3242. Unparalleled Lovingkindnesses

by Charles H. Spurgeon on May 19, 2021
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No. 3242-57:133. A Sermon Delivered On Tuesday Evening, November 17, 1863, By C. H. Spurgeon, At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, March 23, 1911.

Lord, where are your former lovingkindnesses, which you swore to David in your truth? {Ps 89:49}

1. The Lord had made an everlasting covenant with David, ordered in all things and sure, yet that covenant was not intended to preserve him from trouble. When this Psalm was written, he had been brought very low. His crown had been cast down to the ground, his enemies had rejoiced over him, and he had become a reproach to his neighbours. Then his thoughts flew back to the happier days of the past, and the covenant which the Lord had made with him, and either David himself, or Ethan writing on his behalf enquired, in the words of our text, “Lord, where are your former lovingkindnesses, which you swore to David in your truth?”

2. I. Applying this passage to the people of God, I remark, first, that WE HAVE RECEIVED MANY MERCIES IN THE PAST.

3. Is that too common a matter for you to think and talk about? If you know it so well, why do you forget it so often? The mercies of God awaken us every morning, so that we are as used to them as we are to the sunlight, yet some of us think very little of them. They follow us until the night, and we get as accustomed to them as we do to our beds, yet perhaps some of us think less of them than we do of our beds. We have providential mercies every moment of the day, and every day of our lives; we can never count the number of them, for they are more than the sands on the sea-shore. I am going, however, to speak of the spiritual mercies with which God has enriched us,—the blessings of the upper springs; and it will help you to recall them if I take the list of them that is given at the beginning of the one hundred and third Psalm.

4. Turn to it, and read, first, “who forgives all your iniquities.” All of us to whom these words belong should constantly remember that we are pardoned souls. We were not so once; oh, what would we not have given then to know what we know now? At that time, our iniquities pressed on us as a burden that we could not bear, the stings of conscience gave us no rest, and the terrors of hell got hold on us. When I was under conviction of sin, I felt that I would willingly have given my eyes, my hands, my all, if I might only be able to say, “I am a forgiven soul.” So, now that we are pardoned, let us not forget the Lord’s lovingkindness in forgiving all our iniquities. If you, my hearer, can forget it, I may well question whether your iniquities have ever been forgiven, for the pardon of sin is so great a mercy that the song which it evokes from the heart must last for ever.

5. The next mercy in the psalmist’s list is, “who heals all your diseases.” Remember again, my brother or my sister, what the Lord has done for you in this respect. Once, pride possessed you, like a burning fever, and long prevented you from submitting to God’s simple plan of salvation; but you have been cured of that terrible malady, and now you are sitting humbly at the feet of Jesus rejoicing in being saved by grace. Perhaps you were once like the demoniac of old; the chains of morality could not bind you, and the fetters of human law could not restrain you; you cut and wounded yourself, and you were a terror to others; but, now, thanks be to God, you are so completely healed that there is not even a scar left to show where you were wounded. Will you not praise the Lord for this unspeakable mercy? What would you not have given for it once when your many diseases held you in their cruel grip? Then do not cease to praise Jehovah-rophi, “the Lord who heals you.”

6. The next mercy also demands a song of grateful praise: “who redeems your life from destruction.” You have been saved from going down into the pit, the ransom price has been paid for you, and you have been redeemed, not with silver and gold, “but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Remember that, now, there is no wrath against you in the heart of God, for his righteous anger on account of your sin was all poured out on the head of his dear Son, your Surety and Substitute. The devil has no claim on you now, for you have been redeemed by Christ to the last farthing. Then can you forget to praise him who has done such great things for you? What would you not have given, at one time, to have had half a hope that you were a redeemed soul, when your poor knees were sore through your long praying, and your voice was hoarse with crying to God? You would gladly have bartered the light of day, and the comforts of life, and the joys of friendship for the assurance of your redemption. Well, then, since you have now obtained that priceless blessing, do not forget to praise the Lord for all his lovingkindness towards you.

