Category Archives: My Church

My Church refers to things related to my spiritual life.

God’s Sovereignty, the Gospel, and Sleeping Well

God’s Sovereignty, the Gospel, and Sleeping Well

  • I think that the ability that I have to sleep, to some degree, is related to my theology…If I believed that the salvation of souls depended on me, I don’t know that I could sleep well…I promise you that if I felt for one minute that anybody was going to go to hell because, somehow, I failed to make the necessary adjustments in the message to persuade them to believe, I would have a very hard time sleeping.

Mark 4

  • a kind of Magna Carta from our Lord on the issue of evangelism.

Unimpressive Ministry

  • The coming of Messiah was always connected with national salvation and international impact…But our Lord has been with this now for a while. There may be a little more than a year away from the cross, so He’s been at this, virtually, for two years. And while there is a superficial fascination on the part of people, there – there just are not many real followers, true believers. What is wrong? Why is it this way? Where is the national repentance? Where is the national redemption? Where – where is the fulfillment of the Gentiles and the nations coming to Israel and coming to the God of Israel? What’s the problem?
  • Well the flesh would respond by saying, “We need a different strategy, this one is not really working.” …We’re out of touch somehow with the felt needs of the people.” That’s hard to sell, since Jesus had virtually banished illness from Israel for the duration of His ministry, dispossessed people of indwelling demons, and stopped funeral processions dead in their tracks by raising the dead person to life…But nonetheless, somehow the – the fault must be ours…It’s that kind of thinking, that kind of fleshly thinking that essentially is behind all evangelical adjustments in the gospel that, somehow, we’ve got to overcome the sinner’s resistance.

Jesus’ Evangelistic Instruction

  • the Lord gives us, really, a whole chapter here on evangelistic instruction. It’s foundational, I think, to our understanding of biblical evangelism.
  • The only human act, our Lord is saying, is to sow and go to sleep while the crop mysteriously grows.
  • Nicodemus is saying, “How can I be born again? How can I be regenerated? What do I do?” Jesus doesn’t say to him, “Here’s four steps, here’s three steps, pray this prayer.” He says to him, “That’s really beyond your power…The seed grows, the farmer hasn’t got an idea how it happens. He’s not in charge of the power. He’s not in charge of the energy. The Spirit does His work. The Spirit blows in like the wind, transforming, regenerating a heart. This is a divine work. Even our Lord completely understands that and confirms it.
  • I want to show you an illustration of this…the thief on the cross. Luke 23 verse 39, “One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, ‘Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!'” …What happened to that thief? The only explanation for faith at that moment on the cross in the life of that thief was the power of God on his soul. You think, somehow, that your cleverness is the source of someone’s conversion? The Lord Jesus, at His weakest, most vulnerable, looking totally defeated, hanging on that cross, and beside him the Spirit of God brings life to a dead heart, light to a blinded soul and clear faith and understanding bursts forth.
  • We may be the means but we are not the power. Do we understand that? We may be the secondary agency but we are not the causing agency. We have no role but to sow the seed and go to sleep and let the work of God be done…Spiritual life and regeneration is divinely automatic. But there are essential elements in that automatic operation that must be there.

How do we approach evangelism?

With Humility

  • Humility, because it’s really not in our power to do the work.
  • verse 14. “The sower sows the Word.” This is so foundational, I – I – I just – I feel kind of foolish even saying it, but it should be obvious to all of us that there are no adjectives to describe the sower, the sower, anybody who throws seed, anybody.
  • “The Son of Man must suffer many things, be rejected by the elders, chief priests and scribes, be killed, be raised on the third day.” …That’s the seed. That’s the gospel seed. That’s the Word concerning Christ…”We preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, to Gentiles foolishness,” – listen to this – “but to those who are the called,” there’s a Calvinist statement for you. Those who are the called, those who hear the divine call, those who are under the divine automatic work, those on whom the wind of the Spirit blows, this message which will always be foolish, which will always be a stumbling block to the natural man becomes the power of God for salvation.
  • Well, what is the parable about if it’s not about sowers and seed? Can’t mess with sower, it’s anybody who sows the seed. Can’t do anything with the seed, you don’t want to create a synthetic seed and – and get a mutation, do you? I think a lot of that is going on. I think all over the place there are quasi-churches of mutations…The issue in the parables is soil…Matthew 13, the parallel, it says, “That which is sown in the heart.” So the soil is the heart. I can sow the seed. I can’t change the heart.
  • It’s popular for people to think that they can alter the heart…I’m not interested in manipulating anybody’s will. I never appeal to the emotion. I’m not interested in making anybody sentimental about Jesus. All appeals are to the mind, to understand the truth, to understand the truth. Don’t appeal to people emotionally, because you’ll get a whole lot of emotional response. Don’t appeal to people’s wills because you’ll get a whole lot of self-willed responses. You always appeal to the mind…But the bottom line is, we have no power over those hearts. We can’t give life to the dead. We can’t give light to the darkened. We can’t give sight to the blind. So we approach this ministry humbly. We sow seed.

