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David's Love to God's Ordinances

David's Love to God's Ordinances

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David's love to god's ordinances.

Ps. xxvii. 4. One thing haue I desired of the Lord, that will I
seek after ; that I may divtll in the House of the Lord all. the
days of my life^ to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to
inquire in his Temple.

David's love to god's ordinances.

Ps. xxvii. 4. One thing haue I desired of the Lord, that will I
seek after ; that I may divtll in the House of the Lord all. the
days of my life^ to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to
inquire in his Temple.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 20, 2014
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David's love to god's ordinances.
Ps. xxvii. 4. One thing haue I desired of the Lord, that will I
seek after ; that I may divtll in the House of the Lord all. the
days of my life^ to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to
inquire in his Temple.
MOST of the saints recorded in the holy Scrip-
tures were eminent for some particular grace. In
Abraham, faith was chiefly conspicuous ; in Job,
patience ; in Moses, meekness ; in Elijah, faithful-
ness and intrepidity. In respect of devotion, David
seems to have surpassed all others. Of none have
we such ample and minute accounts, in relation to
this matter, as we have of him. His public ad-
dresses to the Deity, his private communion with
him, the inmost recesses of his heart when in his
closet or upon his bed, are all laid open to us. On
this account the Psalms are pre-eminently useful to
all who wish to cultivate a devout spirit, and to
maintain a close walk with God. The expression
before us may serve as a specimen of the whole.
In discoursing upon it, I will,
I. Set before you the example of David —
The one object of his desire was to enjoy the or-
dinances of his God —
[David was not of the tribe to which the priesthood exclu-
sively belonged : yet would he gladly have possessed the privilege
of the Priests, in having his stated residence as near as possible
to the tabernacle of his God. But though this could not be, he
determined, by the constancy of his attendance there, to make
it, as it were, his residence and habitation. This indeed was
" the one object of his desire :" and in comparison of it there
was nothing in the world that he wished for. To this he made
every thing subservient : even the affairs of State were not suf-
fered so to occupy his mind as to divert his attention from the
service of the Sanctuary. This one object he sought, and " de-
termined to seek it" *^ to the latest hour of his life," He
*' sought it of the Lord " too, intreaiing him so to order and
overrule every thing, that he might imt be forced away from Je-
rusalem, or, whilst there, be kept away from the ordinances of
his God. If at any time he was, by the efforts of his enemies,
prevented from waiting upon God, he mourned over it, and
*' panted
347.] David's love to god's ordinances. 71
*' panted after the return of those blessed seasons even as the
hunted deer panteth after the water-brooks'*." On some occa-
sions, his enemies, knowing how painful to him his absence
from the tabernacle was, exulted over him, and said, " Where is
now thy God !" And so distressing to him were these impious
taunts, that " tears were his meat nigbt and day on account of
them''," and they were even " as a sword in his bones ''." At
those seasons he envied the swallows, that were able to build their
nests in the courts of God's House: he envied them, I say, their
proximity to the altar of his God'^. Everv day tliat was 'spent at
a distance from that, seemed, as it were, to be lost to his life ;
so entirely was his soul wrapped up in the enjovnient of Divine
ordinances, and in cultivating communion with his God.]
And this desire was founded on the benefit he had
derived from them —
[There " he beheld the beauty of the Lord ;" and there
" he inquired of the Lord," spreading before him, from day to
day, his every want, his every wish. He looked through the
various sacrifices that were offered there from day to day, and
beheld in them the perfections of his God. In the death of all
the victims he saw the desert of sin, and the justice of God,
which had denounced death as the punishment of sin. In the
acceptance of those sacrifices he saw the goodness and mercy of
God, who had appointed such offerings as means of leading the
people to that Great Sacrifice, which should in due time be offered
for the sins of the whole world. In the sprinklings and ablu-
tions that were practised, he beheld the holiness of God, who
would accept no sinner who should not be purged from his
iniquities, and be made holy after the Divine image. In the
whole of the services altogether he saw " mercy and truth met
