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Sermon on Psalm Sixty Four

Sermon on Psalm Sixty Four

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Published by glennpease
W. J. STRACEY


And all men that see it shall say. This hath God done, for they shall
perceive that it is His work." — Psalm Ixiv. 9.
W. J. STRACEY


And all men that see it shall say. This hath God done, for they shall
perceive that it is His work." — Psalm Ixiv. 9.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 01, 2013
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06/02/2014

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SERMO O PSALM SIXTY FOUR W. J. STRACEYAnd all men that see it shall say. This hath God done, for they shallperceive that it is His work." — Psalm Ixiv. 9.THIS is anotlier of those Psalms which follow oneanother, and are all attributed to David, duringthat period of his life while he was being persecutedby Saul — hunted, as it is said, like a partridge on themountains.There is a great resemblance in many particularsbetween this Psalm and the seventh, which is alsoattributed to David in the earlier period of his life,before he became king ; and there is an old traditionamong the Jews, that this Psalm was not only propheticof Daniel, but that it formed his special prayer to Godwhen cast into the lions' den at Babylon ; and remem-bering how, as the Apostle says, " Our great Adversary theDevil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whomhe may devour ; " it is remarkable that its words areinterwoven into both the Second Collects in our OrderIII. H98 PSALM LXIV.of Morning and Evening Prayer. In the first we pray,''Defend us, Thy humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies, that we, surely trusting in Thy defence,may not fear the power of any adversary;" and in thelatter Collect we pray, "That both our hearts maybe set to obey Thy commandments, and also that byThee we being defended from the fear of our enemiesmay pass our time in rest and quietness."
 
Such was David's desire that Saul might relent, andthat his heart being turned towards him, as in earlierand happier years, he might be allowed to live inpeace. It is a noble saying of David's son (ProverbsXXV. 21), which S. Paul has woven into that beautifulchapter on Christian perfection (Romans xii.), "If thine enemy hunger, feed him ; if he thirst, give himdrink, for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire onhis head." But Saul, if he relented at all for amoment, that was all; till, like the progress of Judas inlater times, from sin to sin, he fell among his slaughteredpeople on the mountains of Gilboa. So in years before,while Pharaoh was hardening his heart against allconviction or remorse, God was moulding Moses andthe people for the great event of their deliverance fromEgypt. He did the same in and for David.These Psalms, which follow in succession, show howoften and how earnestly David lifted up his heart andhis voice in prayer to God, and in due time wasdelivered out of all his trouble. But what is thisIT WAS SO OF OLD. 99but the history of all the great lives which stand outin God's Word for our example and imitation ? It isas we say, week by week, "0 God, we have heard withour ears, and our fathers have declared unto us thenoble works which Thou didst in their days, and in theold time before them." Thus was righteous oah savedfrom the otherwise universal destruction, and madeheir of all things, and was sent forth to repeople thedrowned world. So was Abraham called out of hisnative heathen land, and preserved through all dangers,to become the Father of the Faithful, the Father of Israel, as numerous as the Stars of Heaven for mul-titude, and the Progenitor of our Lord Jesus Christaccording to the flesh. So it was with Jacob, so with
 
Joseph, so with Moses, first preserved from drowningand starvation when cast out upon the river, then savedfrom Pharaoh's wrath, and again, in forty years' time,from another Pharaoh, who again and again refused tolet the people go. And, not to name more, so was itwith Daniel, whose name is, as I have said, especiallyconnected with this sixty-fourth Psalm, when, forGod's sake, he was cast into the den of hungry lions atBabylon ; but their mouths were shut that they shouldnot hurt God's faithful prophet.In looking back upon the lives of each and all of these great names of old, we may well say, in thewords of my text from this Psalm, " This hath Goddone : this is His work." But the greatest life of allI03 PSAZJf LXIV.is tlie truest fulfilment of all of these words. Forthat life in all that it accomplished, especially at lastin the triumph of the Cross, and Eesurrection, Ascen-sion, and Mission of the Holy Ghost, was not done bvGrod intermediately, as we may say, in what He doesto and for us at any time, but it was done by GodSinuelf, in the very Person of the Eternal Son — "Thouart Christ, the Son of the Liring God." This is thekeystone of the Christian arch. This is the Foundationon which all other Christian truths are built ; this theRock on which the Church is built, which can never failin anv land while it is held to fast and faithfullv:no man only, though truly man, but the EternalSon, the Terv Word of God, and Creator of all things," By Whom all things were made, and without Whomwas not anything made that was made." And thoughthe history of that greatest life of all is the most truefulfilment of all, in what it did and accomplished of these words, " All men shall say. This hath God done,for they shall perceive that it is His work." Yet, my

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