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2947. Royal Emblems For Loyal Subjects

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Royal Emblems For Loyal Subjects

No. 2947-51:373. A Sermon Delivered In The Year 1863, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, August 3, 1905.

And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun rises, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. {2Sa 23:4}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2284, “Clear Shining After Rain” 2285}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2947, “Royal Emblems for Loyal Subjects” 2948}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2998, “Rule of Christ, The” 2999}

1. Eastern despots fleece their subjects to an enormous extent. Even at the present day, one would hardly wish to be subjected to the demands of an oriental government; but, in David’s time, a bad king was a continual pestilence, plague, and famine, — a bane to the lives of his subjects, who were under his caprice; and who was pillaging their fields, which he perpetually swept clean to enrich himself with its produce. Hence, a good king was a rara avis {rare bird} in those days, and could never be too highly prized. As soon as he mounted the throne, his subjects began to feel the beneficial influence of his sway. He was to them “as when the sun rises.” The confusion which had existed under weak governors gave place to settled order, while the rapacity which had continually emptied the coffers of the rich, and filched the earnings of the poor, gave place to a regular system of assessment, and men knew how to go about their business with some degree of certainty. It was for them “a morning without clouds.” Immediately, trade began to flourish; people who had emigrated to avoid the exactions of the tyrant came back again; fields which had fallen out of tillage, because they would not pay the farmer to cultivate them, began to be sown; and the new ruler was to the land as “clear shining after rain,” which makes the tender grass spring up out of the earth.

2. I fear we do not value, as we should, the constitutional government, which it is our privilege as Britons to enjoy. Let us look where we may, — we need not say to the East only, but to the West, also, — we would not wish to change the government under which we live so happily. Let us gratefully acknowledge to God his tender mercy, and his goodness, in sparing us equally from the perverse elements of a republic, and then the prodigious exactions of a despotism, and for allowing us to dwell in a quiet and peaceable kingdom, where we can sit “every man under his own vine and under his own fig tree, no one making him afraid.” We may say, I am sure, of Her Majesty who is set over us in the order of providence, that she has been “as the sun when it rises, as a morning without clouds.” Under her generous sway our country has been blessed. Just as “the earth by clear shining after rain” produces the green herb, so have our institutions fostered our trade and commerce, by the goodwill and gracious providence of God.

3. But it is not my object, at present, to enlarge on the secular benefits that have fallen to our lot, though I should not think it unworthy of the Christian ministry to pursue a theme which calls for so much gratitude to God, and might foster so much good feeling among ourselves. We might make each other feel that there are vast mercies we enjoy which would be more esteemed if better known. Just as we speak of Christ’s unknown sufferings, so many of the bounties that we daily enjoy have become so common that we are oblivious to them; and, therefore, I might call them our unknown mercies. It well becomes us to lift up our voices and hearts to heaven, and thank God for the happy land, and for the happy age, in which the lines have fallen to us. Still, I take it that David was not so much speaking of mere political rulers as of Christ Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, whose sway is always gracious and full of goodwill. May his kingdom come! “Surely, I come quickly,” he cries from heaven. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” respond those whose love inspires their worship. His kingdom is “as when the sun rises even a morning without clouds” and when it shall have been perfectly established on the earth, all men shall know that the Son of David, whom once they rejected, is he by whom God would make all generations to be blessed for ever and ever. May we, who have waited and watched for his glorious advent, live when he stands in the latter day on the earth, and may we constitute a part of that glorious harvest, the fruit of which shall shake like the cedars of Lebanon! So we look for the day when the Lord shall come in the clouds of heaven.

4. I. David says of Christ HE SHALL BE AS THE LIGHT OF THE MORNING, WHEN THE SUN RISES. This he is as King, already, in his Church, and as the rightful Monarch in the individual heart of the believer. Wherever Christ comes into a soul, it is “as the light of the morning when the sun rises.”

