The Trembling Flesh
Psalm 119:120
My flesh trembles for fear of you; and I am afraid of your judgments.

I. The psalmist, in this section, contemplates GOD'S WRATH AGAINST SINNERS (vers. 118, 119). Then apparently his thought goes on to his own case, and what is likely to be his own sentence. He is disturbed by the contemplation of that sharp judgment which he must undergo in the day when his soul shall go forth from the body.

II. THE EXPRESSION WHICH HE USES IS A VERY REMARKABLE ONE. "My flesh trembleth for fear of Thee." When a man's body reveals his fright it has quite mastered him.

III. IS NOT THIS A SERVILE FEAR, unbecoming the Christian who has given himself up to be our Lord's disciple?

1. There are, however, among professing Christians those who, by weakly continuing in some evil habit, have reduced themselves to the condition of servility.

2. There are professing Christians who have no very especial besetting sin of the mortal type, who yet go on without fervour and without making any progress in the spiritual life. They know that they have many faults, small faults in the world's eyes, yet which, when tolerated, make the life thoroughly un-Christlike. They acquiesce in these. It does not make much difference what the defect of character may be, the grievous thing about it is that there is no faithful persistent effort to conquer it. Wherever there is found a soul like that it may well be permeated with servile fear as it contemplates the judgment, for that sort of offenders will not find mercy in the day of their sentence.

3. There are many more who ought to feel a servile fear of the wrath of God when they contemplate their lives seriously because they are not doing all that they can to put away their sins.

IV. THOSE WHO ARE MOST IN EARNEST IN SEEKING TO PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR THE JUDGMENT OF THE LAST DAY ARE THE ONES WHO TREMBLE MOST AT THE THOUGHT OF THAT JUDGMENT. And with very earnest souls it ceases to be a servile fear because they trust themselves more and more unreservedly to the Divine mercy. The secret of perfect trust is perfect self-distrust. And there is nothing which helps more to a realization of one's unworthiness than the contemplation of the just judgment of God as He reveals it in Holy Writ.

(Arthur Ritchie.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.

WEB: My flesh trembles for fear of you. I am afraid of your judgments. AYIN

Confidence in God's Judgments Blending with Fears
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