of too late a date to have been composed by the same
writer as the others. There was an Asaph in David's time, who was one of
David's chief musicians, and his family appears to have continued long after
in their hereditary office of temple musicians. An Asaph is mentioned as a
recorder or secretary in the days of Hezekiah II Kings 18:18, and another
was keeper of the royal forests under Artaxerxes. That Asaph did most
certainly write some of the Psalms is clear from II Chronicles 29:30, where
it is recorded that the Levites were commanded to "sing praises unto the
Lord with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer," but that other
Asaphic Psalms were not of his composition, but were only committed to
his care as a musician, is equally certain from I Chronicles 16:7, where
David is said to have delivered a Psalm into the hand of Asaph and his
brethren. It matters little to us whether he wrote or sang, for poet and
musician are near akin, and if one composes words and another sets them
to music, they rejoice together before the Lord.
Division. The Lord is represented as summoning the whole earth to hear
His declaration in vs.1-6; He then declares the nature of the worship
which He accepts from vs.7-15, accuses the ungodly of breaches of the
precepts of the second table in vs. 16-21, and closes the court with a
word of threatening, v. 22, and a direction of grace, v. 23.
1 “The mighty God, even the Lord,” - El, Elohim, Jehovah, three
glorious names for the God of Israel. To render the address the more
impressive, these august titles are mentioned, just as in royal decrees the
names and dignities of monarchs are placed in the forefront. Here the true
God is described as Almighty, as the only and perfect object of adoration
and as the self existent One – “hath spoken, and called the earth from the
rising of the sun until the going down thereof.” The dominion of Jehovah
extends over the whole earth, and therefore to all mankind is His decree
directed. The east and the west are bidden to hear the God who makes His
sun to rise on every quarter of the globe. Shall the summons of the great
King be despised? Will we dare provoke Him to anger by slighting His call?
is represented not only as speaking to the earth, but as coming forth to
reveal the glory of His presence to an assembled universe. God of old dwelt
described as shining forth upon all nations. The sun was spoken of in the
first verse, but here is a far brighter sun. The majesty of God is most
conspicuous among His own elect, but is not confined to them; the church
is not a dark lantern, but a candlestick. God shines not only in
out of her. She is made perfect in beauty by His indwelling, and that beauty
is seen by all observers when the Lord shines forth from her. Observe how
with trumpet voice and flaming ensign the infinite Jehovah summons the heavens
and the earth to hearken to His word.
3 “Our God shall come,” – (II Peter 3:10 – even today, I got an e-mail from
Newsmax discussing whether or not the Second Coming of Jesus Christ
is eminent! – CY – this being Nov. 13, 2010) The psalmist speaks of himself
and his brethren as standing in immediate anticipation of the appearing of the Lord
upon the scene. "He comes," they say, "our covenant God is coming," they
can hear His voice from afar, and perceive the splendor of His attending train.
Even thus should we await the long promised appearing of the Lord from heaven.
(“Even so, come Lord Jesus” – Revelation 22:20 - CY - 2010) - “and shall
not keep silence:” - He comes to speak, to plead with His people, to
accuse and judge the ungodly. He has been silent long in patience, but soon
He will speak with power! . What a moment of awe when the Omnipotent is
expected to reveal Himself! What will be the reverent joy and solemn
expectation when the poetic scene of this Psalm becomes in the last great
day an actual reality! - “a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be
very tempestuous round about Him.” Flame and hurricane are frequently
described as the attendants of the divine appearance. "Our God is a
consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:29) - "At the brightness that was before Him
His thick clouds passed, hailstones and coals of fire." (ch.18:12) - "He rode
upon a cherub, and did fly; yea, He did fly upon the wings of the wind."
(Ibid. v. 10) - "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His
mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not
God." (II Thessalonians 1:7-8). Fire is the emblem of justice in action, and
the tempest is a token of His overwhelming power. Who will not listen in
solemn silence when such is the tribunal from which the judge pleads with
heaven and earth?