5. The light of the morning is joyful. Then all the birds begin to sing, and the earth, which is silent at night, except when its stillness is disturbed by stormy winds, or by wild beasts, or by riotous drunken people, becomes vocal with songs from many mouths; so, when Christ comes into the heart, the tuneful notes of the singing birds are heard, and the voice of the turtledove welcomes the glad time. Where darkness had brooded before, the sunlight of Christ brings mirth and blessed rejoicing. Oh, what streamers there are in the town of Mansoul when Prince Emmanuel rides through! Happy day, happy day, when Jesus comes into the heart! Except the day when we shall be with him where he is, I suppose there is no day that is comparable to the first one, when we behold Christ, and see him as our Saviour and our King.

6. The rising of the sun is joyful, and, besides that, it is comforting and consoling for those who have been suffering from ills which night aggravates. “Oh that it were morning!” has been the cry of many a languishing one tossing on his bed. “Oh that it were morning!” may be the cry of many a heart that is greatly troubled with the guilt of sin. Ah, let the morning come; let the watchman say, “The morning comes”; let the day dawn, and the day-star appear in our hearts, and there is “the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Christ brings joy to cheer and comfort the disconsolate, for he is as the rising of the sun.

7. And, how glorious is the sun when from its pavilion it looks out at morning! Job describes the sunrise as being the stamping of the earth with a seal; as if, when in darkness, the earth were like a lump of clay that is malleable; then, as it is turned to the light, it begins to receive the impression of divine wisdom; mountain and vale all stream with it, until impressed on its surface we begin to perceive the glorious works of God. So, when Christ rises on the heart, what a glorious transformation is accomplished! Where there has been no love, no faith, no peace, no joy, none of the blessed fruits of the Spirit, no sooner does Christ come than we see all the graces in blossom; yes, they soon become fragrant and blooming, for we are made complete in him. The advent of Christ brings to the heart celestial beauty; faith in him decks us with ornaments, and clothes us as with royal apparel. Better garments than the rich man had, though he wore scarlet and fine linen, Christ gives to his people when he comes to them; and better fare than the rich man had, though he fared sumptuously every day, Jesus bestows on his saints when he shines into their hearts. Oh, the glory of the sunrise of the Saviour on the darkness of the human soul! If a man might rise every morning of the year to look at the rising sun, and yet never be tired of it, because of the sublimity of the spectacle, I think a man might consider his own conversion every hour in the day, and every day of his life, and yet never be wearied with the thrice-heavenly spectacle of Christ arising over the mountains of his guilt, to banish the dense darkness of his despair.

8. Since the sunrising is so joyful, and comforting, and glorious, let us remember how unparalleled it is, — unparalleled because divine. By no method of illumination can we manufacture such a light as the sun exhibits by its simple rising. Oh you priests, you come, with your incantations and mysteries, to make light in men’s hearts, and sometimes you strike a spark that only shows the darkness; it dies too soon to be called “the light.” And you pile your deeds to heaven, — your twigs of good works, — you bring your cartloads of superstitious observances, and vainly try to make an illumination; but before it begins to blaze it dies out, and only a handful of ashes remains to disappoint the expectant ones. But Christ arises, and with what boundless majesty he looks abroad! The joy, the peace, the comfort, the confidence, the full assurance, the blissful hope, which one ray of Christ’s light gives to the heart of man, is not to be equalled; no, scarcely to be compared with anything else. It is a joy that God only gives us, and, thank God, a joy which no one can take away.

9. And, just as this sunrise of Christ in our heart is divine, so likewise it is irresistible. No curtains can conceal the sun from the world when it starts to rise. No tyrant, by any law, can prevent the sun’s beams from gilding the cottage of the poor. It must shine and will. Like a giant, it comes out of its chamber, and where is he who shall wrestle with it? Where are you, oh man, who can take the bridle of the sun, and bid its chargers halt their race? Until they have climbed to heaven, and then gone down again to bathe their burning fetlocks {a} in the Western Sea, they must, they will pursue, their onward course, for no one can stop them, or say to their mighty driver, “What are you doing?” So, when Jesus comes into the heart, — be gone, you fiend! Your time of flight is come! Away despair and doubt, and anything that can prevent the soul from having joy and peace! So the eternal mandate runs, “Let that man go free!” Thus says Jehovah to Pharaoh, “Let my people go”; and go they must and shall, for the time of their light and their liberty is come. Like the rising of the sun, when it springs out “as a giant strong, and as a bridegroom gay,” {happy} even so is Christ Jesus; when he rises in the human heart.

