The Duty of Resignation
Psalm 39:9
I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because you did it.

Faith, obedience and patience are the three duties incumbent upon a Christian. Faith being a submission of our understanding; obedience, of our will; and patience, of the whole man to the will of God. The consideration of such a duty as patience is ever seasonable, to those in adversity, as a cordial to support them; to those in prosperity, as an amulet to guard them. We have in the text David's submissive deportment, and the reason for it.


1. Negatively. It is not insensibility to suffering. Nor abstaining from prayer for relief of it; nor from endeavour to remove it.

2. Positively, it is the submission of the understanding so that it shall approve God's procedure. Of the will, our chief faculty. Of the passions and affections, commonly so turbulent, and of the tongue, so as to refrain from hard and bitter speech, and of the Spirit, so that we abstain from all rage and revenge against the instruments of our affliction (2 Samuel 16:10). We are not called upon to account enemies as friends, but we are not to take revenge.

3. All this is very difficult. Therefore, consider the worth of such submissive spirit, how excellent it is (Romans 7:87). See it in Moses and especially in Christ. It was suffering which redeemed the world. But it is difficult, because of the opposition to it which we find in ourselves, and from the mean though mistaken opinion of it which the generality of men entertain. Therefore, there is needed an early and long endeavour after such an excellent frame of mind.

II. THE REASONS AND ARGUMENTS FOR IT because of our relation to God. Think —

1. Of God's irresistible power. How useless resistance is (1 Corinthians 10:22; Psalm 135:6). Then —

2. Of God's absolute sovereignty and dominion over all things, founded, as it is, upon the greatest and most undeniable title, which is that of creation and providence (Job 9:12; Revelation 4:11).

3. His infinite and unfailing wisdom, which is never at fault (Job 4:18). Would it be better for us to have our own way? Passengers in a ship always submit to their pilot's discretion.

4. His great goodness, benignity and mercy which is "over all His works." God does not willingly afflict (Lamentations 3:38; Isaiah 28:21). Consider also —

5. God's exact and inviolable justice. He could not do us wrong.

6. And how He rewards the submissive soul. "Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord." Could we but trust God to do our business for us, to assert our cause and vindicate our innocence, we should find that He would not only answer, but outdo our hopes.


1. The necessity of submission.

2. Its prudence. There are few things in the world so entirely bad but some advantage may be had of them by dexterous management. Like Isaac let us take the wood upon our shoulders, though we be designed for sacrifice, and who knows but that, as in his case, deliverance may come? (2 Corinthians 4:17). Inward if not outward relief will come to us if we submit.

3. Think also of the decency and comeliness of such submission (Daniel 5:28; Luke 21:19). Thus may we make ourselves happy in the most afflicted, abject and forlorn condition of life. Therefore, let us "take up our cross," "looking unto Jesus" as our great example and who, because He endured, "is now set down at the right hand of God."

(R. South, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.

WEB: I was mute. I didn't open my mouth, because you did it.

Submission Under Divine Chastisements
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