Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright…
I. THERE MAY AND SHOULD BE A CONJUNCTION, EVEN OF GREAT PETITIONS AND REQUESTS (AT ONCE) UNTO GOD. David ends not at that request (keep me from secret sins), but goes on also, O Lord, keep me from presumptuous sins; he multiplies his suits according to the multiplicity of his necessity and exigence. There be divers qualities about our prayers.
1. One is an urgent fervency.
3. Patient perseverance.
4. A variety or multiplicity of matter, like as a patient who comes to the physician, we may and should open not; only one want, but all our wants; and crave help not in one thing, but in every thing: we should multiply requests.Reasons hereof are these:
1. God can hear every request as well as anyone. A multiplied request as well as a single request: for He takes not, nor observes things by discourse, where one notion may be an impediment to the apprehension of another, but all things (by reason of His omniscience) are equally at once present unto Him.
2. Nay, He can grant many and great requests as easily as the single and smallest petition. The greatest gift comes as freely and readily out of His hand as the most common mercy.
3. Christ is as ready and able to implead many and great requests as well as some and inferior.
4. God hath for this end made manifold promises; therefore we may put up many and great requests at once.
5. Lastly, God is rich in mercy, and plenteous in compassion; His mercies are often styled manifold mercies.
II. THAT EVEN A GOOD CHRISTIAN SHOULD HAVE A FEAR OF GREAT SINS AS WELL AS A CARE OF SECRET SINS. "Keep me also from presumptuous sins." Reasons whereof may be these.
1. The latitude of original sin, which as it is yet remaining in the best, so it is in them an universal fountain naturally apt to any vile inclination.
2. The instances of great transgressions: even those saints who have been as the highest stars have left behind them their twinklings and sad eclipses. Now when cedars fall, should not the tender plants tremble? if the sins of others be not our fear, they may be our practice; what the best have done, the weakest may imitate if they do not hear and fear. He is a wise and sincere Christian who resists the smallest, and fears the greatest sins: Keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins. I observe from the words absolutely considered —
III. THAT A GOOD MAN IS GOD'S SERVANT. "Thy servant," etc. Servants, not of force, but of affection.
IV. THAT WE ARE GOD'S SERVANTS, SHOULD BE USED TO MOVE THE LORD TO HELP US AGAINST SINS.
V. THAT OUR SPECIAL RELATIONS TO GOD SHOULD BE SPECIAL REASONS TO WORK A CARE NOT TO SIN AGAINST GOD. The very nature of sin carries along with it a condemnation of sinning, because sin formerly is a transgression, an enemy, and a rebellion, which alone is an inglorious thing. Again, the laws and threatenings of God should be "as forcible cords to draw off the heart from sin. And again, all the mercies and goodness of God should exasperate the heart against sin. Again, all the attributes of God might hold us. Now, with these this also may come in, namely, the specialty of our relation to God, that we are His children. Reasons whereof are these —
1. Admissions of sinnings here do diffuse a greater ingloriousness to God: sin is more darkening in a white cloud than in a black, as a spot is more eminently disgraceful in a fair than in a foul cloth.
2. Their great sinnings do make them the sorer wounds and work: no sinning wounds so deep as such which have more mercy and goodness to control them. Oh then, let us improve our interest in our God. Should such a man as I flee, said Nehemiah; so then, should such a man as I sin thus, walk thus, live, do thus? Why? God is my God, He is my Father; I am His child, His servant.
(O. Sedgwick, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.