10. The sunrise, moreover, is very much like the coming of Christ, because of what it involves. Those rays of light, which first forced the darkness from the sky with golden prophecy of day, tell of flowers that shall open their cups to drink in the sunlight; they tell of streams that shall sparkle as they flow; they tell of the virgins who shall make merry, and the young men who shall rejoice, because the sun shines on them, and the darkness of night is fled. And so, the coming of Christ into the heart is a prophecy of years of sweet enjoyment, — a prophecy of God’s goodness and longsuffering, let night reign, elsewhere, as it may; — yes, and it is a prophecy of the fulness of the river of God, for ever and ever, before the throne of God in heaven. Do you have Christ, poor soul? Christ is for you the promise of eternal happiness. You cannot be dark again if Christ has once shone on you. No night shall follow this blessed day; it is a day that lasts for ever.

    Doth Jesus once upon thee shine,
       Then Jesus is for ever thine.

11. Has Christ appeared to you? Do you trust him now? Are you reposing only on his finished work? Then the sun has risen on you, and it shall go down no more for ever. The everlasting Joshua tells the sun to stand still, and today, and tomorrow, although the whole world revolves, that Sun of Righteousness still remains to shine on you with healing in his wings.

12. II. We must proceed to notice that the psalmist uses another metaphor: “EVEN A MORNING WITHOUT CLOUDS.”

13. Brethren, there are no clouds in Christ when he arises in a sinner’s heart. The clouds that mostly cover our sky come from Sinai, from the law, and from our own legal propensities, for we are always wishing to do something by which we may inherit eternal life; but none of these clouds are in Christ.

14. There is, in Christ, no cloud of angry rebuke for the past. When Jesus receives the sinner, he does not chide. “Neither do I condemn you,” is all that he has to say. I thought, when I came tremblingly to him, that he would at least bring all my sins before me, and chide before he sealed my pardon with the kiss of mercy; but it was not so. The Father received the prodigal without a single word of rebuke. He only said, “Take off his rags”; he only commanded them to kill the fatted calf so that they might make merry; not a word did he speak of his hungry look, or his filth, or of the far country, or even of the prostitutes with whom he had spent his substance. Christ receives the soul without rebuke, for he is “as a morning without clouds.”

15. And, just as there is no cloud of anger, so there is no cloud of exacting demand. He does not ask the sinner to be anything, or to do anything. That would be a cloud, indeed, if he did. A sinner by nature can do nothing, and can be nothing, except as grace shall make him be and do. If Christ asked anything of you or me, if he only asked for repentance from us, unless he gave us that repentance, his salvation would be of no avail to us. But he asks for nothing; all he tells us to do is to take him as everything, and be nothing ourselves. So, to the empty-handed sinner, he is such a full Christ that we may well say, “He is a morning without clouds.”

16. And, just as he is without cloud of demand, so he is without cloud of falsehood. I know that some say Christ may reject those who have put their trust in him, — that, after they are saved, they may yet fall from grace and perish. Surely, that would not be a morning without clouds. I should see, in the distance, the tempest gathering that might ultimately destroy my spirit; but, no, if you trust Christ, he will surely save you, even to the end. If you put your soul into his hand, there is no fear that he will be false to the sacred charge; he will undertake to be Surety for your soul; he will bring you to his Father’s face without hindrance, when the fulness of time is come. Do not trouble yourselves, oh you anxious ones, concerning the future! Does faith reach only to the present? Do you trust Christ only to save you today? Please take a larger sweep of confidence, and trust him to save you to the end. If you do so, he will be better to you than your fears would suggest, or than your faith can conceive; to the end he will love you, and in the end he will bring you to be like him and to be with him where he is. Happy is that man who sees Christ “as a morning without clouds.” Those who see any clouds in him make the clouds. The clouds are only in their vision; they are not in his person. The spots and defects are in them; they are not in his person, nor in his work. If you will only trust him fully, simply, without any mixture of your own merit or confidence, you shall find him to be equal to the brightest description, — a morning without a single cloud.

17. III. But, now, for the last metaphor. On this we intend to dwell at somewhat greater length. David says of Christ, the King, that his sway is like CLEAR SHINING AFTER RAIN, by which the tender grass is made to spring out of the earth.

