2415. The Believer’s Inheritance Of Joy

by on
Share:

No. 2415-41:253. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, May 22, 1887, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, June 2, 1895.

I have taken your testimonies as an inheritance for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. {Ps 119:111}

1. When David wrote these words, he was not in a condition of ease and luxury. He was not even in a position of assured safety, for he says in the 109th verse, “My soul is continually in my hand.” You know what we mean when we say that a man carries his life in his hand; that is to say, he expects death, he is in imminent peril, and may at any moment be cut off from his fellow men. It happened when David was in such a condition as that, hunted, as he tells us in another place, like a partridge on the mountains, that he could say, “I have taken your testimonies as an inheritance for ever.” He was rich in his poverty, he was enthroned in his exile, he was happy in his sorrow; and those who have enjoyed a similar experience in their times of distress know how this can be.

2. I. With no further preface, I want to talk to you about our text under four points, the first of which will be, LET US MAKE A MAP OF THIS ESTATE: “I have taken your testimonies as an inheritance for ever.”

3. There was David’s inheritance, that portion of goods that fell to him, that piece of goodly land that was his lot: “Your testimonies.” Ah, brethren, I cannot draw a complete map of this estate, it is so large, so wonderful; but, thank God, you can go and see it for yourselves! Walk over its broad acres, lie down in its green pastures, rest beside its still waters. It is indeed a wealthy country that is described in those two words, “your testimonies.”

4. But what does the psalmist mean by this declaration? He means, first, that he had an inheritance of truth in the testimonies of God. A man’s mind is rich very much in proportion to the truth he knows. He who knows the Word of God is mentally rich, he has a large inheritance. There are people, I am told, — deists — who {a} believe in God, but who do not believe in the Word of God. They believe, then, in a God who has never spoken, a silent God, a God who has, at any rate, never spoken to his noblest creatures most capable of understanding his mind. To them, God is one who remains locked up for ever in exclusiveness, except so far as his works may reveal him. I think there are many difficulties in the way of receiving such a theory as that. Whatever difficulties there may be about God having spoken to us, and given us testimonies, — and that is the meaning of the word in our text, — there is nothing so great to overcome as this one would be, that, through all these ages, so many men have sought after God, and so many craving hearts have yearned to find God, yet he should have allowed six thousand years at least to pass, and should never have spoken to men a single word that they can understand. Now, so far from accepting that theory, I believe this Word of God to be God’s testimony, God’s speech, God’s declaration about himself and about many other things that his creatures need to know, God’s witness-bearing to us, out of the depth of his divine knowledge, so that we may know and understand and see things properly. And I say, and I am sure that many of you will say with me, these speeches of God, these revealings of God which I find in these two books of the Old and the New Testaments, are my inheritance. I rejoice to accept them as the estate of my mind, the treasure of my thought, the mint of the heavenly realm, the mine from which I can explore fresh veins of thought as long as I live, claiming all as my inheritance for ever. I have been preaching the Word of God these twenty-six years in this one place to very much the same congregation all the while; and if I had been obliged to preach from any other book, I should have worn it threadbare by this time; but the Bible is as fresh to me today as when I first began to speak from it as a boy, and preached to you from it as a youth. It is an inexhaustible inheritance of mental wealth to the man who will accept it, and give his mind to the study of it. Look at the doctrines, the precepts, the promises, the prophecies, the histories, the experiences, — it is no use for me to try to map out this estate, it is so large. As a great inheritance of mental wealth, it makes every man who receives it, however illiterate he may be on other subjects, a wealthy man spiritually, while those who discard it become poverty-stricken in mind, whatever other mental attainments they may possess.

