2718. The Tenses

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The Tenses

No. 2718-47:121. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, May 13, 1880, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, March 17, 1901.

Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that he will still deliver us. {2Co 1:10}

1. When children are learning their grammar, they have to pay particular attention to the tenses of the verbs; and it is important for Christians also to remember their tenses, — to remember the past, the present, and the future. Our text brings all three very vividly before us, and reminds us that God has delivered, does deliver, and will still deliver.

2. First, let us think for a little while concerning the past. How old are you, my friend? How many of your years have you employed profitably, and how many have you allowed to run to waste? For how many years have you performed the will of the flesh, and been a servant of sin and Satan? How long have you been born again? What is your age spiritually? Take down the record of your life, and examine it, from the days of your childhood, through youth and early manhood, up until now. It is a book which should do us good to read; in some respects, all its pages may make us weep; and yet, viewed in another light, many of them may give us reason to sing. This is the one book in the library that many people do not like to take down and read, for there are so many blots in it, and so many humbling records; yet “God requires what is past,” and it is a sign of wisdom for a man to talk with his past years, and to learn from them the many lessons they are able to teach. All the days we have lived will go before us to the judgment seat, and each one will bear its record, and leave it there; so let us not be oblivious of what God remembers, but let us remember it that we may be penitent for all that has been wrong in it, and that we may be grateful for all that has been right.

3. Next, think about the second part of life, namely, the time present; and here let me urge on you, dear friends, the importance of valuing the present. In fact, time present is the only time that you have. The past has gone, and you cannot recall it; the future will never really be yours, for, when it comes, it will be present, too. It is only in the present that we live; so that, if we waste these precious hours that are with us now, we waste all that we have. If we do not serve God today, when will we serve him? Tomorrow? No, for when that opportunity comes, “tomorrow” will have been changed into “today.” Let us endeavour, as God shall help us, even to watch our moments so as not to waste one of them. It is a good thing to have our life divided up into short periods. The other day, I saw John Wesley’s diary, or rather, horary, for it had in it not merely an entry for every day, but for every hour; and not only for every hour, but usually there was a distinct occupation for every twenty minutes. The good man made his days to have many hours in them, and his hours seemed to have more minutes in them than most men’s hours have, because he did not waste any of them, but diligently used them all in his Master’s service. May God help us all to do the same by paying great attention to the present portion of our life!

4. As for the future, there is an idle curiosity which prompts men to try to live in it; that we must renounce. But there is a gracious expectation which enables us to live in it, a holy anxiety which prompts us to prepare for it. It is greatly wise for us to talk with those years that are to come if we talk with them in view of their end. I would have you familiar with your graves, for you will soon be in them; and more familiar still with your resurrection dwelling-place, remembering that God “has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Let us often project ourselves beyond the present into the future; to gather strength from the future, is frequently the best way to deal with the present. You will be able more easily to bear your present burdens when you think how short is the time in which you will have to carry them. Your “light affliction, which is only for a moment,” will seem scarcely like a feather’s weight to you when you anticipate the “far greater and eternal weight of glory” which God has prepared for you.

5. I recommend to you, therefore, this rule of three, and advise you always to consider the past, the present, and the future; and just now I invite you to do so in connection with the delivering mercy of God. He has delivered us; he does deliver us; he will deliver us. And, first, I am going to point out to you three trains of thought; next, three lines of argument; and, thirdly, three inferences.

6. I. First, THE TEXT SUGGESTS THREE TRAINS OF THOUGHT.

7. The first is this, memory, which tells us of the deliverances in the past:“ who delivered us from so great a death.” Take the words exactly as Paul wrote them, and recall how God has delivered some of us from death. A few here, perhaps, have been very near to death in battle or in tempest; many more of us have been very near to death in sickness. Some of us have several times in our lives looked into eternity; our illness has been no child’s play, and we have realized the possibility, or even the probability of our soon passing away from all the engagements of this mortal life, and standing before our God. But we have been raised up again; we have come out from our bedroom, tottering on our cane, perhaps, through weakness, yet we are still preserved, the living, the living, to praise the Lord, as we do today. I have no doubt that almost all of you have had, at one time or another, some very special proof that “to God the Lord belong the issues from death.”