18. We all understand the metaphor. We have often seen how, after a very heavy shower of rain, and sometimes after a continued rainy season, when the sun shines, there is a delightful clarity and freshness in the air that we seldom perceive at other times. Perhaps, the brightest weather is just when the wind has driven away the clouds, and the rain has ceased, and the sun peers out from its chambers to look down on the glad earth. Well, now, Christ is to his people just like that, — very clear shining when the rain is over.

19. Sorrow and sadness do not last for ever. After the rain, there is to come the clear shining. Tried believer, after all your afflictions there remains a rest for the people of God; and if, just now, you are tried and vexed by some extraordinary trial, there is a clear shining coming to your soul when all this rain is over. Look to Christ and you shall find where that clear shining is. The quiet contemplation you shall have of him, when this time of rebuke is over, shall then be to you as the earth when the tempest has sobbed itself to sleep, when the clouds have torn themselves to rags, and the sun peers out, shooting out virtue with its lustrous rays.

20. And while sorrows, like the floating clouds, do not last for ever, they work together with the bliss, that like the clear sunshine follows afterwards to produce good. It is not in the sorrow alone, perhaps, to produce good, any more than the rain might, by itself, produce the spring blade; but when the sorrow and the joy, when the affliction and the consultation, come together, then the joy of the heart is indeed benign. No one produces much fruit for God except those who have been deeply ploughed with affliction, and deluged with grief; but even they do not produce much fruit until they have had the joy of Christ’s presence after the affliction is over. Clear shining after rain produces a good atmosphere for the plants, and the joy of the soul in the presence of the Lord, after a time of sorrow, makes it able to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

21. So, after times of great troubles, Christ becomes to his people more especially and delightfully sweet than he has ever been before. I notice this in many cases. It is obvious in conversion. What happy, happy days were our first young days in the faith! I cannot forget Mine, —— i never shall. When talking with those who come to tell me what God has done for their souls, I notice the freshness of their memory of every separate event on the day of their new birth; they can tell how Christ appeared to them, and how they looked to him, and were enlightened. “I can never forget that, sir, until I die,” one says; “I have a very bad memory, and I forget almost everything that is good; but I shall never forget that, for it was such a joyful time.” I know that many of you have had good days, but they have been like pieces of money that you received when children, very bright once; but they have been passed around, and worn in circulation, until they have lost the image and superscription which were once so bright to your eyes. Not so the day of your new birth; it has been like a coin, as fresh as when you laid it aside; and when you take it out again, it is as fresh as the mint delivered it, and you can still read it, and read the image of Christ which it bears. I think there is scarcely such a day on earth to be had in Christian experience as that first day when we came to Christ, and knew him as our Saviour.

22. The same is true also, in its measure, after great and heavy affliction. You have been bereaved. A wife, a husband, a child has been removed from you; or, you have had a great loss in business, you were thwarted in some expectation, and you were cast into the lowest depth of trouble. Friends failed you, consolation fled from you; but, after a time, you felt a sweet resignation; you could say, “My soul is even as a weaned child”; your troubles, somehow or other, grew sweet as honey, though before they had been bitter as gall. You saw the finger of a loving Lord in all those engraved lines of affliction, which the chisel had made on your brow; you saw the great Refiner sitting at the mouth of the furnace, watching your gold so that it might not be destroyed, and rejoicing over your dross, because it melted away in the flame. Do you remember it? Why, I can look back to some of the happiest times of my life, and see them stand in juxtaposition with the blackest times of trial. Oh, it has been, sometimes, a glorious thing to be cast down by rebuke and slander, and then to go into one’s bedroom, and lay Rabshakeh’s letter before the Lord, and then to go down, and feel more glad then a king of a hundred kingdoms, because we have been counted worthy to suffer reproach for Christ. At such a time, there is a calm within us more deep and profound than we felt before.