5. That is the first meaning of our text, God’s testimonies are an inheritance of truth to the man who receives them.

6. The next meaning is that God’s covenant is our inheritance. The word “testimonies” may be understood to mean, and it does mean, God’s covenant. When the Lord Jehovah entered into covenant with men, he made a testimony to them that he would do this and that; his testimony made the covenant, and the covenant was his testimony to men. Now, I can say, and many of you can say with me, I have taken God’s covenant to be my inheritance for ever. And what an inheritance that covenant is, dear friends! This is one of its clauses, “I will also give you a new heart, and I will put within you a new spirit: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” This is another clause in the covenant, “I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, that they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, that they have sinned and that they have transgressed against me. And it shall be for me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do to them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure for it.” Again we read, “ ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,’ says the Lord, ‘I will put my laws into their hearts, and I will write them in their minds; and their sins and iniquities I will remember no more.’ ” “I will put my fear in their hearts, so that they shall not depart from me.” “I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” “I will betroth you to me for ever; yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth you to me in faithfulness: and you shall know the Lord.” If I took the whole range of the covenant, one entire night would not be sufficient time in which to explain it; I should want seven weeks full of seven sermons a day, before I could even go around the fringe of the covenant. Therefore, well might David say that within the scope of that covenant he found an inheritance, which he had taken for himself to be his for ever, to be the rejoicing of his heart.

7. I have not, however, yet brought out all the meaning of our text, or shown you the full map of the estate that is named here, “your testimonies.” The greatest testimony of God in all the world is Jesus Christ. He is God’s testimony embodied. God said to us, “If you want to know what I am, look, there is my Son.” And Jesus came and said, “He who has seen the Son has seen the Father.” Jesus Christ is God’s testimony against sin, for Christ died through our sin. He is God’s testimony concerning divine love, for God so loved us that he gave his Son to die for us. In Christ you will find that, the more you study him, the more you will see what the invisible God is, for he is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” Now, beloved, I can say, and many of you can say, “We have taken the Lord Jesus Christ to be our inheritance for ever”; and we are complete in him, perfect in Christ Jesus, Christ is all and in all to us. When we once get Christ, we get everything. “He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

8. Now, take the testimonies mentioned in our text to be God’s Word, God’s Covenant, God’s Son, and there you have a map of your great estate, your goodly inheritance. Oh, may the Lord, in his infinite mercy, make us to be so enchanted with this estate, so enraptured with this divine property, that we shall never rest until we enter into full and final possession of it, and find it to be the rejoicing of our heart!

9. II. Secondly, I want you to proceed to TAKE POSSESSION OF THE ESTATE. What does David say? “I have taken your testimonies.” He had taken possession of them; and our next enquiry must be, how can we take possession of them?

10. This evening I need not repeat what I did this morning; you remember how I went to our friend behind me, and offered him my hand, and he took it. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1964, “Why Is Faith So Feeble” 1965 @@ "36."} Now, this blessed estate of divine grace is as free to any soul who is willing to have it as a shake of my hand was to my friend when he grasped it this morning; the gospel of grace is as free as the air you breathe.

    None are excluded hence but those
       Who do themselves exclude.

If the door is ever shut, you have shut it yourselves. This blessed estate is for every man who is willing to take it. How, then, am I to take it?

11. Well, first, by a deliberate choice. David said to the Lord, “I have taken your testimonies by my own deliberate choice, I have elected to make them my life’s chief treasure.” I too can say, “Because God has chosen me, I have chosen him; I have deliberately chosen his Book to be my guide, his covenant to be my trust, his Son to be my Saviour.” And I know that there are many of you here who can make that choice tonight, because you have made it for many years. Would you exchange your Bible for anything written by man? Would you exchange the covenant for any other compact? Would you exchange your Saviour for any other? God forbid! We have taken God’s testimonies to be our inheritance for ever, willingly by his grace choosing his grace, being first chosen by him, and therefore choosing him in return.

12. Next to our choice of God’s testimonies comes the act of faith, which is a personal grip of them. After I had preached in this place one morning, there was a sinner convicted of sin, and led to tremble before God. He saw his brother after the service, and he asked him, “What must I do to be saved?” “Believe,” he said. “Well, brother,” he said, “I always did believe, I always have believed the things that are preached, and the things that are in the Bible. What more am I to do?” His brother answered, “Why, take them! Grasp them as your own.” “I never saw that before,” said the man, and so he was brought into the light. Now, that is faith. Faith is the hand that grips the Saviour, and holds him firm. There is a book. I believe it to be a hymn-book. I want a hymn-book in order to give out a hymn, so I take it up, and use it for its own purpose. There is Christ. I believe him to be a Saviour; and I want a Saviour. I take him as a Saviour to save me; that is faith. Can you believe that Christ can save you, and that he will? Then believe it. “I believe that he has saved my mother.” Yes, but that is not saving faith. “I believe that he can save my sister.” True, but that is not saving faith. Do you believe for yourself that he can save you? And will you stake your immortal existence on his power to save you? Will you just rest on him, sink or swim? If you will do that, you shall swim; he never sank who rested on the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, then, that is the way to take this inheritance, to take it by the grip of faith, and say, “It is mine.”

