Evening, January 20, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways.” — Psalm 119:37
There are different kinds of vanity. The cap and bells of the jester; the perverse mirth of the world; the dance, the music, and the drinking of the self-indulgent, all these men know to be vanity; they wear upon their forefront their proper name and title. Far more treacherous are those equally vain things, the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. A man may follow vanity as truly in the stock exchange as in the concert hall. If he is spending his life in amassing wealth, he passes his days in a vain show. Unless we follow Christ, and make our God the great object of life, we only differ in appearance from the most frivolous. It is clear that there is much need of the first prayer of our text. “Revive me in your ways.” The Psalmist confesses that he is dull, heavy, lumpy, all but dead. Perhaps, dear reader, you feel the same. We are so sluggish that the best motives cannot enliven us, apart from the Lord himself. What! Will not hell stir me up? Shall I think of sinners perishing, and yet not be awakened? Will not heaven revive me? Can I think of the reward that awaits the righteous, and yet be cold? Will not death revitalize me? Can I think of dying, and standing before my God, and yet be idle in my Master’s service? Will not Christ’s love compel me? Can I think of his dear wounds, can I sit at the foot of his cross, and not be stirred with fervency and passion? It seems so! No mere consideration can stir us up to passion, but God himself must do it, hence the cry, “Enliven me.” The Psalmist breathes out his whole soul in passionate pleadings: his body and his soul unite in prayer. “Turn away my eyes,” says the body: “Make me alive,” cries the soul. This is a fit prayer for every day. O Lord, hear it in my case this night.