23. And, notice that, if it has been so with us individually, it has been no less so with the Church. Remember the clear shining after rain in the apostles’ times. “Then the churches had rest, and walking in the fear of God, were multiplied.” Those little times of hush and calm, between the great persecutions, have always been prolific with converts. I hope, in the midst of successive controversies which darken the sky overhead, that, when the rain is over, and the noise and trouble it costs some tender spirits have ceased, and the powers of darkness have been hushed to sleep once more, we may have some clear shining after rain, and brotherly fellowship once again be renewed. The day comes when the great battle of Armageddon shall be fought, when the powers of darkness shall be roused to frenzy’s highest pitch, when hell shall be opened, and the great dragon shall be permitted to come on the earth, trailing its chain along in the supremacy of its hour; — then, when dreadful war shall come on the earth, when nations shall reel and stagger to and fro, the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the trump of the archangel and the voice of God, and there shall be clear shining after the rain. And then, when the flames shall have consumed this orb, when judgment shall have been passed, when death and hell shall have been cast into the lake of fire, when all the powers of evil shall have been utterly destroyed before the majesty of his coming who shall overturn them, that his kingdom may be established in heaven, everlasting hallelujahs, “For the Lord God omnipotent reigns,” shall bear witness that there is clear shining after the rain: for so it must be in the little as the great, in the experience of the individual as in that of the multitude; there must be a rain, and there must be the clear shining after it, and the two together shall produce a matchless harvest, to the praise and glory of his grace, who works all things according to the counsel of his own will.

24. Ask, now, why is it that God gives to his people sweet seasons just after the bitter?

25. One reason is, to take the taste of the bitter out of their mouth. Even as to our little children, when they take their nauseous medicine, we give them something sweet; so the Lord often, when he comes to his little ones, gives them such sweet honey of his grace that they forget their sufferings in the sweet nectar which he gives them.

26. Another reason, no doubt, is lest they should be utterly destroyed by the terror of his judgment. “He tempers the wind to the shorn lamb”; but, better than that, he takes it into his bosom; and when it lies there, little does it know that except for the rain and the tempest it would not have lain in his bosom, and been fondled there so tenderly. He put it there lest it should perish.

27. Then, again, he does it as a sweet reward of faith. He sees you in trouble, bravely struggling with the tempest, and says, “I will reward that man.” He sees you following him in the garden, still clinging to him amid all the darkness and temptation; and, therefore, he says, “I will give to that soul such joy, eventually, that it shall be well rewarded for its faithfulness to me in the past.”

28. Is it not also to prepare you for the future so that, in looking back, you may say, “The last time I had trouble, there was clear shining after the rain, and I feel it will be so next time?” Ah, you timid one, there is a trial coming; it looms over your head. What! and did you behave valiantly for your Master in former times, and will you be a coward now? Ah, my brother, do you think there is a time of ruin threatening you, and you say, “His mercy is entirely gone for ever; he will be faithful to me no more”? Oh, why do you say that? Does my Lord deserve it? Has he been with you in six troubles? Then, why should he forsake you in the seventh? He who has helped you so far will surely help you to the end. Why has he delivered you in the tempest, if he intends to let you sink at last? By the kindness of the past, the love experienced in former days, let your faith put out its great sheet-anchor, {b} and ride out the storm, for there shall again be “clear shining after rain.”

29. And, surely, these changeful times of ours, and that constant ordinance of his, ought to make us sick of self, and fond of him. He puts gall on the world, and he puts honey on his own lips; so that we may avoid the one and love the other. We are so fond of this world that we must be drawn away from it: and when we are drawn away from it, and enticed to him, our foolish hearts come to know his value, and we yield ourselves up to him.

30. I cannot tell to whom this sermon is addressed. I am sure it has a mission to fulfil. Oh brothers and sisters, it may be that these words may be worth a mine of gold for some of you, as clear shining after rain! If they suit your case, thank my Master for it. He may have a harvest from your soul yet. Be sure that you give him the first-fruits of the harvest. When there is clear shining after the rain, honour him more, serve him better, give more to his cause, pray more for his people, live more in his fear, commune more with him, and walk more closely to him. Let it be true that, in your case, as in that of this round world, the rain and the clear shining after it have produced their abundant fruit. When you and I shall get to heaven, we will talk on its green and flowery mounts of all the showers through which we passed, and of the clear shining; and, in the sacred high eternal noon, which shall be our portion for ever, we shall, with transporting joys, recount the labours of the past, and sing of the clear shining after the rain.