8. Our past deliverances, however, have not only been from physical death; we have had greater deliverances than that. There was, first of all, our deliverance from spiritual death. Do you not remember the time, dear brother, dear sister, when you were brought out of nature’s darkness into God’s marvellous light? You say that you do not know the day when this great change took place; never mind if you do not, it is not at all essential if you can now say, “One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” Some of us do remember the very day when we came to Christ, and rested in him; and we do, with our whole heart and soul, bless him that we were delivered from that terrible death which had so long held us in captivity. God rescued us by his grace, and enabled us to come out from our grave of sin, looking to Jesus, and longing to be made like him.

9. Further, some of you remember when you were delivered from despair. It is an awful thing to be driven away from all hope of salvation, and to be at your wits’ end. You were not all brought to Christ in a terrible tempest, as some of us were; many of you came to him under happier circumstances. Be very thankful that it was so; but some of us were hard pressed when we tried to touch the hem of his garment, we were pressed and crushed in the crowd, and seemed to lose our very breath. I remember how, when I was under conviction of sin, my soul rolled to and fro, and staggered like a drunken man; yet the Lord delivered me, and taught me to rest on him, and so even full assurance became possible although I had thought, previously, that mercy could never reach me. Beloved, if I am describing your experience as well as my own, let us together bless the Lord for his mercy in delivering us from so great a death. The memory of our deliverance from sin and despair must take the first rank among our grateful reminiscences.

10. But, since then, have you not been delivered out of temptation many times? You said, with the psalmist, “My feet were almost gone; my steps had almost slipped”; yet the Lord graciously preserved you. If you look back with careful eye, you will see many occasions where, if it had not been for intervening mercy, you would either have fallen into the bog on your right hand, or into the quagmire on your left. If the Lord had not piloted your vessel, it would have been wrecked on the rocks of Scylla {a} or engulfed in the whirlpool of Charybdis. {b} Do you not wonder, sometimes, how you ever got through that particular temptation, which was so suitable to your circumstances, and so fascinating to your flesh? Yet you did not know, at the time, that it was a temptation; and you did not have the wisdom necessary to meet the craft of Satan; yet you were not taken captive in the Satanic net, cunningly as it was spread; and for that deliverance you must bless the name of the Lord. There are some of you who ought to praise him for deliverances over which you wept at the time. He would not let you have what you desired; you were disappointed, and you talked about your heart being broken. Ah! but the Lord’s dealings with you saved you from having a broken heart. You said, “Alas! alas! I have lost something which I fondly cherished.” It was good that you did lose it, for what you thought was a bracelet sparkling with jewels was a viper, which, had you grasped it, would have stung you to death. Blessed be God for not hearing some of our prayers! Blessed be the Lord for not gratifying many of our desires!

11. We ought to praise him, too, for our deliverances in the time of trouble. You are not all tried alike. I am very thankful that some of you are not troubled as others are; but I know that I am addressing some whose trials have been very many and very heavy. Your road has been a very rough one. John Bunyan truly says, “A Christian man is seldom long at ease, when one trouble’s gone, another doth him seize”; and that has been true in the lives of many of us. We can say, with the psalmist. “We went through fire and through water.” Some of God’s children have been brought very low in their circumstances, so that they have had to live “from hand to mouth,” — though I do not know that many of us live very differently from that; — but there are some godly people who never have anything to spare even if they do not actually come to poverty. I do not know that there is anything very grievous in that, for the sparrows and the ravens live in that way, yet God cares for them. But some of you find it to be a trial to have scantiness in the home, or sickness in your own person, or one who is dear to you as your own life constantly afflicted. There are all kinds of losses and crosses, trials and troubles, for the godly to endure. Yes; but none of these things have crushed us yet, for the Lord has delivered us. Here is a poor widow, and she wonders how she ever brought up that large family of little children. She scarcely knew how to provide for them all when she had a husband, and yet, when the head of the house was gone, they were provided for; it is very amazing, yet it was done; and you, who seemed to see all your prospects suddenly dissolve, like the mirage of the desert, were helped. You said, at one time, “If such and such a thing should happen, it would kill me.” It did happen, yet it did not kill you, for you are here to testify to the Lord’s delivering mercy. One messenger of Job after another came to bring you bad news, yet the Lord delivered you from the trials which threatened to crush you. I cannot stop to mention all those past deliverances; and, probably, most of them are not even known to us. Glory be to God for unknown mercies, — favours which came in the night when we most needed them, favours which helped us to sleep and to awaken refreshed, favours that stole, with silent footfall, into our home and our heart, and went away leaving traces of the sacred oil of divine mercy behind them.