13. “But suppose I were to take it,” one says, “and it should not be mine.” That never happened yet, and never will, for Jesus himself said, “Whoever comes to me I will in no wise cast out.” No man ever yet took Jesus Christ by mistake. If you will have him, you have him, and he will never say no to you. Take him, and he takes you at the same time. May God grant that you may understand that truth, and put it into practice at once! So let us proceed to take this estate by deliberate choice and by appropriating faith.

14. After we have done that, the next thing is to take the full possession of this estate by holy diligence. He who believes in Christ has the everlasting covenant, he has God’s testimonies; they are all his, but he does not yet fully enjoy them. I know a friend who has an estate over which I am pretty sure he has never fully walked, for it is so large. He has climbed the highest hill, but he cannot possibly have seen half the property that belongs to him. There are many such estates that the owners have not fully seen; and there is not a Christian here who has ever seen a tenth part of what belongs to him. In the exercise of this holy diligence, you and I have to take possession of the Word of God by studying it more earnestly, to take possession of the covenant by believing it more fully, and to take possession of Christ by communing with him more closely, and using him more constantly, so that you say with David, “I have taken your testimonies as an inheritance for ever.” Keep on taking, keep on taking, keep on taking. You know the story that is told about the hymn, “More to follow,” — how Mr. Rowland Hill, having determined to give to some poor minister a hundred pounds, sent him £5, and wrote in the envelope, “More to follow.” To his surprise, at the end of a month, there came another £5 with “More to follow,” and so it kept on time after time, until the amount was all given. There is the pity of it; it was all given eventually. “More to follow” came to an end. But it is never so with God; with him it is “always more to follow.” From strength to strength, from joy to joy, from grace to grace, we still go on until we come to heaven; and I suppose that, even there, we shall still go on and on in everlasting progress scaling successive heights of bliss. We shall continue to become more full of glory, or, if always full, yet we shall be made more capacious so that the fulness may be even greater. “I have taken your testimonies.” Go on taking them, brethren, take them to be your inheritance for ever.

15. I wish that I could hope that everyone here had, by deliberate choice, by appropriating faith, and by holy diligence, taken all the covenant of God, and all the revelation of God, and all the Christ of God, to be his inheritance for ever.

16. III. Now, thirdly, LET US CONSIDER THE HOLDING: “I have taken your testimonies as an inheritance for ever.”

17. You see what kind of holding we have of this inheritance. It is not leasehold, a shorter term every night we go to bed. It is not even a holding similar to what is commonly used in Scotland, when the feu {b} is for 999 years. No, it is a perpetual holding:“ I have taken your testimonies as an inheritance for ever.” Well, dear friend, that is long enough, is it not? What else will you ever take on such a tenancy as that? That is a freehold. “I have taken your testimonies as an inheritance for ever.”

18. “Well,” one says, “I have a freehold.” Yes, but you will not be free to hold it for ever. You may be a freeholder, my dear sir, but you will have to go, and your heir will step into your place. Someone else will walk those acres, and call your home his own; you have only a life-lease of it at the very most. It is delightful to think that this inheritance of the Word of God, the Covenant of God, the Christ of God, we have for ever, because we shall live for ever, and we shall hold it for ever. It is not dependent on any one life; it is dependent on three lives, and those three lives are the life of the Father, the life of the Son, and the life of the Holy Spirit; and they are all eternal, and so shall the joy and the wealth of every believer be. We have taken this inheritance for ever.

