Earth’s Vanities, And Heaven’s Verities

Psalm 39:6  Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

Psalm 39:7  And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

Earth’s Vanities, And Heaven’s Verities, C.H. Spurgeon


“These are solemn words. Sometimes we have a more joyful theme than this; but I believe that, spiritually, as well as naturally, it is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting. A meditation of a quiet kind, on things not as they are in fiction, but as they prove to be in fact, is always salutary.

There is a great mass of sorrow in the world; and all of us encounter something every now and then to calm our spirit, and cool our blood. So, tonight, if we think a little of the fleeting character of this world, and of the real world where certainty alone is to be found, and if we school ourselves to learn facts and realities, by the blessing of God’s Spirit, we may go away even more lastingly refreshed than if our hearts were made to leap for joy by meditation on some transporting theme.

‘Every man walks in a vain show: but,’ he says, ‘and now, Lord, there is no vanity with you, no deception, no delusion with you, behold, I turn away from this mirage, which just now deluded me, to you my God, the Rock of my salvation, and I look to you. And now, Lord.’

I wish that someone here would say, ‘I have to spend eternity somewhere. I will not waste this present time, and live as if this world were all there is; but I will lift up my prayer tonight,” and say, ‘Now, Lord, now that I have passed my childhood, and am a young man, now that I have reached my twenty-first birthday, now that I am thirty, forty, fifty, now that my hair turns grey, it is time for me to be wise if ever, now, Lord.’

And if I am so unhappy as to have a person here who has advanced to the very end of his lease on life, and has become seventy, and yet still is living for a world that is slipping away from him, I wish that the Holy Spirit would make him say tonight, ‘And now, Lord; now I seek you, now I turn to you.’

You observe, also, that he has his eye on the future. He is a man who is waiting for something. Faith is a high virtue; and waiting on God is a flower that grows out of it. ‘What do I wait for? I have not found it yet; I am waiting for it, for here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.’

Our treasure is not here; it is away up there, on the eternal hills, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. The man described in our text is a waiting man, whose chief delight is now in a world that is to come.”

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Psalm 48:8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever.

MacLaren Bible Commentary:

‘As we have heard so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God.’ Yes, brethren! God’s merciful manifestation for ourselves, as for those Israelitish people of old,

… if we mark the daily dealings of that loving Hand with us, we have every occasion to say, Thy loving-kindness of old lives still.

Still, as of old, the hosts of the Lord encamp round about them that fear Him to deliver them.

Still, as of old, the voice of guidance comes from between the cherubim.

Still, as of old, the pillar of cloud and fire moves before us.

Still, as of old, angels walk with men.

Still, as of old, His hand is stretched forth, to bless, to feed, to guard.

Nothing in the past of God’s dealings with men has passed away.

The eternal present embraces what we call the past, present, and future.

They that went before do not prevent us on whom the ends of the ages are come.

The table that was spread for them is as fully furnished for the latest guests.

The light, which was so magical and lustrous in the morning beauty, for us has not faded away into the light of common day.

The river which flowed in these past ages has not been drunk up by the thirsty sands.

The fire that once blazed so clear has not died down into grey ashes.

‘The God of Jacob is our refuge.’ ‘As we have heard so have we seen.’

Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.