With Obedience

  • Second attitude, just briefly, is found in the parable in verses 21 to 23. “A lamp is not brought in to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand? For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” …We are humble because we know we are not the power in salvation. But we are obedient because we know we possess the light…We are humble because we know we are not the power to change the heart. But we are obedient because we know we are the means by which the light comes…Scatter the seed, spread the light.

With Diligence

  • We go humbly, we go obediently, we go diligently. Some people say, “Well, if you’re going to believe all of this and you’re going to believe it’s all the work of God, that takes the motivation out of evangelism.”…look at verses 24 and 25. “Take care,” this is another little axiomatic analogy, “Take care what you listen to.” – or how you listen – “By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides.”
  • Just how diligent should we be…”By the standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given to you besides.” Here we come right back to the fact that this astonishing promise, truism, axiom is this. Usefulness in gospel evangelism is proportionate to the seed sown and leads directly to eternal reward. Sow sparingly, reap sparingly. Sow bountifully, reap bountifully. So you sow the seed, you sow it diligently because you know that your usefulness is proportionate to your sowing. And that leads to divine blessing. That leads to eternal reward. That’s how you purchase friends for eternity.

With Confidence

  • “It’s like a mustard seed, which, when sown on the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil,” …We sow confidently because we know that God has determined an exponential outcome.
  • “What does it mean the birds nest in the mustard seed?” I’ll tell you what it means. All you have to do is read Ezekiel 17. The birds represent the nations of the world. And you have the same thing in the illustration of Daniel chapter 4. Nebuchadnezzar’s view of his kingdom was that the kingdom was made up of his people and the birds were all the nations who nested in his great kingdom.

A Father That Gives Life

  • One final thought…”They had gained no insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.” And that night when He came to them in the boat, He stepped in the boat, the hardness was gone and they said, “Truly You are God’s Son.”
  • How did that happen? I think the Father in that moment on the lake in Galilee that night answered His Son’s prayer for them and opened their hearts. That was the great transforming. Was there something about the walking on the water that was more impactful than what He had done the day before or what He did for all the times before? That was the moment. In the most unlikely circumstances, in the most unlikely ways, automatically life, hard hearts are shattered. I tell you what, it’s pretty exciting to be a part of this. The burden is not mine, except to sow the seed.

Prayer

  • Father, we thank You for a wonderful text of Scripture, rich, full, blessed. We love You. We love Your Word. We exalt You. Be exalted through us as we faithfully sow the gospel seed. For the glory of Christ. Amen.

Sharp Teeth But No Grace

When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Psalms 27:2

Sharp teeth but lack grace.

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 10:28

Do not fear and maybe even laugh at them. Here is a compilation of stumbles and falls. Imagine your enemy “they stumbled and fell.”

The following is taken directly from The Treasury of David by Spurgeon.

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EXPOSITION

This verse records a past deliverance, and is an instance of the way in which experience should be employed to reassure our faith in times of trial. Each word is instructive.

When the wicked. It is a hopeful sign for us when the wicked hate us; if our foes were godly men it would be a sore sorrow, but as for the wicked their hatred is better than their love.

Even mine enemies and my foes. There were many of them, they were of different sorts, but they were unanimous in mischief and hearty in hatred.

Came upon me — advanced to the attack, leaping upon the victim like a lion upon its prey. To eat up my flesh, like cannibals they would make a full end of the man, tear him limb from limb, and make a feast for their malice. The enemies of our souls are not deficient in ferocity, they yield no quarter, and ought to have none in return. See in what danger David was; in the grip and grasp of numerous, powerful, and cruel enemies, and yet observe his perfect safety and their utter discomfiture!

