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2. Whatever may be our trials, of whatever outward privileges we may for a season be deprived, we must maintain an unshaken trust in God, expostulate with our disquieted and cast down souls, and encourage ourselves in the assurance that we shall yet praise Him. If billows roar around us, and if the ungodly reproach us, we must hold fast the conviction, that the Lord will in due time show forth His lovingkindness, and give us abundant cause to celebrate His goodness to us.
Fill our hearts, O Lord, with a supreme desire of Thyself, and may we delight in Thee and in Thy service, and rejoice to go with the multitude into Thy house with the voice of joy and praise. Whatever be our afflictions, and however we may be deprived of Thy holy ordinances, grant that we may calm the disquietude, and soothe the anguish, of our souls, by hoping in Thee. Thou, O Lord, art the health of our countenance and in all circumstances may we praise Thy holy name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
The subject of this is the same as the preceding Psalm. (I. Prayer to be restored to public worship.) 1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause Against an ungodly nation:
O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
2 For Thou art the God of my strength;
Because of the oppression of the enemy? 3 O send out Thy light and Thy truth : Let them lead me;
Let them bring me unto Thy holy hill,
4 Then will I go unto the altar of God,
Yea, upon the harp I will praise Thee, O God, my God.
(II. Trust in God.)
5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
The lessons which this Psalm teaches us are such as the following: 1. We must not account it strange if we experience ill treatment from ungodly people. 2. In all our troubles we must look to God, and implore His merciful interposition. 3. We may think in the day of trial that God has cast us off; but it is our duty still to trust in Him as our strength. 4. We shall pray in such seasons, that we may be favoured with the blessings and consolations of public worship: and while we thus pray, we must encourage ourselves with the assurance that our request will be granted. 5. In times of trial we must check the disquietude and despondency of our spirits, by the sure hope that we shall
yet praise God; that our sorrow will be turned into joy.
Help us, O Lord, in all the circumstances of life, and whatever may be the disquietude of our hearts, to look up unto Thee in prayer as our God, our strength, and the health of our countenance. Be Thou our exceeding joy; and may we so trust in Thee, and praise Thee, and serve Thee here, that we may finally be received into everlasting mansions, through the merits and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
A prayer, when the people of God were in trouble.
1 We have heard with our ears, O God,
What work Thou didst in their days,
In the times of old.
2 How Thou didst drive out the heathen with Thy hand, and planted them;
How Thou didst afflict the people,
and cast them out.
3 For they got not the land in possession by their
Neither did their own arm save them;
(II. Confidence in distress.)
4 Thou art my King, O God:
Command deliverances for Jacob.
5 Through Thee will we push down our enemies: Through Thy Name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
6 For I will not trust in my bow,
7 But Thou hast saved us from our enemies,
(III. Distress described.)
9 But Thou hast cast us off, and put us to shame; And goest not forth with our armies.
10 Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: And they which hate us spoil for themselves. 11 Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; And hast scattered us among the heathen. 12 Thou sellest Thy people for nought,
And dost not increase Thy wealth by their price. 13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, A scorn and derision to them that are round
14 Thou makest us a by-word among the heathen, A shaking of the head among the people. 15 My confusion is continually before me,
And the shame of my face hath covered me, 16 For the voice of him that reproacheth and blas
(IV. Profession of integrity.)
17 All this is come upon us;
Yet have we not forgotten Thee,
Neither have we dealt falsely in Thy covenant. 18 Our heart is not turned back,
Neither have our steps declined from Thy way; 19 Though Thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons,
And covered us with the shadow of death. 20 If we have forgotten the Name of our God, Or stretched out our hands to a strange god; 21 Shall not God search this out?
For He knoweth the secrets of the heart.
22 Yea, for Thy sake are we killed all the day long; We are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
(V. Prayer for succour.)
23 Awake, why sleepest Thou, O Lord?
And forgettest our affliction and our oppression? 25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust:
Our belly cleaveth unto the earth.
26 Arise for our help,
And redeem us for Thy mercies' sake.
1. Whether we look upon the past history of the Church, or of our nation, or of our lives, we must magnify God for His goodness and mercy. All blessings, temporal and spiritual, are to be ascribed to Him, as the undeserved fruits of His bounty and love.