Submission Under Divine Chastisements
Psalm 39:9
I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because you did it.


1. It is not a silence arising from an unfeeling disregard to affliction. We are not told to do violence to our nature.

2. It is not a sullen silence, like the sulky humour of an ill-managed child, who stubbornly refuses to speak when any of his wishes are not gratified.

3. Neither is it a silence which springs from natural con. stitution, or from good sense, as it is called, either natural or acquired. Such silence, such submission cannot be acceptable to God, inasmuch as God is not at all regarded in it.

4. Again, men may be silent under their afflictions, lest by murmurings they should bring down upon themselves yet worse. Such submission however has respect to self rather than to God.

5. It is not a despairing silence.

II. WHAT IT IS. "Because Thou didst it."

1. The Christian in his afflictions considers who God is. He sees in them the hand of one who is Almighty, the High and Mighty One, perfectly holy, and just, and good. And looking at himself, who is but sinful dust and ashes, he says, "How shall I dare to murmur against God?"

2. But while the Christian silently submits himself to God, from a deep sense of His power and majesty, his fear is mixed with love, for he views God not only as an almighty Sovereign, but as a kind parent.

3. The Christian calls to mind the gracious and valuable purposes for which God afflicts His children, and in them he finds fresh motives for silent resignation.

4. The pious sufferer quiets himself under affliction with the reflection that God will not always be chiding; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

5. The Christian, when he is under God's afflicting hand, gives himself up entirely to His disposal; in firm confidence that he suffers according to the will of God, infinite power did it. "Ah!" you say, "we know that but too well. The stroke is on our hearts and homes. It is written on fresh graves, and in the scar of dreary partings." All true. But has power no other aspect than this terrible one? Shall we symbolize it only by a hand hurling thunderbolts? or may we not picture a band, strong indeed, but open, and pouring forth blessings? "All power is given unto me," says Jesus. Yet He laid His hand on blind eyes, and they saw; on the paralytic, and he leaped and ran. God did it, and therefore I know that infinite love did it. That is a piece of knowledge worth having indeed. Surely, when we reach that, we find the rock yielding water. Ah! we have to creep back for rest into the shadow of love after all. And how this truth gathers power when we go to this text, taking Christ with us! How it kindles under His touch! God did it; and I look up into that face of unspeakable love, with its thorn-marked brow, and say, "Thou didst it. He that hath seen Thee hath seen the Father. I am in sorrow; the sorrow is driven home by a pierced hand: Thou didst it. The pierced hand tells me of the loving heart behind the hand; and, if love hath done it, let me be silent and content."

(M. R. Vincent, 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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