4 “He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth,” - Angels
and men, the upper and the lower worlds, are called to witness the solemn
scene. (We learn from Ephesians 1:10 the purpose of God in joining both
sphere’s together – see exposition in Ephesians 6 – this web site – CY –
2010) The whole creation shall stand in court to testify to the solemnity
and the truth of the divine pleading. Both earth beneath and heaven above
shall unite in condemning sin; the guilty shall have no appeal, though ALL
ARE SUMMONED that they may appeal if they dare. Both angels and men
have seen the guilt of mankind and the goodness of the Lord, they shall
therefore confess the justice of the divine utterance, and say "Amen" to the
sentence of the supreme Judge. Alas, ye despisers! What will ye do and to
whom will ye fly? - “that He may judge His people.” Judgment begins
at the house of God. (II Peter 5:17 – “For the time is come that judgment
must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall
the end be of them that OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL OF GOD?”)
The trial of the visible people of God will be a most awful ceremonial. He will
THOROUGHLY purge His floor. (Matthew 3:12) - He will discern between
His nominal and His real people, and that in open court, THE WHOLE
UNIVERSE LOOKING ON! My soul, when this actually takes place,
how will it fare with thee? Canst thou endure the day of His coming?
5 “Gather my saints together unto me;” - Go, ye swift winged
messengers, and separate the precious from the vile. Gather out the wheat
of the heavenly garner. Let the long scattered, but elect people, known by
my separating grace to be my sanctified ones, be now assembled in one
place. All are not saints who seem to be so—a severance must be made;
therefore let all who profess to be saints be gathered before my throne of
judgment, and let them hear the word which will search and try the whole,
that the false may be convicted and the true revealed - “those that have
made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” - This is the grand test, and yet
some have dared to imitate it. The covenant was ratified by the slaying of
victims, the cutting and dividing of offerings; this the righteous have done by
accepting with true faith the great propitiatory sacrifice, and this the pretenders
have done in merely outward form. Let them be gathered before the throne for
trial and testing, and as many as have really ratified the covenant by faith in the
Lord Jesus shall be attested before all worlds as the objects of distinguishing grace,
(Luke 12:8) - while formalists shall learn that outward sacrifices are all in vain.
Oh, solemn assize, how does my soul bow in awe at the prospect thereof!
6 “And the heavens shall declare His righteousness:” - Celestial
intelligences and the spirits of just men made perfect, shall magnify the
infallible judgment of the divine tribunal. Now they doubtless wonder at the
hypocrisy of men; then they shall equally marvel at the exactness of the
severance between the true and the false - “for God is judge Himself.”
This is the reason for the correctness of the judgment. Priests of old, and
churches of later times, were readily deceived, but not so the all discerning
Lord. No deputy judge sits on the great white throne; the injured Lord of all
Himself weighs the evidence and allots the vengeance or reward. The scene
in the Psalm is a grand poetical conception, but it is also an inspired prophecy
of that day which shall burn as an oven, when the Lord shall discern between
him that feareth and him that feareth Him not. (Malachi 3:18; 4:1) – “Selah.”
Here we may well pause in reverent prostration, in deep searching of heart,
in humble prayer, and in awe struck expectation.
The address which follows in the next nine verses (vs. 7-15) is directed to the
professed people of God. It is clearly, in the first place, meant
equally applicable to the visible
of external worship when spiritual faith is absent, and the mere outward
ceremonial is rested in.
7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak;” - Because Jehovah speaks and
they are avowedly His own people, they are bound to give earnest heed.
"Let me speak, "saith the great I AM. The heavens and earth are but listeners,
the Lord is about both to testify and to judge - “O
against thee:” - Their covenant name is mentioned to give point to the address;
it was a double evil that the chosen nation should become so carnal, so
unspiritual, so false, so heartless to their God. God Himself, whose eyes
sleep not, who is not misled by rumor, but sees for Himself, enters on the scene
as witness against His favored nation. Alas! for us when God, even our fathers'
God, testifies to the hypocrisy of the visible church. “I am God, even thy God.”
He had taken them to be His peculiar people above all other nations, and they
had in the most solemn manner avowed that He was their God. Hence the
special reason for calling them to account. The law began with, "I am the Lord
thy God, which brought thee up out of the
of their judgment opens with the same reminder of their singular position, privilege,
and responsibility. It is not only that Jehovah is God, but thy God, O Israel; this
is that makes thee so amenable to His searching reproofs.