They stumbled and fell. God’s breath blew them off their legs. There were stones in the way which they never reckoned upon, and over these they made an ignominious tumble. This was literally true in the case of our Lord in Gethsemane, when those who came to take him went backward and fell to the ground; and herein he was a prophetic representative of all wrestling believers who, rising from their knees shall, by the power of faith, throw their foes upon their faces.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. There is no such dainty dish to a malicious stomach, as the flesh of an enemy; it goes down without chewing, and they swallow it up whole like cormorants. But though malice have a ravenous stomach, yet she hath but slow digestion; though her teeth be sharp, yet her feet are lame, at least apt to stumble; and this made well for David, for when his enemies came upon him to eat up his flesh, because they came upon the feet of malice, they stumbled and fell. A man may stumble and yet not fall; but to stumble and fall withal, is the proper stumbling of the wicked, and especially of the maliciously wicked; and such, it seems, was the stumbling of David’s enemies, because the enemies were such; and such I doubt not shall be the stumbling of mine enemies, because mine are such; and of what then, of whom now, should I be afraid? — Sir Richard Baker.

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. He describes his enemies by their malice and by their ruin.

1. His enemies were cruel enemies, blood suckers, eaters of flesh. We call them cannibals. As indeed men that have not grace, if they have greatness, and be opposed, their greatness is inaccessible, one man is a devil to another. The Scripture calls them “wolves, that leave nothing till morning.” Zeph 3:3. As the great fishes eat up the little ones, so great men they make no more conscience of eating up other men, than of eating bread; they make no more bones of overthrowing men and undoing them, than of eating bread. “They eat up my people as they eat bread.” Ps 14:4.

2. But not withstanding their cruelty, they were overthrown. Saith David, When my foes came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. For, indeed, God’s children, when they are delivered, it is usually with the confusion of their enemies. God doth two things at once, because the special grievance of God’s children it is from inward and outward enemies. He seldom or never delivers them but with the confusion of their enemies. This will be most apparent at the day of judgment when Satan, and all that are led by his spirit, all the malignant church, shall be sent to their own place, and the church shall be for ever free from all kind of enemies. When the church is most free, then the enemies of the church are nearest to destruction; like a pair of balances, when they are up at the one end, they are down at the other. So when it is up with the church, down go the enemies. — Richard Sibbes.

The wicked, mine enemies. The wicked hate the godly; there is enmity between the seed of the woman and the serpent. Gen 3:15. As in nature there is an antipathy between the vine and the bay tree, the elephant and the dragon. Vultures have an antipathy against sweet smells: so in the wicked there is an antipathy against the people of God; they hate the sweet perfumes of their graces. It is true the saints have their infirmities; but the wicked do not hate them for these, but for their holiness; and from this hatred ariseth open violence: the thief hates the light, therefore would blow it out. — Thomas Watson.

There was great wisdom in the prayer of John Wesley: “Lord, if I must contend, let it not be with thy people.” When we have for foes and enemies those who hate good men, we have at least this consolation, that God is not on their side, and therefore it is essentially weak. — William S. Plumer.

HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER

The character, number, power, and cruelty of the enemies of the church, and the mysterious way in which they have been defeated.

My Light And My Salvation

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
Psalms 27:1

David had a strong sense of what the Lord was doing in his life at the moment. “The Lord is” he says – present tense. Light, salvation, and defense are what he was experiencing. These are the effects God has upon us; He can embolden us to cast the fear of man aside.

The following is taken directly from The Treasury of David by Spurgeon.

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EXPOSITION

The Lord is my light and my salvation. Here is personal interest, “my light,” “my salvation;” the soul is assured of it, and therefore, declaring it boldly. “My light;” — into the soul at the new birth divine light is poured as the precursor of salvation; where there is not enough light to see our own darkness and to long for the Lord Jesus, there is no evidence of salvation. Salvation finds us in the dark, but it does not leave us there; it gives light to those who sit in the valley of the shadow of death. After conversion our God is our joy, comfort, guide, teacher, and in every sense our light; he is light within, light around, light reflected from us, and light to be revealed to us. Note, it is not said merely that the Lord gives light, but that he “is” light; nor that he gives salvation, but that he is salvation; he, then, who by faith has laid hold upon God has all covenant blessings in his possession. Every light is not the sun, but the sun is the father of all lights. This being made sure as a fact, the argument drawn from it is put in the form of a question,

Whom shall I fear? A question which is its own answer. The powers of darkness are not to be feared, for the Lord, our light, destroys them; and the damnation of hell is not to be dreaded by us, for the Lord is our salvation. This is a very different challenge from that of boastful Goliath, for it is based upon a very different foundation; it rests not upon the conceited vigour of an arm of flesh, but upon the real power of the omnipotent I AM.

