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Sermon on Psalm Twenty Eight

Sermon on Psalm Twenty Eight

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
W. J. STRACEY

" save Thy people, and give Thy blessing unto thine inheritance : feed
them, and set them up for ever." — Psalm xxviii. 10.
W. J. STRACEY

" save Thy people, and give Thy blessing unto thine inheritance : feed
them, and set them up for ever." — Psalm xxviii. 10.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 31, 2013
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SERMO O PSALM TWETY EIGHTW. J. STRACEY" save Thy people, and give Thy blessing unto thine inheritance : feedthem, and set them up for ever." — Psalm xxviii. 10.rriHIS psalm, like so many others, divides itself intotwo distinct parts. We have noticed this particu-larly in the 22nd Psalm, which begins with the verywords used by our Lord upon the cross, and gives usmany minute particulars respecting the Crucifixion, butafterwards changes into a song of triumph, ana" passesfrom the Cross to the Resurrection of our Lord JesusChrist from the dead. So in this psalm. It begins withan earnest supplication to God to hear the psalmist'sprayer ; thus : " Unto Thee will I cry, Lord mystrength : think no scorn of me ; lest, if Thou make asthough Thou hearest not, I become like them that godown to the pit (the grave). Hear the voice of myhumble petitions, when I cry unto Thee : when I holdup my hands towards the mercy -seat of Thy holyTemple." But at the seventh verse you will see howentirely the tone of the psalm changes. It passes fromprayer to praise, from entreating God to listen, to re-20 PSALM XXVIII. joicing in His having assuredly heard and answered thepsalmist's earnest supplication ; thus : " Praised be theLord : for He hath heard the voice of my humble petitions.The Lord is my strength and my shield ; my heart hathtrusted in Him, and I am helped : therefore my heartdanceth for joy, and in my song will I praise Him."I think one beautiful illustration of such waitingupon God, with its sure success, as described in thispsalm, is afforded us in the Gospel for the seventh
 
Sunday after Trinity, which is preceded, as you mayremember, by that beautiful collect, " Lord of all powerand might, Who art the Author and Giver of all goodthings." S. Mark's words these are : " In those daysthe multitude being very great, and having nothing toeat, Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and saith untothem, I have compassion on the multitude, because theyhave now been with Me three days, and have nothingo eat: and if I send them away fasting to their ownhouses, they will faint by the way : for divers of themcame from far." The connection between this psalmand this gospel lies in the patience and earnestness of this large multitude abiding with Christ for three wholedays, perfectly regardless of their bodily wants, far fromtheir homes, but finding all their needs supplied in amoment by miracle by Him who in the beginning madethe world, and all that is therein. This waiting uponHim in this way was really a three days' prayer — threedays spent in prayer to God ; for they came seeking theASK, AD YE SHALL RECEIVE. 21Bread of life, forgetting that they had with them no-thing to eat. Was it not a most true fulfilment, oneach like occasion, of those words He has left us all — " Seek ye first" (that is, above and before all otherthings) " the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness ;and all other things shall be added unto you ;" andthose with which the sermon on the mount began — " Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after right-eousness : for they shall be filled " ? We must provethe sincerity of our desires before we can expect ourprayers to be answered. Even S. Paul, when he feltthat bodily affliction (apparently, from other passages,affecting his eyesight), which he calls " a thorn in theflesh,"* a hindrance, as he had found it be, to the effectof his preaching, prayed that it might be taken awayfrom him. Yet three times, like the multitude's re-
 
maining three days in the wilderness, he repeated hisprayer before any answer was received to it. But theanswer so delayed, when granted, was far higher andbetter than, he had ever expected or hoped for. Hewas told, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for mystrength is made perfect in weakness."It is a common thing, brethren, for Satan to whisperto any man's heart, " It is no use going on with this* There is on this point a valuable note in Bishop Sumner's work on The Ministerial Character <>f Christ, p. 555 (edition 1835), on Gal.iv. 14-6, "Where is the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear yourecord, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out yourown eyes, and have given them to me."22 PSALM XXVIII.prayer of yours. Better leave it off, and think of some-thing else. God does not mean to give you your desire,or He would have done so before this," and so on. ow,if a man listens to this sort of suggestion, it betrays afailing of faith, and of trust in God, which may end ingreat unbelief. If we would gain what we desire in prayer,we must persevere, and not give up. We must bide God'stime, and not fix our own for His answer, or always look for His answer exactly in the way we ourselves expectedand intended. S. Paul's prayer is answered in the end ;but it is very differently from what he intended and de-sired. The multitude in the wilderness, who so eagerlyfollowed Christ into the wilderness, are sent none of themempty away. So this psalm begins by praying God tohear, and so soon after rejoices in His having done so.And just so, brethren, with ourselves on all sides of usat this moment. It was but a few weeks ago I directedyour thoughts, especially on those three days precedingthe Ascension of our Lord into heaven, which for this

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