8 “I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to
have been ever before me.” Though they had not failed in maintaining His
outward worship, or even if they had, He was not about to call them to
account for this: a more weighty matter was now under consideration.
They thought the daily sacrifices and the abounding burnt offerings to be
everything: He counted them nothing if the inner sacrifice of heart devotion
had been neglected. What was greatest with them was least with God. It is
even so today. Sacraments (so called) and sacred rites are them main
concern with unconverted but religious men, but with the Most High the
spiritual worship which they forget is the sole matter. (John 4:24) Let the
external be maintained by all means, according to the divine command, but if the
secret and spiritual be not in them, they are a vain oblation, a dead ritual, and
even an abomination before the Lord.
9 “I will take no bullock out of thy house,” - Foolishly they dreamed that
bullocks with horns and hoofs could please the Lord, when indeed He
sought for hearts and souls. Impiously they fancied that Jehovah needed
these supplies, and that if they fed His altar with their fat beasts, He would
be content. What He intended for their instruction, they made their
confidence. They remembered not that "to obey is better than sacrifice, and
to hearken than the fat of rams." (I Samuel 15:22) - “nor he goats out of
thy folds.” He mentions these lesser victims as if to rouse their common sense
to see that the Great Creator could find not satisfaction in mere animal
offerings. If He needed these, He would not appeal to their scanty stalls and
folds; in fact, He here refuses to take so much as one, if they brought them under
the false and dishonoring view, that they were in themselves pleasing to Him.
This shows that the sacrifices of the law were symbolical of higher and
spiritual things, and were not pleasing to God except under their typical aspect.
The believing worshipper looking beyond the outward was accepted, the unspiritual
who had no respect to their meaning was wasting his substance, and blaspheming
the God of heaven.
10 “For every beast of the forest is mine,” - How could they imagine
that the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth, had need of
beasts, when all the countless hordes that find shelter in a thousand forests
and wildernesses belong to Him? - “and the cattle upon a thousand hills.”
Not alone the wild beasts, but also the tamer creatures are all His own. Even
if God cared for these things, He could supply Himself. Their cattle were not,
after all, their own, but were still the great Creator's property, why then should
He be beholden to them. From Dan to
there fed not a beast which was not marked with the name of the great Shepherd;
why, then, should He crave oblations of
sacrifices of divine appointment when wrongly viewed as in themselves
pleasing to God! And all this to be so expressly stated under the law! How
much more is this clear under the gospel, when it is so much more plainly
revealed, that "God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship
Him in spirit and in truth"? (John 4:24) - Ye Ritualists, ye Sacramentarians,
ye modern Pharisees, what say ye to this?
11 “I know all the fowls of the mountains:” - All the winged creatures are
under my inspection and near my hand; what then can be the value of your
pairs of turtledoves, and your two young pigeons? The great Lord not only
feeds all His creatures, but is well acquainted with each one; (Matthew 10:29) –
how wondrous is this knowledge! - “and the wild beasts of the field are mine.”
The whole population moving over the plain belongs to me; why then should I seek
your beeves and rams? In me all things live and move; (Acts 17:28) - how mad are
you to suppose that I desire your living things! A spiritual God demands other life
than that which is seen in animals; He looks for spiritual sacrifice; for the love, the
trust, the praise, the life of your hearts.
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell thee:” - Strange conception, a
hungry God! Yet if such an absurd ideal could be truth, and if the Lord
hungered for meat, He would not ask it of men. He could provide for
Himself out of His own possessions; He would not turn suppliant to His own
creatures. Even under the grossest ideal of God, faith in outward ceremonies
is ridiculous. Do men fancy that the Lord needs banners, and music, and incense,
and fine linen? If He did, the stars would emblazon His standard, the winds and
the waves become His orchestra, ten thousand times ten thousand flowers would
breathe forth perfume, the snow should be His alb, the rainbow His girdle, the
clouds of light His mantle. O fools and slow of heart, ye worship ye know not what!
(Luke 24:25; John 4:22) - “for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof.”
What can He need who is owner of all things and able to create as He wills?
Thus overwhelmingly does the Lord pour forth His arguments upon formalists.