7. For the next clause in the psalm is this, “who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” Think, brother or sister in Christ, what the Lord has done for you. Not content with saving you from hell, he has adopted you into his own family, made you a son or a daughter of the King of kings, and set a royal crown on your head, a crown of “lovingkindness and tender mercies.” You are made an heir of God, and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ, is this not unparalleled lovingkindness? Is this not indeed the tender mercy of our God towards you? Then can you ever forget such lovingkindness and tender mercy? There have been times, in the past history of some of us, when that ancient prophecy has been most graciously fulfilled in our experience, “You shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break out before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” So, as we remember the former lovingkindnesses of the Lord, we rejoice that he still crowns us with lovingkindnesses and tender mercies.

8. We must not forget the next verse: “who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” If we are in Christ Jesus, we have all that we want, we are perfectly satisfied. We do not want a better Saviour, we do not want a better hope, we do not want a better Bible, we do not want better promises. We do want more faith, but we do not want a better basis for faith. We do desire to have more love for our Lord, but we do not desire a better object for our love. We always desire to dive deeper and deeper, but only in the fathomless sea of Jesus’ love. Others are roaming here and there, vainly seeking satisfaction, but our mouth is so filled with good things that we are satisfied. We asked, and the Lord gave to us. We prayed for pardon, and the Lord fully forgave us for Jesus’ sake. We have received so much mercy from him that our soul is satisfied, and soars aloft as on eagle’s wings, leaving all terrestrial cares, and sorrows, and doubts far below us amid the earth-born clouds above which we have mounted by God’s grace.

9. II. Now, having briefly recalled the Lord’s former lovingkindnesses, I have to remind you, in the second place, that WE ARE NOT ALWAYS CONSCIOUS OF THE SAME FLOW OF MERCY TOWARDS US.

10. The psalmist asks, “Lord, where are your former lovingkindnesses?” Well, where are they? Why, they are where they used to be, though we are not always conscious of them. The Lord’s mercies have not changed, but our perception of them is not always as vivid as it ought to be. Let us again consider the mercies of which I have already spoken to you.

11.Who forgives all your iniquities.” There are times when a Christian fears whether his sins are really forgiven. He is saved, yet he has a doubt whether he is saved or not. All his past sins seem to rise up before him, and the foul suggestion of unbelief is, “Can it be possible that all those sins have been put away? Have all those mountains of iniquity been cast into the Red Sea of the Saviour’s atoning blood?” Many young believers, who judge themselves too much by their feelings, are apt to imagine that they have been deceived, and that they are still under condemnation. If I have any brothers or sisters like that here, let me assure them that there are times when the very best of the saints have to cry out in the bitterness of their soul, “Lord, where are your former lovingkindnesses?” The believer in Christ is always justified so far as the law of God is concerned, but he does not always hear the proclamation of pardon in the court of conscience. God’s sun is always shining, but there are clouds that obscure its beams, yet it is only hidden for a while. So it is with the lovingkindness of the Lord with regard to the forgiveness of sin; whether we always realize it or not, the forgiveness that has once been bestowed on us will never be withdrawn from us world without end.

12. It is the same with the next mercy: “who heals all your diseases.” It may be that there are some of us here who know that the great Physician has healed our soul’s maladies, yet at times unbelief and other evil diseases cause us severe pain and agony of spirit. It is with us as it was in the days of Noah when the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and happy are we if we can now float in the ark of our faith above the awful sea of our depravity which threatens to drown every spiritual comfort and cover every hope. If I were to look within my own heart for comfort and hope, I should often be in despair; but when I look away to my Lord alone, then I realize what he has done and is still doing for me, for he still “heals” all my diseases. Do not marvel, dear friends, if you cannot see yourselves growing in grace as you would like to do. When a farmer goes to look at his root crops, he is not so much concerned about the appearance of the part that is above ground, he wants to know how that part is flourishing that is out of sight. So, very often, a Christian is growing under ground, as it were,—growing in grace, and knowledge, and love, and humility, though he may not have so many virtues and graces that are visible to other people, or even to himself. Sanctification is being accomplished in the saints according to the will of God, but it is a secret work; yet, in due time, its fruit will be revealed, even as the farmer at the proper season digs up his root crops, and rejoices that his labour has not been expended on them in vain.