together, and righteousness and peace kissing each other*."
Here he felt encouragement to pour out his soul before God,
and to ask whatsoever his returning necessities might require.
This, to him who«e trials were fo great and manifold, was an
unspeakable privilege. The extreme arduousness of his affairs
also rendered it most desirable to him to spread all his difficulties
before the Lord, and to ask counsel of him for his direction. True
it was, that in private he could carry his affairs to the Lord, and
in)plore help from him: but, as the public ordinances were of
God's special appointment, and as the High Priest was the esta-
blished medium of access to him, and of communications from
him, he delighted more particularly to wait upon God there ;
that so, whilst he received blessings in a more abundant mea-
sure from God, he might glorify God in the sight of all
* Ps. xlii. 1,2. ^ ib. ver. 3. * ib. ver. 10.
* Ps. Ixxxiv. 1 — 4. • Ps. Ixxxv. 10.
72 PSALMS, XXVII. 4. [347.
Admiring, as I do, this bright example, I beg
leave to,
II. Commend it to your imitation —
We have far greater reason to love the House of
God than ever David had —
[If the beauty of the Lord was visible in the Jewish wor-
ship, how much more so must it be in the ordinances of the
Gospel ! David beheld the perfections of his God only under
types and shadows : but we behold them reflected as in a glass
or mirrour, with transcendent brightness, and all shining with
united splendor in the face of Jesus Christ. We see, not bulls
and goats, but the very Son of God himself, " Jehovah's fellow,"
ollered in sacrifice for the sins of men. What then must the
justice be that required such a sacrifice ! 'What tlie love, l\\dX
gave HIM from the Father's bosom to be a sacrifice I What the
mercy, that spared not him, in order that ave, enemies and rebels,
might be spared ! So imperfectly was this mystery known under
the Jewish dispensation, that all, even the most exalted Prophets,
were in a state of comparative darkness : but now, " the things
which from the beginning of the world eye had not seen, nor ear
heard, nor had it entered into the heart of man to conceive, are
revealed unto us by the Spirit V so that we can truly and empha-
tically say, " The darkness is past, and the true light now
shineth s." John the Baptist was greater in this respect than all
the Prophets ; because he personally saw and bare witness to
Him, whom all the other Prophets spoke of obscurely, and at
the distance of many hundred years : but, great as John was,
*' the least and lowest in the Gospel kingdom is greater than he*"."
In our ordinances, Jesus Christ is so fully revealed, that he may
be said to be " evidently set forth crucified before our eyes* :"
and at his holy table we " eat his flesh, and drink his blood," as
truly in a spiritual sense, as we do really and substantially eat
the bread and drink the wine by which they are represented. We
see that through the virtue of this sacrifice God is so reconciled
tons, as to "behold no iniquity in us'':" for, viewing us as
clothed in the righteousness of his dear Son, he beholds us
" without spot or blemish'." Moreover as by faith we see the
Lord Jesus canying his own blood within the veil, so we also
hear him making intercession for us at the right hand of God:
yea, and, " out of the fulness that is treasured up in him we
receive" all the blessings that he has purchased for us. How
often are we, in the experience of these things, constrained to
cry out with the prophet, " How great is his goodness ! how
^1 Cor. ii. 9, 10. » 1 John ii. 8. '' Matt. xi. II.
J Gal. iii. i. ^ jsjuj^b. xxiii. 21. J Eph. v. 27.
047.] David's love to god's ordinances. 73
great is his beauty"'!" And how often, in rapturous admiration
of him, do we pray with the Psalmist, " Let the beauty of the
Lord our God be upon us !" In truth, it is by thus " behold-
ing as with unveiled face the glory of the Lord, we are changed
into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of
the Lord"."
or have we less the advantage of David in relation to the
things which we would ask of God: for we are able to inquire
more explicitly and distinctly of our God than he could. He
indeed might say with Moses, " Lord, shew me thy glory :" and
God would, as in the case of Moses, " make all his goodness to
pass before him°." But audible sounds conveyed nothing to them
in comparison of what shall be disclosed to us by the still
small voice of God's Holy Spirit, speaking in us through the
written word. To us all the blessings of the Covenant are
laid open : and, as God, when he revealed them, said, " I will
be inquired of concerning these things to do themP," we are
at liberty to take that covenant, and spread it before the Lord,
and to ask of him every distinct blessing that is contained in