12. That is the first train of thought, — memory, which tells of deliverances in the past.

13. The second is observation, which calls attention to present deliverance:“ and does deliver.” Open your eyes my brothers and sisters, and see how God is delivering you at this moment. I do not say that, with the most widely opened eye, you will perceive all your deliverances; for, many times, you have been saved from trouble, while, on other occasions, you have been delivered out of it. I have often told you the story of the good old Puritan who met his son at a half-way house. When the young man came in, he said, “Father, I had a very special providence as I rode here today.” “What was that, my son?” “My horse stumbled three times very badly, yet I was not thrown.” “And I have had an equally special providence in riding here.” “What was that?” “My horse never stumbled all the way, so I was not thrown.” You know that, if we are in a railway accident, and escape from any harm, we say, “What a providence!” Yes but what a providence it was when you were preserved from a railway accident by staying at home! Often, we do not see the very thing that has the most mercy in it. What evidences of divine deliverance there are in the fact that you are here at this moment! A comparatively trifling incident might have resulted in your death. You may be, tomorrow morning, in doubt concerning which of two ways you should take; but there will be the providence of God directing you which to choose, and your choice of that one may affect the rest of your life,

14. If you are not just now being assailed by any temptation, it is because God is delivering you from it. Yet it may be that Satan is planning some fresh temptation with which to assail you; but, though he desires to have you so that he may sift you as wheat, Christ is praying for you that your faith does not fail. We might have fallen into doctrinal error had it not been for God’s restraining mercy. How apt thoughtful people are to be carried away by the particular novelty of the hour! It seems as if they could not resist the cogency of the argument by which the new teaching is supported, but we have been kept from yielding to it by having our hearts established in the faith, so that we have not believed every novel doctrine, but have judged it by the Word of God, and so have been kept from wandering into devious ways.

15. How graciously God is preserving many of us from the tongue of slander! It is an amazing thing for any man to live much in public without being accused of some vile crime; and the woman who lives in the most retired position, the housewife who does nothing but look after her own children, will find someone or other slandering her. You cannot always escape from the envenomed tongue of slander, no matter who you are or where you are; and for God to keep the reputation of any Christian man unstained year after year, is a subject for the greatest thankfulness.

16. We do not know where or what we might have been if God’s gracious protection had not been like a wall of fire all around us, as it is even now, for still the Lord delivers all those who put their trust in him. I want you, dear brothers and sisters, to believe with unquestioning confidence that God is delivering you just now. You know that he has delivered you, be quite as sure that he is delivering you at this moment. “Oh!” one says, “I am locked up in the dungeon of despair.” Yes; but your Lord has a key that can open the door, and so let you out. “Indeed; but I am in great poverty.” But he knows all about it, and he has his basket in his hand full of good things with which he is going to supply all your needs. “Oh!” another says, “but I am sinking in the flood.” But he is throwing the life-jacket over you. “Oh, but I am fainting!” But he is putting a bottle of sweet perfume to your nose to refresh your spirit. God is near you, to revive and cheer your fainting soul. Perhaps someone says, “I find faith concerning the past and concerning the ultimate future tolerably easy; but it is faith for the next hour or two I cannot so readily exercise.” At certain times, it is found that a trial is particularly present, but one cannot always believe that God is “a very present help in trouble”; yet it is true. He has delivered, and he does deliver.