31. How sad the thought that there is no “clear shining after rain” for some of you! There is a rain of troubles in reserve for you, — that you know; there will be more troubles yet in this life; there is a heavy shower coming yet in death, and then it shall rain for ever, and there shall be a horrible tempest; — that is your portion. If you do not believe that Jesus is the Christ and do not entrust your souls to him, all the woe you have ever known is as nothing; it is only the first spattering of the drops on the pavement; it is nothing compared with the storm which shall beat on your unsheltered head for ever and ever. But the refuge is right in front you, man! The sky is dark, the tempest lowers; but the refuge is right ahead of you. Run! in God’s name, run! The storm comes rushing on, as if God were gathering up all his black artillery so that he might discharge his dreadful thunders against you. Run! “But can I enter?” Yes, the door is open; run! “But may I enter?” Yes, he invites you: “Come to me, yes, come to me, — come tonight, — trust me,” he says, “and I will save your soul.” “But I am unworthy.” Well, see the tempest! Run! Let your unworthiness put feathers to your feet, and not stop you in your haste. Jesus calls you from his throne in heaven; he invites you: “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come’; and let him who hears say, ‘Come’.” Heaven and earth say, “Come.” Sinner, will you avoid the tempest? Will you flee, and find shelter in Christ? May God help you to trust Christ now, and to him shall be the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

{a} Fetlock: That part of a horse’s leg where the tuft of hair grows behind the pastern-joint. OED. {b} Sheet-Anchor: A large anchor, formerly always the largest of a ship’s anchors, used only in an emergency. OED.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ps 27}

1. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

A kind of trembling seems to have been creeping over him, so he argues like this with his own heart, “Why should I be dismayed? Am I afraid of the coming darkness? ‘The Lord is my light.’ Do dangers surround me? ‘The Lord is my salvation.’ Do I expect stern labour or severe suffering? ‘The Lord is the strength of my life.’ Are there many enemies watching for my stumbling? Yet, ‘of whom shall I be afraid’ since he is on my side?” Then he falls back on his past experience: —

2. When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came against me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

“They were very fierce. Like cannibals, they meant to eat me right up. They would not have spared me. They ‘came against me’ in such a way that I was taken at a disadvantage. I seemed to be altogether in their power, but ‘they stumbled and fell.’ I did not have to lift a hand against them, but the mysterious power of God entirely overthrew them. They stumbled and fell then, so shall I be afraid of them now?”

3. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this I will be confident.

“God has not changed. My enemies are no more powerful than they were; and if they should become so, omnipotence will still overpower them. I will therefore be confident, and calm, come what may.”

4. I have desired one thing from the LORD, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,

“That, wherever I am, I may be at home with God; — that I may feel, in every place, that I am still in his house, — never away from home, — whether in the wilderness or in the city, still dwelling like a child at home with his parents.”

4, 5. To behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion:

“Will not a father take care of his own children? Does not even the feeble hen cover her chickens with her wings, and will not God cover me with his feathers, and cause me to rest in safety under his wings? Indeed, that he will. ‘In the time of trouble he shall hide me’ away from it, so that it shall not harm me. I shall be hidden right away in his pavilion, in his royal tent, which is pitched in the very centre of his army. Around me shall lie all the forces of divine providence to protect me, since I am the honoured guest of the Commander-in-chief himself. In the pavilion of his sovereignty he shall hide me.”

5. In the secret of his tabernacle he shall hide me:

That is, in the holy of holies, into which no man might come. “There shall God hide me, — in the tabernacle of sacrifice, — behind the atonement of Christ.” So David had the two blessed protections of sovereignty and sacrifice.

5. He shall set me up on a rock.

“His lofty power shall lift me above the turmoil, and his immutable fidelity, like a rock that never moves, shall make me to stand firm.”

6. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me:

“They may surround me, and threaten me, but they cannot harm me, for I am living with my God, staying like a child in my Father’s house.”

6, 7. Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in his tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD. Hear, oh LORD, when I cry with my voice:

He has not finished praising before he begins to pray. We are scarcely out of one trouble before we enter into another. This is what keeps Christian people alive, because, escaping from one trial, they begin to praise, and falling into another, they begin to pray; and prayer and praise make up a Christian’s life-breath. May we abound in both!