The Lord is the strength of my life. Here is a third glowing epithet, to show that the writer’s hope was fastened with a threefold cord which could not be broken. We may well accumulate terms of praise where the Lord lavishes deeds of grace. Our life derives all its strength from him who is the author if it; and if he deigns to make us strong we cannot be weakened by all the machinations of the adversary. Of whom shall I be afraid? The bold question looks into the future as well as the present. “If God be for us,” who can be against us, either now or in time to come?

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Alice Driver, martyr, at her examination, put all the doctors to silence, so that they had not a word to say, but one looked upon another; then she said, “Have you no more to say? God be honoured, you be not able to resist the Spirit of God, in me, a poor woman. I was an honest poor man’s daughter, never brought up at the University as you have seen; but I have driven the plough many a time before my father, I thank God; yet, notwithstanding, in the defence of God’s truth, and in the cause of my Master, Christ, by his grace I will set my foot against the foot of any of you all, in the maintenance and defence of the same; and if I had a thousand lives they should go for the payment thereof.” So the Chancellor condemned her, and she returned to the prison joyful. — Charles Bradbury.

The Lord is my light, etc. St. John tells us, that “in Christ was life; and the life was the light of men;” but he adds that, “the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:4-5. There is a great difference between the light, and the eye that sees it. A blind man may know a great deal about the shining of the sun, but it does not shine for him — it gives him no light. So, to know that “God is light,” is one thing 1 John 1:5, and to be able to say, “The Lord is my light,” is quite another thing. The Lord must be the light by which the way of life is made plain to us — the light by which we may see to walk in that way — the light that exposes the darkness of sin — the light by which we can discover the hidden sins of our own hearts. When he is thus our light, then he is our salvation also. He is pledged to guide us right; not only to show us sin, but to save us from it. Not only to make us see God’s hatred of sin, and his curse upon it, but also to draw us unto God’s love, and to take away the curse. With the Lord lighting us along the road of salvation, who, or what need we fear? Our life is hid with Christ in God. Col 3:3. We are weak, very weak, but his “strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:2. With the Lord himself pledged to be the strength of our life, of whom need we be afraid? — From Sacramental Meditations on the Twenty-seventh Psalm, 1843.

The Lord is my light. “Light” which makes all things visible, was the first made of all visible things; and whether God did it for our example, or no, I know not; but ever since, in imitation of this manner of God’s proceeding, the first thing we do when we intend to do anything, is to get us “light.” — Sir Richard Baker.

The Lord is my light. Adorable Sun, cried St. Bernard, I cannot walk without thee: enlighten my steps, and furnish this barren and ignorant mind with thoughts worthy of thee. Adorable fulness of light and heat, be thou the true noonday of my soul; exterminate its darkness, disperse its clouds; burn, dry up, and consume all its filth and impurities. Divine Sun, rise upon my mind, and never set. — Jean Baptiste Elias Avrillon, 1652-1729.

Whom shall I fear? Neither spiritual nor military heroes do exploits through cowardice, Courage is a necessary virtue. In Jehovah is the best possible foundation for unflinching intrepidity. — William S. Plumer.

Of whom shall I be afraid? I have no notion of a timid, disingenuous profession of Christ. Such preachers and professors are like a rat playing at hide and seek behind a wainscot, who puts his head through a hole to see if the coast is clear, and ventures out if nobody is in the way; but slinks back again if danger appears. We cannot be honest to Christ except we are bold for him. He is either worth all we can lose for him, or he is worth nothing. — H.G. Salter, A.M., in “The Book of Illustrations,” 1840.

HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER

(first clause). The relation of illumination to salvation, or the need of light if men would be saved.

The Christian hero, and the secret springs of his courage.

The believer’s fearless challenge.

WORKS ON THE TWENTY-SEVENTH PSALM

Excellent Encouragements against Afflictions, containing David’s Triumph over Distress; or an Exposition of Ps 27. By THOMAS PIERSON, M.A. (Reprinted in Nichol’s Series of Puritan Commentaries.)