17. The third train of thought is this, — expectation looks out of the window on the future:“ in whom we trust that he will still deliver us.” Yes, dear friends, there may be many trials before you yet; but there is a mass of mercy laid up in store to meet those trials. Troubles such as you have never yet known, as well as repetitions of those you have experienced, will surely happen to you; but as your days are, so shall your strength be, for your Lord will continue to deliver you. As the eyes gradually fail, and the limbs grow weak, and the infirmities of age creep over us, we are apt to be distressed; yet our Lord will not forsake us. When severe sickness invades our mortal body, and our pains are multiplied and intensified, we wonder how we shall hold out to the end; and especially as we look forward to the time of death, not always viewing it in the true light, we say, “What shall we do in the swelling of Jordan? How shall we be able to bear the stern realities of our last hours?” Be of good comfort my brother, my sister; he who has delivered, and does deliver, will still deliver. As surely as the trial comes, the way of escape shall be opened up for you by your Lord. Will you try to grasp all this of which I have been speaking? He has delivered you; then, give him your gratitude: he is delivering you; then, give him your confidence: he will deliver you; then, give him a full and joyful expectation, and begin even now to praise him for mercies which are yet to come, and for grace which you have not yet tasted, but which you shall taste in his good time.

18. II. Now, in the second place, THE TEXT SUPPLIES THREE LINES OF ARGUMENT, all running to the same point.

19. The point to be proved is that the Lord will deliver his people; and I argue that he will deliver us in the future because he has already begun to deliver us. There is a chain of continuity here; he has delivered, he does deliver, and he will deliver. He began to work for our deliverance long before we sought him. The first movement was not from us to God, but from God to us. We were lying dead in trespasses and sins, and he came and quickened us. He gave his Son to die for us many centuries before we were born; he provided the gospel for us long before you and I had ever sinned; in all things he had the head start, and was ahead of us. Yet he need not have done all this, except that it was by his own choice and free will that he acted. I rejoice in the free will of God which moved him to deliver us.

20. Surely, then, since the motive that impelled him to save us must have been in himself alone, that motive is still there. If he had begun to deliver us because he saw some goodness in us, or because we first applied to him, then he might leave us after all; but since the beginning was with himself, out of his own heart, spontaneously, defend on it that, since he began the work, he will carry it on. God has no more knowledge of any one of us than he had at the first. When he began with us, he knew what we should be; foresaw all our sins and all our follies, all our ingratitude and all our backsliding. He did not enter, blindfold, on a task which, after second thoughts, he would have to relinquish; but, even from eternity, he saw us just as we have turned out to be. Yet he began with us; and having begun with the deliberation of eternal love, let us be quite sure that he will prosecute his gracious purpose with the perseverance of eternal love. If there had been, at the first, some reason in us why God should begin to deliver us, then, that reason being removed from us, God might cease to deliver us; but since the reason was not in us, but in himself, since he can never change, the reason for our deliverance remains the same, and the argument is good and clear, — God has delivered us, then he will deliver us.

21. The next argument comes from the fact that, since he is now delivering us, therefore he will continue to do so. Here is the continuity of his grace. Now look beloved; he has, up to this hour, continued to deliver you and me who have trusted him. How many times has he delivered me? Out of how many troubles have I been delivered? From how many sins have I been delivered? Well, then, if the Lord has kept on delivering me for so long, I argue that, if he had ever meant to stop, he would have stopped before now; and, therefore, —

    His love in time past forbids me to think
    He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink;
    Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review,
    Confirms his good pleasure to help me quite through.

When a man begins to build, we think that he will finish the building if he can. We know that our God can complete what he has begun, so we conclude that he will do so. I feel that he has gone so far with me that he cannot give me up now.

    Can he have taught me to trust in his name,
    And thus far have brought me to put me to shame?