19. Sometimes we possess certain things which are ours, completely ours, but then they are not ours for ever, because they fade; but our inheritance will never fade or pass away. The crown that was won at the Greek games, though made of amaranth, would still return to dust before long. There is nothing here on earth but is touched by the moon, and is ready to wane and to depart. There is nothing here that can be held for ever, even if we could live here for ever to hold it, for all things perish in the using; but this is a crown of life that does not fade away, this is an inheritance which, after a million years, shall be the same as it is now in fulness of joyful satisfaction. Oh you people, who only think about what you are going to do tomorrow, or about what you will do during the next — well, say fifty years! You sometimes say, “It will be all the same a hundred years from now.” Yes, but suppose it is: what will it be a thousand years from now? Why, some I hope will have been in heaven 950 years by that time! Oh, what joy we shall have known during that period! What breakings of the sea of bliss over our enraptured spirits! But suppose any of us shall have been in hell all that time. Oh, ghastly thought! But what must it be to have been in heaven a million years, and then to feel that we are only at the beginning of our bliss? “I give eternal life to my sheep.” “Because I live, you shall live also.” The righteous shall go into life eternal. Oh, the splendour of eternity linked with bliss! Please, dear friends, rejoice if you have taken this inheritance that you have taken it for ever, for it is what makes its joy.

20. We have to value earthly things, and say, “That is the value of the property; take it at twenty years’ purchase, or twenty-five years’ purchase.” But what must be the value of a blessing that is to last for ever and ever? I have sometimes thought what it would be to have the toothache for all eternity. That would be bad enough, for it is the eternity that makes its smart. But what can we say of a joy that will last when that sun is turned into a coal, and the moon is black as sackcloth of hair, and this old world, wrinkled like a skin bottle in the smoke, shall be flung away as worn out and useless? You and I, then, in the everlasting youth of a God-given life, shall possess this inheritance for ever.

21. Once more, notice that there is no way of taking this inheritance except by taking it for ever. There is a way invented by some men of being temporary Christians. It is believed by some that you can take this inheritance for three months, or that you can take it for a certain term of years, and then lay it down. Do they not take it at all who do not take it for ever. He who enlists in the army of Christ must enlist for ever; that is the shortest term on which Christ will take him. If you become a Christian, you must be always a Christian. I heard of a brother, the other day, a teetotaller, who had been an abstainer, he said, “ten years, off-and-on.” Yes, you may well smile at that remark; but there are some people who want to be Christians of that kind, “off-and-on.” My dear friends, the members of the Total Abstinence Society, are ready to get up and say that they will not acknowledge that man, and I say the same about a Christian man who is “off-and-on.” No, no; we go in for salvation for ever; as David says, “I have taken your testimonies as an inheritance for ever.” You cannot take them any other way. That conversion which is not radical and thorough is of no use. If a man converts you, another man can unconvert you; but if God converts you, I know that what God does shall be for ever. He does not make temporary Christians, but real, lasting, everlasting Christians, as our Lord said to the woman of Samaria, “Whoever drinks from the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

22. Will you have this inheritance for this term? Will you have it for ever? Then, take it and welcome. May God himself, by his divine Spirit, make you an heir of endless life through faith in Jesus Christ his Son!

23. IV. But not to weary you, I shall close by inviting you, in the last place, at once to ENJOY THE POSSESSION. “I have taken your testimonies as an inheritance for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”

24. First, that was an evidence that David had taken God’s testimonies to be his possession, for they had made him glad; and, secondly, that was the reason why he took them to be his possession, because they made him glad.