13 “Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” Are you
so infatuated as to think this? Is the great I AM subject to corporeal wants,
and are they to be thus grossly satisfied? Heathens thought thus of their
idols, but dare ye think thus of the God who made the heavens and the
earth? Can ye have fallen so low as to think thus of me, O Israel? What
vivid reasoning is here! How the fire flashes dart into the idiot faces of
trusters in outward forms! Ye dupes of
unmoved? The expostulation is indignant; the questions utterly confound;
the conclusion is inevitable; heart worship only can be acceptable with the
true God. It is inconceivable that outward things can gratify Him, except so
far as through them our faith and love express themselves.
14 “Offer unto God thanksgiving;” - No longer look at your sacrifices as
in themselves gifts pleasing to me, but present them as the tributes of your
gratitude; it is then that I will accept them, but not while your poor souls
have no love and no thankfulness to offer me. The sacrifices, as considered
in themselves, are contemned, but the internal emotions of love consequent
upon a remembrance of divine goodness, are commended as the substance,
meaning, and soul of sacrifice. Even when the legal ceremonials were not
abolished, this was true, and when they came to an end, this truth was
more than ever made manifest. Not for want of bullocks on the altar was
excelled in the visible, but in the inward grace, which is the one thing
needful, she sadly failed. Too many in these days are in the same condemnation.
“and pay thy vows unto the most High:” - Let the sacrifice be really presented
to the God who seeth the heart, pay to Him the love you promised, the
service you covenanted to render, the loyalty of heart you have vowed to
maintain. O for grace to do this! O that we may be graciously enabled to
love God, and live up to our profession! To be, indeed, the servants of the
Lord, the lovers of Jesus, this is our main concern. What avails our
baptism, to what end our gatherings at the Lord's table, to what purpose
our solemn assemblies, if we have not the fear of the Lord, and vital
godliness reigning within our bosoms?
15 “And call upon me in the day of trouble:” - Oh blessed verse! Is this
then true sacrifice? Is it an offering to ask an alms of heaven? It is even so.
The King Himself so regards it. For herein is faith manifested, herein is love
proved, for in the hour of peril we fly to those we love. It seems a small
think to pray to God when we are distressed, yet is it a more acceptable
worship than the mere heartless presentation of bullocks and he goats.
This is a voice from the throne, and how full of mercy it is! It is very
tempestuous round about Jehovah, and yet what soft drops of mercy's rain
drop from the bosom of the storm! Who would not offer such sacrifices?
Troubled one, haste to present it now! Who shall say that Old Testament
saints did not know the gospel? Its very spirit and essence breathes like
frankincense all around this holy Psalm. “I will deliver thee,” - The reality of
thy sacrifice of prayer shall be seen in its answer. Whether the smoke of
burning bulls be sweet to me or no, certainly thy humble prayer shall be,
and I will prove it so by my gracious reply to thy supplication. This
promise is very large, and may refer both to temporal and eternal
deliverances; faith can turn it every way, like the sword of the cherubim.
“and thou shalt glorify me.” Thy prayer will honor me, and thy grateful
perception of my answering mercy will also glorify me. The goats and
bullocks would prove a failure, but the true sacrifice never could. The
calves of the stall might be a vain oblation, but not the calves of sincere
lips (Hosea 14:2). Thus we see what is true ritual. Here we read inspired rubrics.
Spiritual worship is the great, the essential matter; all else without it is rather
provoking than pleasing to God. As helps to the soul, outward offerings
were precious, but when men went not beyond them, even their hallowed
things were profaned in the view of heaven.
In vs. 16-21, the Lord turns to the manifestly wicked among His people; and
such there were even in the highest places of His sanctuary. If moral formalists
had been rebuked, how much more these immoral pretenders to fellowship
with heaven? If the lack of heart spoiled the worship of the more decent and
virtuous, how much more would violations of the law, committed with a
high hand, corrupt the sacrifices of the wicked?
16 “But unto the wicked God saith,” - To the breakers of the second
table He now addresses Himself; He had previously spoken to the neglectors
of the first. “What hast thou to do to declare my statutes?” You violate
openly my moral law, and yet are great sticklers for my ceremonial commands!