Meditations upon the 27 th Psalm of David. By SIR RICHARD BAKER. (See “Works,” pg 10.)

Psalm 27: A Psalm of Fearless Trust in God

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.

4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.


5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
8 When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”
9 Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the Lord will take me up.

11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a level path
Because of my foes.
12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

Out of all the things David asks of the Lord, which one is the highest on your lists of things that you would want from God today? I indicated mine in bold above.

There is pleasure in gazing upon the mighty and majestic. When the subject is perfectly mighty and majestic in all His ways, then there is a corresponding satisfaction. This gratification does not come automatically, hence the need and request for a place to “dwell” and “meditate.”

Word Cloud

What’s a word cloud? An attractive arrangement of randomly positioned words, where the most important words are bigger than the others.

This shows this psalm to be a prayer and the disclosing of one’s heart.

Here is what Word Cloud looks like after removing 3 words “Lord,” “me,” and “I” from the list. Consider these to be keywords.

The following is taken directly from The Treasury of David by Spurgeon.

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More and more is the conviction forced upon my heart that every man must traverse the territory of the Psalms himself if he would know what a goodly land they are. They flow with milk and honey, but not to strangers; they are only fertile to lovers of their hills and vales. None but the Holy Spirit can give a man the key to the Treasury of David; and even he gives it rather to experience than to study. Happy is he who for himself knows the secret of the Psalms.

C. H. Spurgeon Clapham,
November, 1870.

Title and Subject

Nothing whatever can be drawn from the title as to the time when this Psalm was written, for the heading, “A Psalm of David,” is common to so many of the Psalms; but if one may judge from the matter of the song, the writer was pursued by enemies, Ps 27:2-3, was shut out from the house of the Lord, Ps 27:4, was just parting from father and mother, Ps 27:10, and was subject to slander, Ps 27:12; do not all these meet in the time when Doeg, the Edomite, spake against him to Saul? [1 Samuel 21:7 through 22]

It is a song of cheerful hope, well fitted for those in trial who have learned to lean upon the Almighty arm. The Psalm may with profit be read in a threefold way, as the language of David, of the Church, and of the Lord Jesus. The plenitude of Scripture will thus appear the more wonderful.

Division

The poet first sounds forth his sure confidence in his God, Ps 27:1-3, and his love of communion with him, Ps 27:4-6. He then betakes himself to prayer, Ps 27:7-12, and concludes with an acknowledgment of the sustaining power of faith in his own case, and an exhortation to others to follow his example.

We Can Have Confidence

Here are some clippings from a short article reminding us that we can have confidence in the midst of these difficulties.

We Can Have Confidence

  • Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket
  • Isaiah and Augustine have much in common. Both faced seismic political change and social upheaval. Doomsday predictions swirled around them both. People were packing their bags and lacing up their running shoes. Some were hiding in caves. Nevertheless, both Isaiah and Augustine faced these cataclysmic changes with confidence and courage because they had their eyes fixed upon God.
  • We also learn that confidence in God is not an excuse to disengage or to retreat from our present circumstances.
  • Confidence in God is not a reason to have overconfidence in our stratagems or in politics. That, too, is a lesson history teaches us.
  • Instead, confidence in God means boldness to deploy that which God has instituted and to rely upon the means He has given us.

The Most High

That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
Psalms 83:18

Coming to the end of this psalm we see the point and purpose of this petition and plea – the knowledge of God. Stand before a skyscraper and marvel at its height and grandeur. Feel small before it as you peer up into the sky above and yet know God is greater, God is higher, God is most high. If a tall building can impact you in any way, then how much more a divine living being?

Man builds towers (Genesis 11:3-4) to expand his dominion and kingdom, but God is greater.

Man hides himself from God’s greatness and that deprives him of the very life he seeks to have (Genesis 3:7-10).

This psalmist knew like Jesus knew that life consists of peering up at the Most High.

John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

The following is taken directly from The Treasury of David by Spurgeon.