25. Now, first, this was a proof that they were his, because they made his heart rejoice. If your religion does not make you rejoice, it is not worth much. If you do not find a joy in it, you have not really taken it, you have not taken it for ever; or, at least, though you may have taken such religion as you have, you have not taken the testimonies of God, the covenant of grace, the Christ of God, for if you had done so, you must rejoice. One said to me, the other day, speaking of the new style of ministers and the old style, “I used to notice, in the old preachers, that they seemed delighted with what they had to say; even if we did not enjoy it, they did. They seemed like men who set out a feast, and every now and then they had a taste themselves, they so enjoyed the truths they were preaching. But,” he said, “the modern gentlemen, — well, they know that it is a poverty-stricken country through which they are travelling, they are pretty well aware that there is no spiritual food for the people; and so they do not even appear to enjoy the service themselves, but they get through it in a sadly dignified way, a wonderful way, indeed, showing their own talent and wisdom, but there is no hearty enjoyment of it.” And it is so; but when a man has taken God’s testimonies to be his everlasting inheritance, you will hear him talk about it, his eyes begin to flash, his soul is all on fire, he is full of gladness over it. The genuine convert, too, who has found the Saviour, did you ever know him come to see a Christian man, and say to him, “Dear friend, I think that I have believed in Jesus Christ. I think — I think that, perhaps, he has pardoned my sin?” Why, you say, that man is not up to the mark! As soon as a genuine convert ever comes to open his mouth, he says, “Oh, dear sir, I hope that I have found the Saviour! I do feel so happy, for I have laid my sins on Jesus, and he has appeared to me, and he has said, ‘I have blotted out all your transgressions.’ I am so happy that, if I talk too fast, please excuse me; but I have passed from death to life, and I must tell someone about the wondrous change. I can say with David, ‘I have taken your testimonies as an inheritance for ever,’ I know I have done so, for they make my very heart glad, they warm my spirit, they are the rejoicing of my heart.”

26. You notice, David does not merely say, “they make my heart rejoice,” but he says, “they are the rejoicing of my heart.” He does not merely say, “they give me joy, but they are my joy, they are essentially and really the delight of my spirit.” Oh, what a difference it makes, when the man has truly taken Christ as his Saviour, in the way in which he looks at his religion! Until you have taken the covenant, the testimonies, and the Christ of God to be your inheritance, you may be, after a fashion, deeply pious, and yet sadly miserable over your piety. Your religion may be as sweet to you as slavery was to a negro, and not a whit more so. But when you have taken Christ to be yours, —

    ’Tis love that makes your willing feet
       In swift obedience move.

It is love that makes you joyful in God, and being joyful in God nothing is too hard or too heavy for you, and you say, with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Our feet are made like hinds’ feet to leap over difficulties, when we have really taken a firm grip of the eternal verities, and have taken them to be our inheritance for ever. It is one of the evidences of grace when these things are the rejoicing of our heart.

27. Then, lastly, another way of looking at this truth is this, we take these things to be our inheritance because they are the joy of our heart. Dear friends I should like to refresh the memories of some of you Christian people by recalling your past experience. When you have been very ill, what has your religion been to you then? I know that you can say, “I almost wish to be ill again to enjoy the rest, and the peace, and the delight that I had then.” When my dear brother, William Olney, behind me, was undergoing most painful operations, I went to see him, and I never saw him more happy than he was then; I do not believe he was happier when he was going to be married than he was when he was awaiting the coming of the surgeon. He was so resting in God, so rejoicing in Christ, that he could not be more delighted than he was, his Master’s presence made him full of gladness.

28. Others of us know what it is to lie on the verge of death for weeks on end, and in the stillness of the night to contemplate very closely our approaching end, and to do so as deliberately as if we expected to rise the next morning to transact our business, regarding the eternal state with hope and desire rather than with fear, glad to find that, when heart and flesh failed, then there burned within another light than man has ever kindled, another joy than grain and wine and oil can ever give to him who has the largest quantity of them. Oh dear friends, I bear my own personal testimony that there is no joy like that of believing the testimonies of God, accepting the covenant of grace, and living on the Christ of God! I have often said from this pulpit, and I say it again, that, if I had to die like a dog, I would wish to be a Christian even for the blessings of this life; but then, of course, it is the life to come that makes the joy of this present life, for if that were blotted out, we might be of all men most miserable, for we have more than enough of trial and of sadness if it were not for the thought of the world to come. But that life beyond, that hope that enters within the veil, that vision of Christ’s face, that prospect of being for ever with the Lord, I would part with all the joys of sense to behold his face only for a moment. What must it be to be in his presence, in fulness of joy, for ever and ever? The expectation of what is soon to be revealed makes us extremely glad.

