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Psalm 5

Psalm 5

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY J. STRACEY. MA.



"/br th^Hif Lordf wilt give thy blessing unto the righteous; and with
thy favourable kindness wilt thou defend him as with a shield^

Psalm v. 12.
BY J. STRACEY. MA.



"/br th^Hif Lordf wilt give thy blessing unto the righteous; and with
thy favourable kindness wilt thou defend him as with a shield^

Psalm v. 12.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 13, 2013
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05/13/2013

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PSALM 5BY J. STRACEY. MA."/br th^Hif Lordf wilt give thy blessing unto the righteous; and withthy favourable kindness wilt thou defend him as with a shield^Psalm v. 12.THE two former psalms immediately before thisseem to have been prayers for the efoening. Thispsalm is one to be used in the morning. For both thelast psalms have referred to lying down to sleep ; butthis refers to our first work of each new day. "Myvoice," it says, " shalt thou hear betimes, Lord ; earlyin the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, andwill look up." I take the first six verses to be a sort of preparation for the prayers which follow. Its firstwords are a petition to God to hear His worshipper."Ponder my words, Lord, consider my meditation.hearken thou unto the voice of my calling, my Kingand my God : for unto thee will I make my prayer."one of us can practice too great reverence in ap-proaching God. The greatest saints have ever been themost cautious and careful to avoid all irreverence andcarelessness in their acts of worship, either in word ormanner. To this day most Eastern nations take off theirREVERECE I AD FOR COD'S HOUSE, 37shoes on entering their places of worship, and come inbarefoot. This custom very probably arose, if it didnot exist even before that, from the command toMoses when he drew near the bush which burnt withfire, but was not consumed, God called to him from themidst of the fire, and said, " Take off thy shoes from oflf thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holygroimd." We Christians mark our reverence for God'shouse of prayer by uncovering the head ; and, except asa matter of necessity, which may happen occasionally,we ought to do this at all times — not merely on Sun-days, but at any moment when we come into God's house ;for God's house is always equally sacred. And though,
 
my brethren, external reverence is thus good, and right,and necessary, yet I need scarcely say that the inwardpreparation of the heart is the most essential qualifi-cation for worshipping God aright. As the psalmistsays elsewhere, " I will worship toward thy holy templewith reverence and godly fear." It is for this purposethat all devout people, on first coming into their placein church, kneel down and pray to God, just as thepsalmist does in the first verse of this psalm, to heartheir prayers, and help them to worship Him with truedevotion and attention ; for, as our Lord says, " God isa Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Himin spirit and in truth." ext to this preparation forprayer is the time here spoken of — ** early in the morn-ing." like our Saviour's custom, to which I alluded in38 PSALM K dwelling upon the last psalm — "He rose up for Hisprayers a great while before it was yet day." The Sunof right^usness went forth to His prayer ere the sunof this world was shining on the earth. So should itbe with us, if need be. Hovjever early we may have tobegin and go forth to the work of each day, our prayersmvst be earlier still. We shall never enter heavenwithout prayer — ^without we are men of prayer. Wemight as well expect to Uve without breathing, as togrow in grace and finally be saved without regular,frequent, and earnest prayer. And, as I said before,whatever our difficulties may be in this respect, eitherfrom a crowded home or any other cause, somehow orother we must make, and if we really try to make, weshall always ^7w?, both a time and a place for our privateprayers. It is sad to think that we cannot leave God'shouse open for this purpose every day, and all day long,in every parish, as used to be. In foreign countries,even in Mahometan lands, so great is the respect feltfor 6od*s house, that no one would ever dream of doingan injury to it, or anything in it, by night or by day; sothat the Churches are left continually open at all hoursfor those who wish to enter in and pray. Thus it was atJerusalem ; and we know how continually our Lord, andafter Him His apostles, made use of the temple for thispurpose. " They were continually in the temple, praisingand blessing God." Surely, brethren, there aught to be
 
reverence enough in Christian people to preserve God*sA CHURCH SHOULD BE ALWA YS OPE. 39house from any profane treatment ; but, alas ! I fear itis not so amongst us. If it were left open at all hoursfor all people who wiU to enter in here and pray, I fearharm and evil would arise. Let us at least try to prac-tise ourselves, and teach others to practise, great loveand reverence for God's house, and the time may yetreturn when it could be safely left open all the week long for God's people to use it for private devotion.ext, the psalmist calls to mind how earnestly wemust aU try to avoid sin before our prayers can beacceptably offered up before God. o evil can dwellwith Him: " The foolish" (that is, in Scripture language,the ungodly and unbelieving) " shall not stand in God'ssight ; for He hateth all them that work iniquity." Thesin of lying is here especially mentioned as bringingupon us future destruction, as well also as cruelty anddeceit. These things God cannot bear with. Theyshut the door of heaven in our face, and render ourprayers, If we attempt to say them, useless, or worsethan that. And when we feel that our sins weigh uponus, and prevent our being able to pray acceptably ; if we ever feel in ourselves a desire to pray, but yet fearto approach the great and holy God whom we knowthat we have so often offended, what must be our firststep ? We must do like the awakened prodigal. Whenwe have thus " come to ourselves," we must arise and goto our Father, and say unto Him first of all, ** Father, Ihave sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no40 * PSALM K more worthy to be called thy son." We must bringbefore Grod with true faith the one great Sacrifice madeon the cross for all sins which are truly repented of and forsaken. We must plead the all-sufficient meritsof Him who died for us. " This is a true saying, andworthy of all men to be received, that Christ Jesuscame into the world to save sinners."

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