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EXPOSITION

That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth. Hearing of the Lord’s marvellous deeds in defeating such a numerous confederacy, the very heathen would be compelled to acknowledge the greatness of Jehovah. We read in 2 Chron 20:30, that the fear of God was on all the neighbouring kingdoms when they heard that Jehovah fought against the enemies of Israel. Jehovah is essentially the Most High. He who is self existent is infinitely above all creatures, all the earth is but his footstool. The godless race of man disregards this, and yet at times the wonderful works of the Lord compel the most unwilling to adore his majesty. Thus has this soul stirring lyric risen from the words of complaint to those of adoration; let us in our worship always seek to do the same. National trouble called out the nation’s poet laureate, and well did he discourse at once of her sorrows, and prayers, and hopes. Sacred literature thus owes much to sorrow and distress. How enriching is the hand of adversity! The following attempt to verify the Psalm, and tune it to gospel purposes, is submitted with great diffidence.

O God, be thou no longer still,
Thy foes are leagued against thy law;
Make bare thine arm on Zion’s hill,
Great Captain of our Holy War.

As Amalek and Ishmael
Had war for ever with thy seed,
So all the hosts of Rome and hel
Against the Son their armies led.

Though they are agreed in nought beside,
Against thy truth they all unite;
They rave against the Crucified,
And hate the gospel’s growing might.

By Kishon’s brook all Jabin’s band
At thy rebuke were swept away;
O Lord, display thy mighty hand,
A single stroke shall win the day.

Come, rushing wind, the stubble chase!
Come, sacred fire, the forests burn!
Come, Lord, with all thy conquering grace,
Rebellious hearts to Jesus turn!

That men may know at once that thou,
Jehovah, lovest truth right well;
And that thy church shall never bow
Before the boastful gates of hell.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, etc. Early English History informs us, that some bloodthirsty persecutors were marching on a band of Christians. The Christians, seeing them approaching, marched out towards them, and at the top of their voices, shouted, “Hallelujah, hallelujah!” (Praise Jehovah). The name of the Lord being presented, the rage of the persecutors abated. Josephus says, that the Great Alexander, when on his triumphal march, being met near Jerusalem by the Jewish high priest, on whose mitre was engraved the name of Jehovah, “approached by himself and adored that name,” and was disarmed of his hostile intent. There was significance and power in the glorious old name as written by the Jews. But the name of Jesus is now far more mighty in the world than was the name Jehovah in these earlier ages. —”The Dictionary of Illustrations,” 1872.

JEHOVAH is one of the incommunicable names of God, which signifies his eternal essence. The Jews observe that in God’s name Jehovah the Trinity is implied. Je signifies the present tense, ho the preterperfect tense, vah, the future. The Jews also observe that in his name Jehovah all the Hebrew letters are literae quiescentes, that denotes rest, implying that in God and from God is all our rest. Every gracious soul is like Noah’s dove, he can find no rest nor satisfaction but in God. God alone is the godly man’s ark of rest and safety. Jehovah is the incommunicable name of God, and is never attributed to any but God: Thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH.

The most high. His being the High and lofty One, notes forth the transcendancy and super excellency of his divine being in himself, and that it is utterly of another kind from creatures, and indeed that it only is truly being. When the Psalmist says,

That men may know that thou, whose name alone in JEHOVAH art the MOST HIGH over all the earth, he thereby argues his height from his name, that his name is alone Jehovah, and therefore he is most high, and in that very respect. Now Jehovah is the name of his essence, “I AM,” and he is MOST HIGH in respect of such a glorious being as is proper alone unto him. Thomas Goodwin.

HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER

The Golden Lesson: how taught, to whom, by whom, through whom?

Let Them Go

Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever,
And let them be humiliated and perish,
Psalms 83:17

Notice the word “let.” It means to permit; to allow; to suffer; to give leave or power by a positive act. God is holding them back from this everlasting fate, but the Psalmist now requests He let them go. Let them be this; let them be that. Like a ship and crew that gives way to the wind and the storm.

Acts 27:15 and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along.

Secondly, notice the word “forever.” Read again this request with that word emphasized. It underscores how contrary to God, how contrary to life, how contrary to our purpose in life to love that these evil people have become to earn such an enduring punishment as this. It is a capital offense of the highest kind.

The following is taken directly from The Treasury of David by Spurgeon.

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EXPOSITION

Where no good result followed, and the men remained as fierce and obstinate as ever, justice was invoked to carry out the capital sentence.

Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish. What else could be done with them? It was better that they perished than that Israel should be rooted up. What a terrible doom it will be to the enemies of God to be “confounded, and troubled for ever,” to see all their schemes and hopes defeated, and their bodies and souls full of anguish without end: from such a shameful perishing may our souls be delivered.

HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER

The righteous fate of persecutors, and troublers.