Browse Tag: Psalm 119

Blessed are the Undefiled in the Way

Thomas Manton
Thomas Manton, 1620 – 1677

Reading Psalm 119 is a great enjoyment to me. I am endeavoring to memorize it. (Progress is much slower than I would like.) The Psalm consists of 176 verses divided into 22 stanzas. Many days I read through the entire Psalm by reciting a stanza every 30 minutes through the day. I start at 9 AM and finish at 7:30 PM. For me, it’s a good way to meditate on the Word of God – especially since this Psalm is specifically about the Word of God!

I also like to read commentaries and devotional writings centered on Psalm 119. I am meditatively making my way through W. S. Plumer’s commentary on the Psalm. I am halfway through the thoughtful slender volume, Psalm 119 for Life by Hywel R. Jones. Plus I have an everlasting warm spot in my heart for Charles Bridges’ Exposition of Psalm 119, as I wrote about here: Marked with the Stamp of Divine Purpose.

Now imagine my delight when I discovered (thanks to Hywel Jones) that Thomas Manton preached 190 sermons on Psalm 119 and they are available online for FREE! Sign me up!

I read the first sermon on Psalm 119:1 this afternoon. “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” The following paragraph struck me, created a thirst in me, and motivated me to pray.

Take the law of God for your rule. Study the mind of God, and know the way to heaven, and keep exactly in it. It is an argument of sincerity when a man is careful to practice all that he knows, and to be inquisitive to know more, even the whole will of God, and when the heart is held under awe of God’s word. If a commandment stand in the way, it is more to a gracious heart than if a thousand bears and lions were in the way – more than if an angel stood in the way with a flaming sword: Proverbs 13:13, ‘He that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.’ Would you have blessing from God? – fear the commandment. It is not he that fears wrath, punishment, inconveniences, troubles of the world, molestations of the flesh; no, but he that dares not make bold with a commandment… Thus a child of God doth reason when the devil comes and sets a temptation before him, and being zealous for God, dares not comply with the lusts and humors of men, though they should promise him peace, happiness, and plenty. A wicked man makes no bones of a commandment; but a godly man, when he is in a right posture of spirit, and the awe of God is upon him, dare not knowingly and wittingly go aside and depart from God.

Thomas Manton, Sermons on Psalm 119, Sermon 1

One clarification from Manton: “This is called a way [‘Blessed are the undefiled in the way’], and this way is said to be God’s law, and in this way we must be undefiled; which implies not absolute purity and legal perfection, but gospel sincerity.”

“Lord, by Your Holy Spirit, create in me such sincerity that I might walk with you.”

Marked with the Stamp of Divine Purpose

Today, New Years Eve, I read the following comments on Ecclesiastes by Charles Bridges.

Ecclesiastes 8:6, 7 – “Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him. For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?”

All concerning us is determined in the counsels of God, and all in judgment. The time is the best time, because it is God’s time. It is a solemn thought to us all – most precious to the Christian – that each of us has been in the mind of God – the subject of the thoughts of God – from all eternity. Every particle of our being – every trial – every step in our journey – the most minute as well as the most important – everything has been marked with the stamp of Divine purpose. And what a dignity does it give to the veriest trifle of circumstance or work? Yet what can be called a trifle, that is a link in the purpose of the great Sovereign?

What a beautiful lovely prospect, to be “the subject of the thoughts of God from all eternity!” It’s mind blowing, really.

I am thankful that Jesus Christ has made Himself known to me in 2021. After many years of forgetting Him, ignoring Him, denying Him – living in sin with abandon – He opened my mind and heart to His truth again. Interestingly enough, He used another book by Charles Bridges (Exposition of Psalm 119) to trigger these circumstances. To pull that book out of a box in which it was packed for so many years, to see the markings and notes I made when I first read it in 1995, to remember how that book brought me closer to Jesus long ago – made me ask, “What happened to me that I am not that person of faith today?” I consider this to be a great mercy for which I am sincerely grateful.

I am ending 2021 and entering 2022 with the firm conviction that “everything has been marked with the stamp of Divine purpose.” May the fruits of the Spirit be the evidence of my faith in the new year. May those fruits be in more abundant evidence in 2022 than they ever were in 1995 or any previous time of my life.