it. We may lay hold on every promise that we can find in
the Inspired Volume, and plead it with God, and have it ful-
filled to our souls Besides, ive can ask i?i the name of
Jesus Christ; which none of the Prophets ever could. And with
what confidence can we do that, when we reflect on the relation
which subsists between the Father and the Son, and the express
engagement which the Father has made to answer every petition
which is offered in his Son's name'i ! Moreover, the par-
ticular promise of the Lord Jesus to be more immediately with
his people in the public ordinances, and to grant whatever any
number of his congregated people shall agree to ask"", is a still
further encouragement to us to frequent the House of God : for
experience proves, that still, as formerly, " God loveth the gates
of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob ^"]
We should therefore desire it no less than David
[We should make a point of attending on all stated occa-
sions the ordinances of our God. We should not suffer any
trifling matter to detain us from them : and, if we are kept from
them by any means, it should fill us with grief rather than com-
placency : and we should determine as soon as possible to remove
the obstacle that deprives us of so great a blessing.
More particularly, we should keep in mind what it is that we
should go thither to obtain ; nor ever consider the true object of
the ordinances as attained, unless we be enriched with brighter
•^ Zech. ix. 17. » 2 Cor. ill. 18. " Exod. xxxiii. 18, I9.
P Ezek. xxxvi. 37. 1 John xvi. 23, 24.
[ Matt, xviii. I9, 20. ' Ps. Ixxxyii. 2.
74 PSALMS, XXVII. 4. [^47.
views of his beauty, and more enlarged discoveries of his excel-
lency We should consider too, what our more immediate
necessities require ; so that we may be ready to spread them all
before him, and to inquire of him respecting them
Then the more enlarged our expectations of benefit from the
ordinances are, the more abundant will be God's communications
of blessings to us by them. If we " open our mouths ever so
wide, he will fill them'."]
To this I would urge you, from the consideration,
that such love to God's ordinances is,
1. Most conducive to your present happiness —
[Hear the testimony of David himself: " Blessed is the
man whom thou choosestand causest to approach unto thee, that
he may dwell in thy courts : he shall be satisfied with the good-
ness of thy House, even of thy holy Temple"." And with this
agrees the experience of every living saint. Hence every true
Believer can say, " Lord, 1 liave loved the hal)itation of thy
House, and the place where th'ine honour dwelleth "" : or rather,
the more appropriate language of his heart is, " O God, thou
art mv God : early will I seek thee : my soul thirsteth for thee ;
my flesh longeth for thee, in a dry and thirsty land, where no
water is ; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee
in the sanctuary^'." 1 will leave you to judge, whether a person
with such desires, and such enjoyments, be not happy. And if
vou are persuaded that he must be so, then seek your own hap-
piness in this way, in which you catmot possibly be disappointed :
for " he never said to any, Seek ye my face in vain."]
1. The best preparative for heaven —
[Heaven is a place of continued occupation ; of exercises
for which we are now to be trained. We must now obtain a
taste for heavenly employments ; and' in that taste real piety
consists. We quite mistake if we imagine that religion consi>ts
in notions or in forms : it is a taste ; a taste not formed by
nature or education ; but wrought in us by the Spirit of God :
and the accjuisition of this constitutes our mectncss for heaven.
What happiness could a soul that feels the exercises of devotion
irksome, find in heaven ; where the singing praises to God and to
the Lamb forms the one employment of all around the throne,
and will to all eternity ? If this be not the pleasure which you
chiefly affect in this world, be assured that you are not prepared
to unite with saints and angels in the world to come. U this be
not your state, whatever knowledge you may possess, you are
yet carnal : for God himself has said, that " tbey who are after
the flesh do mind {savour) the things of the flesh ; and they who
are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit^." I pray you then
' Ps. Ixxxi. 10. " Ps. Ixv. 4. ' Ps. xxvi. 8.
' Ps. Ixiii. \, 2, 4, 5. " Rom, viii. 5. ^^aiave-n.

to seek your happiness in God ; and never to rest, till you can
say of him, " Whom have I in heaven but Thee ? and there is
none upon earth that I desire besides Thee."]*
* If this be a subject at the Opening of a Church or Chapel, the
great need that there was of a place of worship may be stated, and
a hope expressed, that it may be the means of preparing many for the
Church above.

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