No, that can never be; and many of you must feel just as I do about this matter. Some of you are, as it were, sitting on the very door-step of heaven; you are over eighty years of age, so you cannot be here for long; can you not trust the Lord for the few months or years you have yet to live? He has been helping you, my aged sister, ever since you were a girl; and he has delivered you out of all kinds of troubles, do you think that he will leave you now? And my dear venerable brother, you knew the Lord when you were only a boy, and he has never left you yet; will he forsake you now? No; blessed be his name, he will not! All those years of his favour go to confirm us in the conviction that he will keep on delivering us until he brings us safely home.

22. The Lord has not only delivered us so often, but he has aldone so it in such a wonderful way, that he must go on working in a similar manner. What marvellous wisdom has he sometimes displayed in delivering us from the consequences of our own folly! Often he has seemed to lavish his mercy on us so that he might help us in our time of need, and not once has he failed us. There is not one broken promise of his, nor one covenant blessing that he has ever withheld from us. If any of you, who have known him the longest, have anything to say against your God, say it; but you have not. You have never had any reason for doubting him, nor have you ever had any suspicion of his faithfulness raised in your mind by anything that he has done which might lead you to doubt him in the future. He has delivered, he is delivering, and he will still deliver. There are two arguments drawn from the past and the present.

23. The best argument, however, comes from God himself:“ in whom we trust.” He is always the same, and everything is always present to his unchanging mind. What was the nature of God when he first determined to deliver me? Was it love? Then, it is love now. What was the motive which impelled the Son of God when he came from above, and snatched me from the deep waters? It was love, surprising love; and it is surprising love which still moves him to deliver me. Did I sing about his faithfulness, the other day? That faithfulness is just the same today. Have I adored his wisdom? That wisdom is not exhausted.

24. There is not only the same nature in God as there always was, but there is also the same unchanging purpose. You and I are changeable and fickle; and we are obliged to do so, because we make rash promises and faulty plans; but, God, who is infinitely wise, always keeps to his purpose. Now, if it was his original purpose to save us, — and it must have been, or he would never have delivered us as he has done, — that purpose still stands, and shall stand for ever. Though earth’s old columns bow, though heaven and earth shall pass away, as the morning hoar-frost dissolves in the beams of the rising sun, yet the decree of the immutable Jehovah shall never be changed. “For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who shall annul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”

25. III. Time fails me, so I can only very briefly show you that THE TEXT IS OPEN TO THREE INFERENCES.

26. The first inference I draw from it is, that we shall always be in danger as long as we are here. The Lord has delivered, does deliver, and he will deliver, so we shall always need divine deliverance while we are in this world. We must not expect to be ever out of gun-shot of the enemy here. You may depend on it, brothers and sisters in Christ, that you will always have tribulation as long as you are in the world, you will have trials in the flesh, you will have trials in the spirit, you will have trials from God, and trials from Satan; and if, at any time, you are a long while without any trouble, keep a good look-out for it, for it is probably on the way to you. We should always suspect some danger near when we perceive too much delight. When God has given us a long stretch of smooth sailing, it well behoves us to steer our vessel cautiously, and to be ready to furl our sails at any moment, for a storm may be on us before we know where we are. We need not ask the Lord to send us trouble, but when it comes, let us have the grace to accept it, and to glorify God in it. While we are in this world, we shall always know that it is the world, so let us not make any mistake about the matter; the devil is the devil, the world is the world, and the flesh is the flesh. None of these things have changed, and the mercy is that God has not changed, he is still the same as he ever was. If I found that the world was not the world, I might be afraid that God was not God; but that can never be the case. So, since trials are always arising, I may fairly suspect that they always will come while this time-state lasts; but I also fully believe that God will be always the same, and that he will deliver all who trust in him.

