Turning Away from Vanity
“Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity and quicken me in thy way.” – Psalm 119:37
There are various kinds of vanity. The mirth of the world, the dance, and the cup of the drunkard–all these men know to be vanities. But far more treacherous are those equally vain things–the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches. A man may be spending his life in amassing wealth and he passes his days in a vain way. Unless we follow Christ and make God the great object of life, we only differ in appearance from the most frivolous.
It is clear that there is much need of the first prayer of this text: “Quicken Thou me in thy way.” The Psalmist confesses that he is dull, heavy, all but dead. Perhaps you feel the same way. We are so sluggish that the best motives cannot quicken us, apart from the Lord Himself. Will the thought of hell not quicken me? Shall I think of sinners perishing and yet not be awakened? Will not heaven quicken me? Can I think of the reward that awaits the righteous and yet be cold? Will not death quicken me? Can I think of dying and standing before God and yet be slothful in my Master’s service? Will not Christ’s love constrain me? Can I think of His dear wounds and sit at the foot of His cross, and not be stirred with fervency and zeal? It seems so! No mere consideration can quicken us to zeal, but God Himself must do it, hence the cry, “Quicken Thou me.” The Psalmist breathes out his whole soul in pleadings, and his body and soul unite in prayer, “Turn away my eyes,” says the body. “Quicken Thou me,” cries the soul. This is a fit prayer for every day. O Lord, hear it in my case this night.
– C. H. Spurgeon