7, 8. Have mercy also on me, and answer me. When you said, “Seek my face”; my heart said to you, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”

“So I answered you when you spoke. Now answer me, oh Lord, when I speak to you.” It sometimes happens that God speaks to us, and we make no reply to him, and for that reason he refuses to hear us when we speak to him. You must have an opened ear to God if you expect him to have an opened ear to you. Notice how David pleads: “Hear, oh Lord, when I cry. … When you said, ‘Seek my face’; my heart said to you, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’ ”

9. Do not hide your face far from me; do not put your servant away in anger:

David has a jealous fear lest he should have provoked the Lord to hide himself from him, so he prays as one who is dependent on his Heavenly Father’s smile, and cannot live without it. “Do not put your servant away in anger.”

9. You have been my help; do not leave me, neither forsake me, oh God of my salvation.

That is sweet pleading; can you not, you who are cast down, use it as David did? “You have been my help; do not leave me, neither forsake me, oh God of my salvation.” And then, as if to show that he does not pray this out of unbelief, but out of earnest and true faith he says: —

10. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

“The Lord never will forsake me. Though I pray, ‘Do not leave me,’ I know that he will not. Father and mother retain love for their child when that child has lost every earthly friend; but, Lord, if nature should change, and mothers should turn into monsters, still, ‘When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.’ ”

11. Teach me your way, oh LORD,

This is a sweetly practical prayer. Our heart often says, “Lord, let me have my own way”; but when grace has done its work, it talks in another way, “ ‘Teach me your way, oh Lord.’ Only let me know what you would have me be, and do, and feel, and I submit myself to you, joyfully. But, Lord, I am so weak that, even if I am taught your way, I fear I shall not go in it unless you shall do more than teach me.”

11. And lead me —

“Put your finger out, as mothers do to tender infants: ‘Lead me’ ” —

11. In a plain path, because of my enemies.

“Do not let it be a difficult way, in which I shall hardly know which is the right road; but let it be a very plain path. And, Lord, help me to walk in my daily life so that there may be no mistake about my being upright and honest before men: ‘Lead me in a plain path.’ ” Oh, there are some, even among professing Christians, who have many tricks, and shifts and schemes, and dodges, just like worldlings or foxes, but the sheep of Christ must take care to follow the Shepherd’s plain footprints. There was no craft in Christ. In him was no guile; and if we are Israelites indeed, the same thing will be said of us. Oh, that each one of us would cultivate a transparent character, and not have to live so that our life is one perpetual apology for an attempt to hide something! Wear your heart on your sleeve, and let your soul show itself distinctly in your actions, not being afraid if all the world should see you.

12. Do not deliver me over to the will of my enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

It is their delight to be cruel, to say unkind, unjust, untruthful things which lacerate the heart; and the more some people can tear good men’s reputations to pieces, the more pleased they are. I must say that it is hardly less than a miracle, that any true servant of God should for any length of time escape even from the vilest slander, so base is the tongue of men.

13. I would have fainted, unless I had believed —

That is the smelling salts for a fainting soul: “I would have fainted unless I had believed.” You must do the one or the other; you must either believe or else faint, but if your faith is strong you cannot faint. Oh you who are of feeble faith, it is little wonder that you faint! Oh that your faith were stronger! Notice what David says, “Unless I had believed” —

13. To see —

Some say, “Seeing is believing,” but it is not; it is the very opposite of believing. Some people must see in order to believe, but the true followers of our Lord believe to see. If you will believe it, you shall see it; but if you will not believe it until you have seen it, then you shall never believe at all. “I would have fainted, unless I had believed to see” —

13, 14. The goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Why did David put that little sentence in and say, “Wait, I say?” It is a repetition, but not a vain one, for it is his own personal testimony, as much as if he had said, “I have waited on the Lord, and I have found that he helps me, so, wait, I say, on the Lord.” Oh, but my brothers and sisters, we wait so much on men, we wait so much on ourselves, if we could get into that holy quietness in which God’s voice could be heard within our souls, — if the voice of man could be hushed, and we were content that the Lord should speak to us, how much more blessed would our lives become! Now do you have any burden at this moment? Do you have any care? Do you have a knot which you cannot untie? Have you come into a labyrinth of which you can not find the clue? “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.”

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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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