27. The second inference from the text is, that we may constantly expect a display of God’s delivering grace. The past says, “He has delivered”; the present says, “he does deliver”; and the future says, “He will still deliver.” Yesterday, God was very gracious to me, I need not tell you how; today he has been very gracious to me; tomorrow he will be very gracious to me; and the same will be true the next day, and the next day, and the next day, until there shall be no more days, and time shall be swallowed up in eternity. Between here and heaven, every minute that the Christian lives will be a minute of grace. From here to the throne of the Highest, you will have to be continually supplied with new grace from the Lord who sits on high. Dear brother, you never live a truly holy, happy, blessed day, except by divine grace. You never think a right thought, never do a right act, you never make any advance heavenward except by grace. I like to think that it is so, that every day I am a monument of mercy; that every day a fresh display of sovereign grace is made to me; every day my Father feeds me, my Saviour cleanses me, the Comforter sustains me. Every day, new revelations of the lovingkindness of the Lord break out on my wondering soul, and give me fresh visions of his miraculous love. I could not find another word to express what I wanted to say, that one seemed to leap into my mouth just then, — his miraculous love! And so it is, miracle-working love, making the Christian’s life to be a series of miracles, at which angels shall gaze for ever in astonished adoration of the amazing love of God for guilty men. So I consider that we may go onward with great confidence; for, although every day will bring dangers, every day will also witness divine deliverances.

28. Thirdly, the last inference I draw from the text is, that our whole life should be filled with praise for God our Deliverer. How does it run? He delivered us, and now we deliver ourselves? No, no, no! He delivered us; he does deliver us; — but what about the future? We must deliver ourselves? No, no, no! He has delivered; he does deliver; and he will still deliver; — the same Person, working in the beginning, in the centre, and at the close. It is all of God from first to last; there is not one deliverance which you have ever had which you can ascribe to anyone but the Lord alone. Inside heaven’s gate, all the praise is given to the Triune Jehovah: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be”; and outside heaven’s gate, let us sing the same song, to the same tune; let it always be to the praise of grace, grace, GRACE; to the God of grace, the Father of grace, the Christ of grace, the Holy Spirit and his grace; and to God be all the glory, for ever and for ever! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Attributes of God — Lovingkindness” 196}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Unchanging Love — ‘I Will Never Leave Thee’ ” 733}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Unchanging Love — ‘Lovest Thou Me?’ ” 735}

{a} Scylla: A rock upon the Italian side of the Straits of Messina facing Charybdis (q. v. for the proverbial use); also personified as a dangerous sea-monster. OED. {b} Charybdis: A dangerous whirlpool on the coast of Sicily (now Calofaro), opposite the Italian rock Scylla. Used allusively of anything likely to cause shipwreck of life, etc., and esp. in combination with Scylla, of the danger of running into one evil or peril in seeking to avoid its opposite. OED.

Expositions By C. H. Spurgeon {Ps 16; 63}

16:1. Preserve me, oh God: for I put my trust in you.

Ah, brethren! when we think of our daily dangers, and when we remember the sinfulness of our nature, this petition may well be our frequent prayer: “Preserve me, oh God”; and this may well be our plea, as well as the psalmist’s: “for I put my trust in you.” We trust in the name of the Lord, for we can never expect to be preserved except by his protecting grace.

2, 3. Oh my soul, you have said to the LORD, “You are my Lord: my goodness does not extend to you”; but to the saints who are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.

“My God, I would gladly prove my gratitude to you if I could; but what can I do for One so great as you are? You are infinitely above me; you need nothing from me. What, then, can I do to show my love for you? By my care for your people I may prove what I would do for you if I could. Are they hungry? I will feed them. Are they sick? I will visit them. If my goodness cannot reach the great Head of the Church, it shall at least wash the feet, for I love you, oh my God; and I want, in some practical way, to show that I love you!”

4. Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god: I will not offer their drink offerings of blood, nor take up their names on my lips.

He who sincerely loves the true God cannot have any regard for his rivals; he will have no communion with false gods in any shape or form.

5. The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup:

That is the believer’s portion, — his God. The Levites, as a tribe, had no inheritance in the land of Canaan; but God was their portion, and who shall dare to say that they did not have the best of it? Now, child of God, if you could have your choice, what would you choose, — goods or God? Earthly wealth, or the God who is the source of all good things?

5. You maintain my lot.

One of our great men has for his motto, “I will maintain it.” But the psalmist’s is a much better one: “You maintain my lot.” It is better to have God for our Guardian than to have all possible human strength with which to defend ourselves.

