Evening, March 16, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins.” — Psalm 19:13
This was the prayer of the “man after God’s own heart.” Did David, holy as he was, need to pray this way? How needed, then, must such a prayer be for us babies in grace! It is as if he said, “Keep me back, or I shall rush headlong over the precipice of sin.” Our evil nature, like an ill-tempered horse, is quick to run away. May the grace of God put the bridle upon it, and hold it back, that it not rush into trouble. What might not the best of us do if it were not for the checks which the Lord sets upon us both in His foreseeing care and in grace! The psalmist’s prayer is directed against the worst form of sin—that which is done with deliberation and willfulness. Even the holiest of us need to be “kept back” from the vilest transgressions. It is a solemn thing to find the apostle Paul warning believers against the most despicable sins. “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” What! Do believers need warning against such sins as these? Yes, they do. The whitest robes, unless their purity is preserved by divine grace, will be defiled by the blackest spots. Experienced Christian, do not boast in your experience; yes, you will trip if you look away from him who is able to keep you from falling. You, whose love is impassioned, whose faith is constant, whose hopes are bright, do not say, “We shall never sin,” but rather cry out, “Lead us not into temptation.” There is enough kindling in the heart of the best of men to light a fire that shall burn to the lowest hell, unless God chooses to quench the sparks as they fall. Who would have dreamed that righteous Lot could be found drunken, and committing immorality? Hazael said, “But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing? We are very apt to use the same self-righteous question. May infinite wisdom cure us of the madness of self-confidence.