Psalm 119:53

Psalm 119: An Exposition
Charles Bridges

"Horror has taken hold of me,
because of the wicked who forsake your law."

While the remembrance of the Lord's judgments of old brings comfort to his people as regards themselves, yet it stirs up a poignancy of tender feeling for the ungodly. Indeed, to a feeling and reflecting mind the condition of a world lost in sin must arouse compassion and concern--a whole world lying in wickedness and therefore in ruins, the image of God effaced, the presence of God departed! Horror should take hold of us when we see the law of God so utterly forsaken, the law of him who created the world. Horror should take hold of us when we think of so much light and love shining from heaven in vain!

The world opposes all constraints to change its bias and turn it back to God. How much more does it refuse the love of God! Are you a believer? Then you will be most solicitous of the honor of God's law. Every strike at his law you will feel as a strike at your own heart. And if you are a believer, you will consider every man your brother. You will weep to see so many of them crowding into the broad road to destruction, perishing as the miserable victims of their own deceiving, murdering their own souls.

Yet how often does our apathy toward our own eternal interests diminish our tender regard for the honor of God. How is it that we can look with such indifference at the wicked who forsake God's law? Alarming indeed is the thought that we should regard the multitude sinking and going down to perdition as a matter of little or no concern. Alarming it is that we do not care that those professing the name of Christ, under the seal of baptism and partakers of the means of gospel grace, are, nevertheless, perishing!

We are not, however, to yield to such a feeling of horror that it paralyzes all efforts on their behalf; for do we owe them no duty, no prayer, no labor? Shall we look upon souls hastening to unutterable, everlasting torments and permit them to rush on blinded, unawakened, unalarmed? If it be a horror to see a brand apparently fitting itself for the fire, will there not be a wrestling endeavor on our part to pluck that brand out of the fire? Have we quite forgotten in our own case the fearful terrors of an unconverted state, the Almighty power of wrath and justice armed against us, the thunder of that voice declaring, "Vengeance belongs to me, I will repay"? Oh, if the love of the Savior and the love of souls were reigning with more mighty influence in our hearts, how much more devoted should we be in our little spheres of labor, how much greater our prayers until all the kingdom of Satan were subject to the obedience of the Son of God and conquered by the force of his omnipotent love!

But if the spirit of David, renewed but in part, was so filled with horror in the contemplation of the wicked, then what must have been the affliction, the intensity of the sufferings of Jesus during thirty-three years of continued contact with a world of sin? He was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. What words can express the condescension of his love in wearing "the likeness of sinful flesh," dwelling among sinners--yes, receiving sinners and eating with them?

Blessed Spirit, impart to us more of the mind of Christ Jesus, that the law of God may be increasingly precious in our eyes, and that we may be exceedingly jealous for the Lord God of Hosts! Help us by thy gracious influence to plead with sinners for God, and to plead for sinners with God!

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