6. The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance.

The Jewish rulers stretched the measuring or dividing lines over the plots of land that fell to the different members of the family; but here the man of God declares that, since God was his portion, the lines had fallen to him in pleasant places. There is no choice of places, or times, or circumstances, with the man who thoroughly loves his God. He can find God in loneliness, and so enjoy the best company. If he has God in poverty, he has great riches. Oh happy man, who has God to be his all!

7. I will bless the LORD, who has given me counsel:

“He has talked with me, checked me, rebuked me, instructed me, encouraged me: ‘I will bless Jehovah, who has given me counsel.’ ” That does not, at first sight, look as if it were one of the best blessings, yet the psalmist mentions it immediately after he has declared that the lines have fallen to him in pleasant places, — as if he felt that one of the best blessings of the covenant was that God had been his Counsellor.

7. My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.

“God makes my heart, my conscience, my innermost being, to give me instruction.” What a blessing that must have been to David! A man who has no inward monitor, because he has stifled his conscience, so that it no longer holds him by the ear, and speaks with him, is poor indeed; but blessed is he who has his God and his conscience to counsel and instruct him.

8. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Brother, have you always acted on the level? Have you so conducted your business that you need not be ashamed for God himself to look at it? Then do not be afraid of anything that may happen to you, for you will come out all right at the last. There may be great trouble in store for you, and you may be stripped of all that you possess; but you shall never be ashamed.

9. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

Every good thing belongs to the man who belongs to God. He need not be afraid even of the grave, for he can adopt the language which is here prophetically used for Christ himself. He is not afraid to die, for he can say: —

10. For you will not leave my soul in hell;

“Sheol” — the place of the departed, the intermediate state into which the soul passes at death.

10. Neither will you permit your Holy One to see corruption.

In the fullest sense, this verse belongs to Christ alone; but, still, what belongs to the Head is also the portion of the members of his mystical body.

11. You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fulness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

And this is the portion of every believer. “Here little, but hereafter much,” says Bunyan; but I will venture to alter it, and say, “Here much, but hereafter more shall be our inheritance from age to age.”

63:1. Oh God, you are my God; I will seek you early:

“Because you are mine, therefore I will seek you.” A sense of possession makes us long for the enjoyment of all that is really ours.

1. My soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

“Nothing but yourself can satisfy me; everything else, or everyone else falls short of my desire. There is no water that can slake such a thirst as mine unless I drink from you, you overflowing well.”

2. To see your power and your glory, just as I have seen you in the sanctuary.

Past enjoyment of our Lord’s presence inspires us with earnest desire for new revelations of his face. If we have ever seen God’s power and glory, when we have come into the courts of his house, we long to see them again, whether we are in the wilderness or in the sanctuary.

3. Because your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you.

Is not that word “lovingkindness” one of the noblest terms in our own or in any other language? The word kin is at the root of kind and kindred, so that lovingkindness, loving-kinnedness, or loving-kinness, is such conduct as we may expect from those who are akin to us. God’s kinnness to us, through Jesus Christ his Son, and our Saviour, brings to us a lovingkindness that is better than life, and for which our lips can never praise him enough.

4. So I will bless you while live: I will lift up my hands in your name.

“For very joy, I will lift them up, and clap them before you. Though, previously, they hung down, as though I were dispirited, and could never work again, yet now, ‘I will lift up my hands in your name.’ ”

5. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; —

God’s flowers always bloom double. God’s blessings are like marrow and fatness; there is in them a double satisfaction of the most intense kind: “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness”; —

5. And my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips:

The psalmist speaks as if each of his lips had a separate joy; and as though, together, they would express the double joy for the double satisfaction which his God had given to him.

6. When I remember you on my bed, and meditate on you in the night-watches.

“Even then I shall have joy, for your presence makes even the darkness to be light.”

7. Because you have been my help, therefore I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings.

“If I cannot get into the light of your countenance, the very shadow of your wings shall make me glad. Only let me be near you; that is all I crave.”

