The cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.
I. GOD IS WORTHY TO BE PRAISED. Not merely to be feared, entreated, strictly obeyed, and submitted to. He is worthy of thankful and rejoicing obedience and submission. It is not fitting that he should be served sullenly or silently; or that prayer to him should be as a cry of a slave to his master, or of one oppressed to his oppressor, or as a request for help addressed to a stranger. We should speak to him with the confidence and love which his relation to us and past goodness are fitted to inspire. One way of ensuring this is to blend praise with prayer.
II. WHAT IT IS THAT RENDERS HIM WORTHY TO BE PRAISED. Some obtain praise who are not worthy of it in any measure; others, much more than they deserve. But God is worthy of and "exalted above all blessing and praise" (Nehemiah 9:5). Whether we consider his nature, his regard for his creatures, his works or his gifts, we must feel that it is impossible to render him praise worthy of him. But to the utmost of our power we should praise him for:
1. His glorious perfections. Especially his infinite moral excellences - his truth, holiness, righteousness, and love.
2. His wonderful works. In creation, providence, and grace.
3. Specially, his redeeming mercy. His kindness to us in Christ. The display of his perfections in the gift, the Person, and the work of our Lord and Saviour. The mercy he exercises in the forgiveness of sin, the admission of sinners into his family, and all the operations by which he brings his "many sons [and daughters] unto glory," (Hebrews 2:10). The gift of the Holy Spirit for this purpose. The final bliss and glory.
4. The goodness of God to ourselves. Not forgetting that he is "worthy to be praised" for the commonest blessings we enjoy, as well as those distinguishing blessings which we receive as his children through faith in Christ. And not only for the blessings which give us pleasure, but for those which give us pain, but are bestowed that we may become in a greater measure "partakers of his holiness" (Hebrews 12:10).
III. BY WHOM HE OUGHT TO BE PRAISED.
1. By all his creatures according to their capacity. All his inanimate and irrational creatures do praise him. Their existence, qualities, order, and (as to the living creatures) their happiness "show forth the excellences" of their Creator. "All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord" (Psalm 145:10; comp. Psalm 148; Psalm 19:1-4). All intelligent beings ought to praise him; all the right minded of them do. Those who enjoy least of his bounty have much to thank him for, and often praise him more than those who enjoy most. We do not say that those who are suffering in hell the penalty due to their sins can be expected to praise him whose wrath abides so terribly upon them; although, if a somewhat fashionable doctrine be true, they have strong reasons for giving him thanks, since he is taking the wisest and best means to make them meet for the glory and joy in heaven which will at length be their portion!
2. Especially by his redeemed people. Who are the objects of his special regard and gracious operation, and to whom the work of praise on earth is peculiarly committed (Isaiah 43:21; 1 Peter 2:9). On some accounts the redeemed and regenerate have more reason to give thanks to God than those who have never sinned.
IV. THE KIND AND DURATION OF THE PRAISE OF WHICH HE IS WORTHY.
1. The kind. Clearly the best possible; which is not necessarily that which is most poetical or most musical, though in these respects man should do his best. But that is best of all which comes from the heart, and from a heart fullest of admiration, adoration, love, and gratitude. Much which professes to be praise of God is heartless mockery.
2. The duration. Forever and ever (Ephesians 3:21). While we have any being, in this world and the next (Psalm 145:1, 2; Psalm 146:2). For, as God is everlasting, the reasons for praising him can never end. - G.W.
And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies.
The Sciences as Sources of Illustration.Those meteoric stones, which sometimes fall to the earth, but which much more frequently, at certain seasons of the year, are seen shooting across the midnight sky, may also be fragments of the aforesaid world which has perished. These blocks of meteoric matter are flying through space, and when they get within the range of our atmosphere, there is an opposing medium, they have to drive through it at an enormous rapidity, and so they become burning hot, and thus they become visible. And, in like manner, I believe that there are plenty of good men in the world who are invisible till they get to be opposed, and being opposed, and having the love of God driving them on with tremendous momentum, they become red-hot with holy fervour, they overcome all opposition, and then they become visible to the eye of mankind. For my part, I rather like to pass through an opposing medium. I think that we all want to travel in that kind of atmosphere just to give us the sacred friction that will fully develop the powers with which we have been entrusted. If God has given us force, it is not at all a bad thing for us to be put where there is opposition, because we shall not be stopped by it, but shall by that very process be made to shine all the brighter as lights in the world.
(The Sciences as Sources of Illustration.).
TopicsBands, Caught, Coiled, Compassed, Confronted, Cords, Death, Encompassed, Encountered, Entangled, Grave, Hell, Nets, Prevented, Round, Seized, Sheol, Snares, Sorrows, Surrounded
Outline1. David's psalm of thanksgiving for God's deliverance and blessings
Dictionary of Bible Themes2 Samuel 22:6
8609 prayer, as praise and thanksgiving
LibraryDavid's Hymn of victory
'For Thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that, rose up against me hast Thou subdued under me. 41. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me. 42. They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the Lord, but He answered them not. 43. Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad. 44. Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, Thou hast …
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