Be Blameless, Upright Says The Psalms [JesusFollowers Weekly Message]:
PSALM 37:37 "Mark the perfectly blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for those who seek peace."
In this psalm, as indeed in many passages of scripture, we find a variety of contrasted characters, interspersed with much serious observation on the different circumstances that await them in the future world. As we generally form the best judgment from comparison , this is a method frequently adopted in the sacred text.
The good and the bad are exemplified and described . To each is the mirror held up in turn, that every man may discover his own form and features, and learn to distinguish what manner of person they are. By such means we see more distinctly what is good and what is evil; which actions to studiously pursue, and which to strongly avoid.
We perceive more clearly that sin is odious and disgraceful, as goodness is amiable and engaging; engaging, that impiety is full of misery and danger, that to walk in the way of sinners is to expose ourselves to the displeasure of omnipotence, to an infinity of anguish and remorse.
On the other hand, if we choose the better, God, Himself will be our portion, and the lot of our inheritance. The tranquillity of an unruffled spirit will support us in all the trials and troubles of life; and when called to leave the world , we shall sink into eternal rest " Mark the perfect human being, and behold the upright , for the end of that one is peace. "
The word Perfect may at first sight appear strange when applied to a human character ; but it is certainly not improper if rightly understood. To be perfect absolutely and without exception or limitation, is indeed no attribute of humanity, nor can belong to any but those who dwell in light, to which no mortal can approach. But to every creature belongs a perfection proper to itself.
There is a perfection in excellence , in capacity , and in usefulness, according to itsrespective rank in the scale of being, which may be applied to every race of creatures upon earth.
There is therefore, of course, a moral , or to speak more properly, a Christian perfection, which everyone who wishes it may attain, and to which it is his duty to aspire . And this consists in the cultivation of the Christian attitude in the imitation of Jesus; in such a way that is acceptable to God, and will have a constant tendency to prepare us for the happiness of the life to come, as well as good and useful citizens of the Kingdom here and now.
The first thing I shall notice in this character of a perfect human is the principle of integrity, that upright conscientious Spirit which is essential to the Christian a ttitude, and without which there can be no religion.
I must here remind you how often this is mentioned in scripture with marks of particular approbation . In describing one of the first and most exemplary characters of ancient times, it is said that he was " perfect and upright ," the very description in the text ; a man who “ feared God and eschewed evil. "
Then we may observe, that according to this representation of things, it is impossible for a human to fear God and to depart from evil, except he be at the same time a sincere and upright character. These must go together.
The tree must be good if we look for excellence in the fruit. practice must partake the quality of the principle.
Adapted from a sermon PREACHED IN THE PARISH CHURCH OF SUNDERLAND, Sunday, November the 9th, 1800. BY JOHN HAMPSON , M. A.