7. My soul follows close after you

“I am like a dog who loves to keep close to his master’s heels.”

8-11. Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek my soul to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God; everyone who swears by him shall glory: but the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

Stopped with a shovelful of earth, in many cases; for it seems as if some liars would never cease lying as long as they are alive.



God the Father, Attributes of God
196 — Lovingkindness
 1 Awake, my soul, in joyful lays,
   And sing thy great Redeemer’s praise:
   He justly claims a song from me,
   His loving kindness, oh, how free!
2 He saw me ruin’d in the fall,
   Yet loved me, notwithstanding all;
   He saved me from my lost estate,
   His loving kindness, oh, how great!
3 Though numerous hosts of mighty foes,
   Though earth and hell my way oppose,
   He safely leads my soul along,
   His loving kindness, oh, how strong.
4 When trouble, like a gloomy cloud,
   Has gather’d thick and thunder’d loud,
   He near my soul has always stood,
   His loving-kindness changes not.
5 Often I feel my sinful heart
   Prone from my Jesus to depart;
   But though I have him oft forgot,
   His loving kindness changes not.
6 Soon shall I pass the gloomy vale,
   Soon all my mortal powers must fail;
   Oh may my last expiring breath
   His loving kindness sing in death!
7 Then let me mount and soar away
   To the bright world of endless day;
   And sing with rapture and surprise,
   His loving-kindness in the skies.
                     Samuel Medley, 1787.


The Christian, Privileges, Unchanging Love
733 — “I Will Never Leave Thee” <11s.>
1 Oh Zion, afflicted with wave upon wave,
   Whom no man can comfort, whom no man can save;
   With darkness surrounded, by terrors dismay’d,
   In toiling and rowing thy strength is decay’d.
2 Loud roaring the billows now nigh overwhelm,
   But skilful’s the Pilot who sits at the helm,
   His wisdom conducts thee, his power thee defends,
   In safety and quiet thy warfare he ends.
3 “Oh fearful! oh faithless!” in mercy he cries,
   “My promise, my truth, are they light in thine eyes?
   Still, still I am with thee, my promise shall stand,
   Through tempest and tossing I’ll bring thee to land.
4 “Forget thee I will not, I cannot, thy name
   Engraved on my heart doth for ever remain:
   The palms of my hands whilst I look in I see
   The wounds I received when suffering for thee.
5 “I feel at my heart all thy sighs and thy groans,
   For thou art most near me, my flesh and my bones,
   In all thy distresses thy Head feels the pain,
   Yet all are most needful, not one is in vain.
6 “Then trust me, and fear not; thy life is secure;
   My wisdom is perfect, supreme is my power;
   In love I correct thee, thy soul to refine
   To make thee at length in my likeness to shine.
7 “The foolish, the fearful, the weak are my care,
   The helpless, the hopeless, I hear their sad prayer:
   From all their afflictions my glory shall spring,
   And the deeper their sorrows, the louder they’ll sing.”
                           James Grant, 1784, a.


The Christian, Privileges, Unchanging Love
735 — “Lovest Thou Me?” <7s.>
1 Hark, my soul! it is the Lord;
   ‘Tis thy Saviour, hear his word;
   Jesus speaks, and speaks to thee:
   “Say, poor sinner, lov’st thou me?
2 “I deliver’d thee when bound,
   And, when bleeding, heal’d thy wound;
   Sought thee wand’ring, set thee right,
   Turn’d thy darkness into light.
3 “Can a woman’s tender care
   Cease toward the child she bare?
   Yes, she may forgetful be,
   Yet will I remember thee.
4 “Mine is an unchanging love,
   Higher than the heights above:
   Deeper than the depths beneath,
   Free and faithful, strong as death
5 “Thou shalt see my glory soon,
   When the work of grace is done:
   Partner of my throne shall be,
   Say, poor sinner, lov’st thou me?”
6 Lord, it is my chief complaint,
   That my love is weak and faint;
   Yet I love thee and adore —
   Oh for grace to love thee more!
                     William Cowper, 1771.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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