29. “Why!” one says, “I thought that Christian people were all miserable people.” It is because you do not know them; and there is another thing you do not know, some of you, that is, how Christians can rejoice. You see, that elder brother, who was such a very proper kind of gentleman, was angry at the rejoicing over the prodigal’s return, and “he would not go in.” I do not know whether he did go in after all; but if he did not, he could not tell how merry his father was, he could not tell how merry the servants were, he could not tell how happy his younger brother was, who had been lost, and now was found. He was angry, and would not go in, so he could not know what joy there was in the home; but if he could have gone in with his cruel, cold-blooded temperament, and could have looked on, and if he could have caught a sight of his brother, who had been so recently with the hogs, but who was now washed and cleansed, feasting on that fatted calf, I think his heart would have begun to melt, as Joseph’s did when he saw Benjamin. Then, if he had seen the joy of the servants, and heard the music, and watched the dancing, I think he would have been ready to take a turn or two with them; but if he had fixed his eye on his father, and had seen the greatness of his father’s love, and the joy beaming in his father’s face, I think that he would have rushed up to him, and fallen on his father’s neck, and kissed him, and said, “Now I know what a blessed thing it must be to dwell in your love.” Oh, if you knew the joy of saved sinners, and the joys of those who have prayed and laboured for their salvation, if you knew anything of the joy of the happy God, you would understand that a truly Christian life cannot be an unhappy one! May God bring every one of you to trust in Jesus, his dear Son! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Resurrection — Death Swallowed Up In Victory” 844}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Holy Scriptures — Our Heritage” 481}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — Jesus And His Righteousness Prized” 791}

{a} Deist: One who acknowledges the existence of a God based on the testimony of reason, but rejects revealed religion. OED. {b} Feu: A feudal tenure of land in which the vassal, in place of military service, makes a return of grain or money. OED.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ps 119:73-88}

In this Psalm we have, as it were, notes from David’s diary.

73. Your hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, so that I may learn your commandments.

This is a very instructive prayer; the psalmist as good as says, “Lord, you have made me once; make me over again. You have made my body; mould my spirit, form my character, give me understanding.” If God should make us, and then leave us without understanding, what imperfect creations we should be! A man devoid of understanding is only a blood and bone creation; and therefore the psalmist does well to pray, “Your hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding.” But what kind of an understanding is desired? That I may learn to discuss and dispute? No: “that I may learn your commandments”; for holiness is the best of wisdom, and the best proof of a right understanding is obedience to God’s commandments.

74. Those who fear you will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in your word.

A hopeful godly man is a continual source of joy to other people. When a man can inspire hope in his fellow men, — and he cannot do that unless he is full of hope himself, — he lights a fire of comfort. Bring such a man into a storm, and he helps you to be brave. “Those who fear you will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in your word.”

75. I know, oh LORD, that your judgments are right, and that you in faithfulness have afflicted me.

We are glad to listen to a man who can tell us that, — an old man, a tried man, who can say that God has been faithful in afflicting him, a man who, after having borne the brunt of tribulation, can still bless God for it. Such testimonies as these are full of joy and gladness for the young folk; they can encounter trial with a joyful heart when they hear what their fathers tell of the goodness of God to them in their troubles.

76. Please let your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to your word to your servant.

“Lord,” he seems to say, “I have been a comfort to others; be a comfort to me. You have made others glad to see me; make me glad with the memory of all my experience of your mercy: ‘Please let your merciful kindness be for my comfort.’ ” If you have lost your own comfort, dear friends, see where you are to look for it, — to the merciful kindness of God. Those are two beautiful words, are they not? “Merciful” — take that to pieces, and it is mercy-full. Is not God full of mercy? Take the next word to pieces — “kindness.” That means, “kinned-ness” — that kind of feeling that we have for our own kin when they are very dear to us. “Lord, let your mercy-full kinned-ness be for my comfort, according to your word to your servant.”

77. Let your tender mercies come to me, so that I may live:

“I am so broken down, my bones are so full of pain, that if you handle me roughly, I shall die: ‘Let your tender mercies come to me.’ I am like a poor flower whose stalk is almost broken through, ready to droop and die; let your tender mercies bind me up, so that I may live.”

77. For your law is my delight.

God will not let a man die who delights in his law. You are the kind of man who shall live. If you love the law of God, the Word of God, the will of God, the way of God, he will not let you die. There are none too many of your kind in the world, so the Lord will keep you alive as long as you can serve him here.

78. Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in your precepts.

That is a delightful changing of the subject: “They dealt perversely with me, without a cause”; but David does not say, “I will envy the proud,” or, “I will be spiteful to them,” “I will fret myself because of them.” No; he seems to say, “They may do what they wish; but I will meditate in your precepts.” When anyone has treated you contemptuously, or dealt perversely with you without a cause, instead of resenting it, go to your Bible, meditate in God’s precepts. It is the noblest and at the same time the most successful way of fighting against contempt, so to despise the despising of men as to rejoice in your thoughts of God and his truth.

79. Let those who fear you turn to me, and those who have known your testimonies.

“Lord, make me such a man that those who fear you may seek my acquaintance. By your great mercy grant that, if any of them have turned away from me through hearing slanderous reports about me, they may be inclined now to come back to me, for I love them, and I would not willingly offend them. ‘Let those who fear you turn to me.’ ”

80. Let my heart be sound in your statutes; so that I am not ashamed.

When the heart is right with God, there will be no need to be ashamed. Though you may make some mistakes and blunders, because you are human, yet, if you are sincere, shame shall not overtake you. What a blessing it is to have a sound heart! But when the heart is spiritually unsound, the profession is always in danger. The other day, a friend of ours was taken from us almost in an instant through heart disease; and when Judas sells his Master, or when Demas turns aside to the silver mines of earth, it is the result of heart disease. There are many who go around in the Christian Church with a ruddy face, and apparently with great strength of religion; but suddenly they prove to be apostates. Yes, that is the effect of heart disease. Therefore, pray very earnestly with the psalmist, “Let my heart be sound in your statutes; so that I am not ashamed.”

81. My soul faints for your salvation: but I hope in your word.

What! faint and hoping, too? Yes, a Christian man is a wonder and a contradiction to many, and most of all to himself. He cannot understand himself; he faints, and yet he hopes. Two apparently opposite emotions may be at the same time in the Christian heart. Every man is two men, if he is a man in Christ Jesus; I sometimes think that there is a triplet of characters in every man of God, so that he has three different experiences at the same time. Certainly he can have two, for here we have them: “My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.”

82. My eyes fail for your word, saying, “When you will comfort me?”

“I look for it until my eyes ache; I strain my eyes to see your word, watching for it until my vision grows dull in waiting: ‘My eyes fail for your word, saying.’ ” Oh, then, his eyes could speak! Yes, eyes can say a great many things; and blessed are the eyes that have learned to say this: “When will you comfort me?” It is a good way of praying, sometimes, to say nothing at all, but to sit still and look up. The eyes can say what lips and tongue cannot, so learn well the language of the eyes, and talk to God with them, even as he talks to you with his eyes. “I will guide you,” he says, “with my eye.” Be, therefore, able to speak to God with your eyes, as David was when he wrote, “My eyes fail for your word, saying, ‘When will you comfort me?’ ”

83. For I am become like a skin bottle in the smoke;

An old dried-up skin bottle, that is hung in the smoke of the tent over the fire, until it is wrinkled and cracked, and almost good-for-nothing.

83. Yet I do not forget your statutes.

“Beauty is gone, strength is gone, vigour is gone; but not my memory of your word, oh Lord.” What a mercy it is that, when the worst comes to the worst with us, still the best remains: “I am become like a skin bottle in the smoke; yet I do not forget your statutes.”

84. How many are the days of your servant? When will you execute judgment on those who persecute me?

“Lord, I have only a short life; let me not have a long affliction.” Does he mean, “Lord, I have lived too long in this miserable state; I wish my days were shortened?” We must not murmur at the length of our days, but we may plead that persecution may come to an end. We may even go so far as to say with David, “How many are the days of your servant? When will you execute judgment on those who persecute me?”

85. The proud have dug pits for me, which are not according to your law.

It is not often that proud men take to digging; but here, you see, these children of the pit learn to dig pits for God’s people; and they have not given up the practice yet.

Pits were dug in olden times to catch wild beasts; but now, often, the wicked dig pits to try to catch good men, seeking if they can to make a fault where there is none, or to lead us into a line of conduct which they shall be able to represent unfavourably: “The proud have dug pits for me, which are not according to your law.”

