The Saint in Trial

Psalm 39  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Psalm 39
We have in this Psalm the spirit in which the saint should meet trial in the sense of his own evil, and receive it as a chastisement on his own faults. No doubt the Psalm puts before us in a peculiar manner the Jewish people in the latter day, when they will be in very great trouble, and their own fault will have brought them into it-for the people at whose hands they suffer are only the rod which God will use to correct them for their faults. Now, if I am in trouble, and finding it is my own fault that has brought me into it, what can I say? But " I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue," &c., (verse 1,) or, " Deliver me from all my transgressions; make me not the reproach of the foolish. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, because thou didst it." (Ver. 8, 9.)
" I would add here that there is a government which God exercises in the world-in providence I mean-not visibly and ostensibly of course, but really nevertheless, and the principle of which He exercises also in respect of the saint. " If ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear." That is the relationship of children brings under the exercise of discipline, instead of exempting from it. The Father judges them-net as to final judgment, fur in this respect " the Father judgeth no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son." But it is not a question of judgment hereafter, but of the Father judging His children. And it is very important for a saint to know that this government is going on every day. It is a great principle in the government of God; and if a saint meets trial in the world in a right spirit, it is with the consciousness of its being the consequence of his own failure. " I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue. I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me." Because the natural tendency of the heart is to "fret itself because of evil doers," therefore one has to watch." "I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good." "My heart was hot within me, and while I was musing the fire burned, then spake I with my tongue." Now what effect had this upon him? Did it lead him to ask to have the evils removed or turned away? No, but it turns him to self-judgment. "Lord, make me to know my end and the measure of my days what it is, that I may know how frail I am." It is the nothingness of all that is around and all that he is that he would learn. "Surely every man walketh in a vain show—they are disquieted in vain, and now Lord what wait I for? my hope is in thee." He occupies himself with God. "Deliver me from all my transgressions, make me not the reproach of the foolish." It is to the Lord he says this. His hope is in God, though he is full of transgressions. When he had got so far as to see that man is altogether vanity, he is dumb. "I opened not my mouth because thou didst it." And because God loves us, he will not leave us without chastisement. "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth." "I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, so thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin." (Psa. 32:55I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (Psalm 32:5).) He does not mean in reference to the final judgment, but to daily forgiveness. We have need of constant exercise and trial, that the heart may be brought to a consciousness of its own relation to God, and condition before God, and then there is perfect quiet. There must be perfect confidence when we get there. It is but saying we are perfect vanity and nothingness; and then He lifts us up, and we can say, " but my hope is in thee."