What have you to do with them? What interest can you have in them? Do you dare
to teach my law to others, and profane it yourselves? What impudence, what
blasphemy is this! Even if you claim to be sons of Levi, what of that? Your
wickedness disqualifies you, disinherits you, puts you out of the succession.
It should silence you, and would if my people were as spiritual as I would
have them, for they would refuse to hear you, and to pay you the portion of
temporal things which is due to my true servants. You count up your holy days,
you contend for rituals, you fight for externals, and yet the weightier matters of
the law ye despise! Ye blind guides, ye strain out gnats and swallow camels;
your hypocrisy is written on your foreheads and manifest to all (Matthew 23:23-24).
“or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth.” Ye talk of being in
covenant with me, and yet trample my holiness beneath you feet as swine
trample upon pearls; think ye that I can brook this? Your mouths are full of
lying and slander, and yet ye mouth my words as if they were fit morsels
for such as you! How horrible and evil it is, that to this day we see men
explaining doctrines who despise precepts! They make grace a coverlet for
sin, and even judge themselves to be sound in the faith, while they are
rotten in life. We need the grace of the doctrines as much as the doctrines
of grace, and without it an apostle is but a Judas, and a fair spoken
professor is an arrant enemy of the cross of Christ.
17 “Seeing thou hatest instruction,” - Profane professors are often too
wise to learn, too besotted with conceit to be taught of God. What a
monstrosity that men should declare those statutes which with their hearts
they do not know, and which in their lives they openly disavow! Woe unto
the men who hate the instruction which they take upon themselves to give -
“and castest my words behind thee.” Despising them, throwing them away as
worthless, putting them out of sight as obnoxious. Many boasters of the
law did this practically; and in these last days there are pickers and
choosers of God's words who cannot endure the practical part of Scripture;
they are disgusted at duty, they abhor responsibility, they disembowel texts
of their plain meanings, they wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction.
(II Peter 3:16) - It is an ill sign when a man dares not look a Scripture in
the face, and an evidence of brazen impudence when he tries to make it mean
something less condemnatory of his sins, and endeavors to prove it to be less
sweeping in its demands. How powerful is the argument that such men
have no right to take the covenant of God into their mouths, seeing that its
spirit does not regulate their lives!
18 “When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him,” - Moral
honesty cannot be absent where true grace is present. Those who excuse
others in trickery are guilty themselves; those who use others to do unjust
actions for them are doubly so. If a man be ever so religious, if his own
actions do not rebuke dishonesty, he is an accomplice with thieves. If we
can acquiesce in anything which is not upright, we are not upright ourselves,
and our religion is a lie - “and hast been partaker with adulterers.”
One by one the moral precepts are thus broken by the
Under the cloak of piety, unclean livers conceal themselves. We may do
this by smiling at unchaste jests, listening to indelicate expressions, and
conniving at licentious behavior in our presence; and if we thus act, how
dare we preach, or lead public prayer, or wear the Christian name?
See how the Lord lays righteousness to the plummet (Isaiah 28:17).
How plainly all this declares that without holiness no man shall
see the Lord! (Hebrews 12:14) - No amount of ceremonial or theological
accuracy can cover dishonesty and fornication: these filthy things must
be either purged from us by the blood of Jesus, or they will kindle a
fire in God's anger which will burn even to the lowest hell.
19 “Thou givest thy mouth to evil,” - Sins against the ninth
commandment are here mentioned. The man who surrenders himself to the
habit of slander is a vile hypocrite if he associates himself with the people
of God. A man's health is readily judged by his tongue. A foul mouth, a
foul heart. Some slander almost as often as they breathe, and yet are great
upholders of the church, and great sticklers for holiness. To what depths
will not they go in evil, who delight in spreading it with their tongues?
“and thy tongue frameth deceit.” This is a more deliberate sort of slander,
where the man dexterously elaborates false witness, and concocts methods
of defamation. There is an ingenuity of calumny in some men, and, alas!
even in some who are thought to be followers of the Lord Jesus. They
manufacture falsehoods, weave them in their loom, hammer them on their
anvil, and then retail their wares in every company. Are these accepted
with God? Though they bring their wealth to the altar, and speak
eloquently of truth and of salvation, have they any favor with God? We
should blaspheme the holy God if we were to think so. They are corrupt in
His sight, a stench in His nostrils. He will cast all liars into hell. Let them
preach, and pray, and sacrifice as they will; till they become truthful, the
God of truth loathes them utterly.