86. All your commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help me.

What a prayer that is! Store it up for use, dear friend, carry it home with you. That is the kind of prayer to be prayed on the roadside, in a railway carriage, indeed, even in an accident: “Help me.” “Help me,” is a wonderful prayer, it seems to turn on a swivel whichever way you wish; you may use it to ask for anything you need in every time of emergency: “Help me.”

87. They had almost consumed me on earth;

“They had almost eaten me up; they had almost burned my life out. Blessed be God, they could not consume me anywhere except on earth! My immortal part would escape the burning of their coals of juniper. They had almost consumed me, but almost is not altogether.” When God delivers his people from the lion and the bear, the jaws of the wild beasts may be almost closed, yet they shall be opened wide enough for us to escape: “They had almost consumed me on earth.”

87. But I did not forsake your precepts.

You cleave to the right, and God will not turn away from you, nor will he let you turn away from his precepts.

88. Quicken me according to your lovingkindness;

That is a blessed prayer for us to offer. If any of you feel dull and drowsy, if any of you are heavy and slow in your movements, cry, to the Lord, “Quicken me according to your lovingkindness.”

88. So I shall keep the testimony of your month.

Spiritual life is the root of holiness: “Quicken me according to your lovingkindness; so I shall keep the testimony of your mouth.”

May God bless this reading to our instruction! Amen.



The Christian, Resurrection
844 — Death Swallowed Up In Victory
1 We sing his love who once was slain,
   Who soon o’er death revived again,
   That all his saints through him might have
   Eternal conquests o’er the grave.
      Soon shall the trumpet sound, and we
      Shall rise to immortality.
2 The saints who now in Jesus sleep,
   His own almighty power shall keep,
   Till dawns the bright illustrious day,
   When death itself shall die away.
      Soon shall the trumpet sound, and we
      Shall rise to immortality.
3 How loud shall our glad voices sing,
   When Christ his risen saints shall bring
   From beds of dust, and silent clay,
   To realms of everlasting day!
      Soon shall the trumpet sound, and we
      Shall rise to immortality.
4 When Jesus we in glory meet,
   Our utmost joys shall be complete:
   When landed on that heavenly shore,
   Death and the curse will be no more!
      Soon shall the trumpet sound, and we
      Shall rise to immortality.
5 Hasten, dear Lord, the glorious day,
   And this delightful scene display:
   When all thy saints from death shall rise,
   Raptured in bliss beyond the skies.
      Soon shall the trumpet sound, and we
      Shall rise to immortality.
                     Rowland Hill, 1796.


Holy Scriptures
481 — Our Heritage
1 Lord, I have made thy word my choice,
      My lasting heritage;
   There shall my noblest powers rejoice,
      My warmest thoughts engage.
2 I’ll read the histories of thy love,
      And keep thy laws in sight,
   While through the promises I rove
      With ever fresh delight.
3 ‘Tis a broad land of wealth unknown,
      Where springs of life arise;
   Seeds of immortal bliss are sown,
      And hidden glory lies.
4 The best relief that mourners have;
      It makes our sorrows blest;
   Our fairest hope beyond the grave,
      And our eternal rest.
                           Isaac Watts, 1719.


The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
791 — Jesus And His Righteousness Prized
1 The more my conduct I survey,
      Or thee my Master see,
   My own sufficience dies away,
      I find my need of thee.
2 Were I a martyr at the stake
      I’d plead my Saviour’s name:
   Intreat a pardon for his sake,
      And urge no other claim.
3 If blest with that exalted love
      Which tunes a seraph’s tongue;
   Yet from the cross I would not move,
      For there my hopes are hung.
4 Could I get nearer to the throne
      Than is common length,
   My soul with gratitude should own,
      ‘Tis done by borrow’d strength.
5 Oh thou, the antidote of fear,
      The charmer of my heart;
   My comforts bloom when thou art near,
      And fade if thou depart.
6 Let others boast whate’er they please,
      Their hopes I’ll not contest:
   Smile thou and I can live at ease,
      Or die divinely blest.
                           Thomas Greene, 1780.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

Spurgeon Sermon Updates

Email me when new sermons are posted:

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390