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64. Praise and Prayer

Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, 2As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! 3When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. 4For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. 5Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. 6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. 8But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

9Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. 10Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. 11Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste. 12Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O Lord? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?

12. Wilt thou restrain thyself for these things, O Jehovah? The people strengthen themselves by assured confidence, that God will not permit his glory to be trampled under foot, though men provoke him by innumerable transgressions. This can yield no consolation of any kind to hypocrites, but relates solely to those who are moved by a true sense of the mercy of God. Such persons believe and are fully persuaded, though death threaten them, that God will nevertheless have regard to his own glow, and will at least be gracious to the remnant, that the seed may not perish.

And wilt thou afflict us beyond measure? 197197     “That is, Canst thou hold out against so many moving considerations? Is it possible that thou canst behold thy children in chains, thy city in ruins, thy temple a heap of stones, and not be prevailed on to pity and put an end to our great afflictions?” — White. He shews that it is impossible for God not to be mindful of his mercy; for “he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13.) But our salvation is connected with his glory. This ought to be carefully observed; for, after having spoken of the glory of God, he adds, “Thou wilt not afflict us beyond measure.” The Lord will therefore restrain his chastisements; for his glory, which he cannot disregard, is deeply involved in our deliverance from death. To this prayer, therefore, let us betake ourselves whenever we are attacked by our enemies; not in the manner of hypocrites, (who haughtily boast of the glory of God, of which they have no experience whatever,) but with repentance and faith, that we may actually obtain the fruit of that glory.

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