Verse 24. And see if there be any wicked way in me. See whether there be in my heart, or in my life, any evil habit unknown to myself. If there be such an evil way, take me from it, take it from me. No matter how dear the wrong may have become, nor how deeply prejudiced I may have been in its favour, be pleased to deliver me therefrom altogether, effectually, and at once, that I may tolerate nothing which is contrary to thy mind. As I hate the wicked in their way, so would I hate every wicked way in myself.
And lead me in the way everlasting. If thou hast introduced me already to the good old way, be pleased to keep me in it, and conduct me further and further along it. It is a way which thou hast set up of old, it is based upon everlasting principles, and it is the way in which immortal spirits will gladly run for ever and ever. There will be no end to it world without end. It lasts for ever, and they who are in it last for ever. Conduct me into it, O Lord, and conduct me throughout the whole length of it. By thy providence, by thy word, by thy grace, and by thy Spirit, lead me evermore.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 24. See if there be any wicked way in me. This is a beautiful and impressive prayer for the commencement of every day. It is, also, a great sentiment to admonish us at the beginning of each day.
There is the way of unbelief within, to which we are very prone. There is the way of vanity and pride, to which we often accustom ourselves. There is the way of selfishness in which we frequently walk. There is the way of worldliness we often pursue -- empty pleasures, shadowy honours, etc. There is the way of sluggishness. What apathy in prayer, in the examination and application of God's Word, we manifest! There is the way of self dependence, by which we often dishonour God and injure ourselves. There is, unhappily, the way of disobedience, in which we often walk. At any rate, our obedience is cold, reluctant, uncertain -- not simple, entire, fervent.
How necessary is it, then, to go to God at once, and earnestly to prefer the petition, "Lord, see if there be any wicked way in me." Let nothing that is wrong, that is opposed to thy character, repugnant to thy word, or injurious and debasing to ourselves, remain, or be harboured within us. --Condensed from T. Wallace, in "Homiletic Commentary."
Verse 24. See if there be any wicked way in me. To what a holiness must David have attained ere he could need, if we may so speak, Divine scrutiny, in order to his being informed of errors and defects! Is there one of us who can say that he has corrected his conduct up to the measure of his knowledge, and that now he must wait the being better informed before he can do more towards improving his life? I do not know how to define a higher point in religious attainment than supposing a man warranted in offering up the prayer of our text. I call upon you to be cautious in using this prayer. It is easy to mock God, by asking him to search you whilst you have made but little effort to search yourselves, and perhaps still less to act upon the result of the scrutiny. --Henry Melvill.
Verse 24. See if there be any wicked way in me, etc. --
Think and be careful what thou art within,
For there is sin in the desire of sin:
Think and be thankful, in a different case,
For there is grace in the desire of grace.
--John Byron, 1691-1763.
Verse 24. The way everlasting. Way of eternity, or of antiquity, the old way, as Jeremiah 6:16 ; meaning the way of faith and godliness, which God taught from the beginning, and which continueth for ever; contrary to "the way of the wicked", which perisheth: Psalms 1:6 . --Henry Ainsworth.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The evil way. Naturally in us; may be of different kinds; must be removed; removal needs Divine help.
- The everlasting way. There is but one, we need leading in it. It is the good old way, it does not come to an end, it leads to blessedness without end.
Verse 24. (last clause). -- See "Spurgeon's Sermons", No. 903: "The Way Everlasting."