Thursday, January 7, 2010

Why do we wander?

“As the hart panteth after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” - Psalm 42:1.

There is something to be lamented in this state of mind, for if the psalmist had maintained unbroken communion with his God, he would not have been so much panting after him as enjoying him. It is deeply to be deplored that we who sometimes bask in the sunshine of God’s countenance cannot live so as always to enjoy it.

Wherefore do we wander? Why do we grieve his Holy Spirit? Why do we turn aside from God, our exceeding joy? Wherefore do we provoke him to jealousy, and cause him to make us grope in darkness, and sigh out of a lonely and desolate heart? There is much of an evil heart of unbelief in these departings from the living God; if, therefore, we can join in the language of the text, we must not too much congratulate ourselves, for though it be a sign of grace to pant after God as the hart pants for the waterbrooks, yet it is an equally certain sign of a want of more grace, and the loss of a privilege which we should strive always to possess. We are yet but poor in spiritual things when we might be rich; we are thirsting when we might put flagons to our lips.

From a sermon entitled "The Panting Hart," delivered July 20, 1868. Image by Brandon Godfrey under Creative Commons License.

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