20 “Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother;” - He sits down to it,
makes it his meat, studies it, resolves upon it, becomes a master of
defamation, occupies the chair of calumny. His nearest friend is not safe,
his dearest relative escapes not - “thou slanderest thine own mother's son.”
He ought to love him best, but he has an ill word for him. The son of one's own
mother was to the Oriental a very tender relation; but the wretched slanderer
knows no claims of kindred. He stabs his brother in the dark, and aims a blow
at him who came forth of the same womb; yet he wraps himself in the robe of
hypocrisy, and dreams that he is a favorite of heaven, an accepted worshipper of the
Lord. Are such monsters to be met with nowadays? Alas! They pollute our
churches still, and are roots of bitterness, spots on our solemn feasts,
wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
(Jude 1:12-13) - Perhaps some such may read these lines, but they will probably
read them in vain; their eyes are too dim to see their own condition, their hearts
are waxen gross, their ears are dull of hearing; they are given up to a strong
delusion to believe a lie, that they may be damned. (II Thessalonians 2:11-12)
21 “These things hast thou done, and I kept silence;” - No swift
judgment overthrew the sinner—longsuffering reigned; no thunder was
heard in threatening, and no bolt of fire was hurled in execution.
(“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily,
therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”
Ecclesiastes 8:11) - “thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one
as thyself:” - The inference drawn from the Lord's patience was infamous;
the respited culprit thought his judge to be one of the same order as himself.
He offered sacrifice, and deemed it accepted; he continued in sin, and remained
unpunished, and therefore he rudely said, "Why need believe these crazy
prophets? God cares not how we live so long as we pay our tithes. Little
does He consider how we get the plunder, so long as we bring a bullock to
His altar." What will not men imagine of the Lord? At one time they liken
the glory of
reprove thee,” - At last I will break silence and let them know my
mind - “and set
them in order before thine eyes.” I will
battle array. I will make thee see them, I will put them down item by item,
classified and arranged. Thou shalt know that if silent awhile, I was never
blind or deaf. I will make thee perceive what thou hast tried to deny.
(II Timothy 2:12-13) - I will leave the seat of mercy for the throne of judgment,
and there I will let thee see how great the difference between thee and me.
22 “Now” - or oh! It is a word of entreaty, for the Lord is loath even to
let the most ungodly run on to destruction. (II Peter 3:9) - “consider this,”
take these truths to heart, ye who trust in ceremonies and ye who live in vice, for
both of you sin – “ye that forget God,” - Bethink you how unaccepted you are,
and turn unto the Lord. See how you have mocked the eternal, and repent of your
iniquities - “lest I tear you in pieces, as the lion rends his prey, “and there be
none to deliver.” No Saviour, no refuge, no hope. (Ephesians 2:12) -Ye reject
the Mediator: beware, for ye will sorely need one in the day of wrath, and
none will be near to plead for you. How terrible, how complete, how painful,
HOW HUMILIATING, will be the destruction of the wicked! God uses no
soft words, or velvet metaphors, nor may his servants do so when they speak of
the wrath to come. O reader, consider this.
23 “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me:” - Praise is the best sacrifice;
true, hearty, gracious thanksgiving from a renewed mind. Not the lowing
of bullocks bound to the altar, but the songs of redeemed men are the
music which the ear of Jehovah delights in. Sacrifice your loving gratitude,
and God is honored thereby - “and to him that ordereth his conversation
aright will I shew the salvation of God.” Holy living is a choice evidence
of salvation. He who submits his whole way to divine guidance, and is careful to
honor God in his life, brings an offering which the Lord accepts through His dear
Son; and such a one shall be more and more instructed, and made experimentally
to know the Lord's salvation. He needs salvation, for the best ordering of the life
cannot save us, but that salvation he shall have. Not to ceremonies, not to
unpurified lips, is the blessing promised, but to grateful hearts and holy lives.
O Lord, give us to stand in the judgment with those who have worshipped
thee aright and have seen thy salvation.
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