Psalms 39

* David meditates on man's frailty. (1-6) He applies for pardon

and deliverance. (7-13)1-6 If an evil thought should arise in the mind, suppress it.

Watchfulness in the habit, is the bridle upon the head;

watchfulness in acts, is the hand upon the bridle. When not able

to separate from wicked men, we should remember they will watch

our words, and turn them, if they can, to our disadvantage.

Sometimes it may be necessary to keep silence, even from good

words; but in general we are wrong when backward to engage in

edifying discourse. Impatience is a sin that has its cause

within ourselves, and that is, musing; and its ill effects upon

ourselves, and that is no less than burning. In our greatest

health and prosperity, every man is altogether vanity, he cannot

live long; he may die soon. This is an undoubted truth, but we

are very unwilling to believe it. Therefore let us pray that God

would enlighten our minds by his Holy Spirit, and fill our

hearts with his grace, that we may be ready for death every day

and hour.
7-13 There is no solid satisfaction to be had in the creature;

but it is to be found in the Lord, and in communion with him; to

him we should be driven by our disappointments. If the world be

nothing but vanity, may God deliver us from having or seeking

our portion in it. When creature-confidences fail, it is our

comfort that we have a God to go to, a God to trust in. We may

see a good God doing all, and ordering all events concerning us;

and a good man, for that reason, says nothing against it. He

desires the pardoning of his sin, and the preventing of his

shame. We must both watch and pray against sin. When under the

correcting hand of the Lord, we must look to God himself for

relief, not to any other. Our ways and our doings bring us into

trouble, and we are beaten with a rod of our own making. What a

poor thing is beauty! and what fools are those that are proud of

it, when it will certainly, and may quickly, be consumed! The

body of man is as a garment to the soul. In this garment sin has

lodged a moth, which wears away, first the beauty, then the

strength, and finally the substance of its parts. Whoever has

watched the progress of a lingering distemper, or the work of

time alone, in the human frame, will feel at once the force of

this comparison, and that, surely every man is vanity.

Afflictions are sent to stir up prayer. If they have that

effect, we may hope that God will hear our prayer. The believer

expects weariness and ill treatment on his way to heaven; but he

shall not stay here long : walking with God by faith, he goes

forward on his journey, not diverted from his course, nor cast

down by the difficulties he meets. How blessed it is to sit

loose from things here below, that while going home to our

Father's house, we may use the world as not abusing it! May we

always look for that city, whose Builder and Maker is God
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