Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Reproach and contempt

From the additional notes to Charles Spurgeon's The Treasury of David, on Psalm 119, verse 22: Remove from me reproach and contempt for I have kept your testimonies.
The points from hence are many.
1. It is no strange thing that they which keep God's testimonies should be slandered and reproached.
2. As it is the usual lot of God's people to be reproached; so it is very grievous to them, and heavy to bear.
3. It being grievous, we may lawfully seek the removal of it. So doth David, and so may we, with submission to God's will.
4. In removal of it, it is best to deal with God about it; for God is the great witness of our sincerity, as knowing all things, and so to be appealed to in the case. Again, God is the most powerful asserter of our innocency; he hath the hearts and tongues of men in his own hands, and can either prevent the slanderer from uttering reproach, or the hearer from the entertainment of the reproach. He that hath such power over the consciences of men can clear up our innocency; therefore it is best to deal with God about it; and prayer many times proves a better vindication than an apology.
5. In seeking relief with God from this evil, it is a great comfort and ground of confidence when we are innocent of what is charged. In some cases we must humble ourselves, and then God will take care for our credit; we must plead guilty when, by our own fault, we have given occasion to the slanders of the wicked: so, "Turn away my reproach, which I fear: for thy judgments are good" (Psalms 119:39). "My reproach, "for it was in part deserved by himself, and therefore he feared the sad consequences of it, and humbled himself before God. But at other times we may stand upon our integrity, as David saith here: "Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good." Thomas Manton.
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