13. Notice too that next mercy: “who redeems your life from destruction.” Now notice this, those who are once redeemed are always redeemed. The price of their redemption was paid on Calvary, and that great transaction can never be reversed. I dare to put it very strongly, and to say that they were as fully redeemed when they were dead in trespasses and sins as they will be when they stand in the full blaze of Jehovah’s presence before the eternal throne. They were not conscious of their redemption, but their unconsciousness did not alter the fact of their redemption. So it is with the believer; there are dark days and cloudy days in his experience, but he is just as truly saved on the dark and cloudy day as when the sun is shining brightly, and the clouds have all been blown away. In the old days of slavery, when a slave’s freedom had been purchased, there may have been times when he did not have much to eat, or when he had many aches and pains, but such things did not affect the fact that he was a free man. Suppose someone had said to him, “My poor fellow, you have nothing in the cupboard, you are very sick and ill, you are still a slave,” he would have replied, “That is not good reasoning. I know that I was redeemed, for I saw the price paid for my ransom; I have my free papers, and I shall never again be a slave.” So it is with believers, the Son of God has made them free by giving himself as a ransom for them, so they shall be “free indeed.” Their redemption does not depend on their realization of it, but on their Redeemer who has made it effective for them.

14. The same principle applies to the next mercy: “who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” There may be some Christians here who need to learn a lesson that one good Methodist tried to teach another whom he met at the class meeting. It grieved him as he heard over and over again the story of his brother’s trials and troubles, but nothing about the multitudes of mercies with which he was continually being crowned; so one day he said to him, “My brother, I wish you would change your residence; you do not live in the right part of the town.” “How is that?” enquired the other. “Why, you live where I used to live, down on Murmuring Street. It is very dark and narrow, the chimneys always smoke, the lamps never burn brightly there, and all kinds of diseases abound in that unhealthy quarter. I got tired of living in Murmuring Street, so I took a new house in Content Street. It is a fine, wide open street where the breezes of heaven can freely blow, so the people who dwell there are healthy and happy; and though all the houses on the street are of different sizes, it is a very remarkable thing that all of them are just the right size for the people who live in them. The apostle Paul used to live on that street, for he said, ‘I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content with it’; so I would advise you, my brother, to move into Content Street as soon as you can.” That was very good advice, and we may pass it on to any murmurers or grumblers whom we know. Think, beloved, how the Lord is still crowning you with lovingkindness and tender mercies. I know you are not strong, but then you do not have that acute pain you used to have. I know that you are growing old, but that only means that you are getting so much nearer to heaven. I know your friends are fewer than they used to be, but then those who are left are true friends. So you see that you are still crowned with lovingkindness and tender mercies.

15. So it is with the last mercy in the list: “who satisfies your mouth with good things.” I will venture to say that the Christian does not have one real want that is not satisfied with the good things that God has provided for him. If he has any other want, or thinks he has, it is better for him not to have that want supplied. If we want the pleasures of sin, it is a great mercy that God will not give them to us, for the supply of such a want would be our soul’s damnation. If we could gather any comfort through following what is evil, it is by the Lord’s mercy that such comfort is not our portion.

 

   This world is ours, and worlds to come;

   Earth is our lodge, and heaven our home;

 

so what can we want besides?

16. III. Now, thirdly, WHY ARE WE NOT ALWAYS CONSCIOUS OF THE SAME FLOW OF MERCY TOWARDS US?

17. Sometimes we miss our former comforts as the result of sin. Sin indulged is a certain barrier to happiness. No one can enjoy communion with Christ while turning aside to crooked ways. To the extent to which a believer is inconsistent with his profession, to that extent he will be unhappy; and it will be no reason for surprise if he has to cry, “Lord, where are your former lovingkindnesses?” We must always distinguish between the punishment of sin which Christ endured on his people’s behalf and the fatherly chastisement with which God visits on them for their wrong-doing. Though he will not condemn them as a Judge, he will chastise them as a Father; and they cannot expect to enjoy the lovingkindnesses of the Lord while they are enduring the strokes of his rod because of their transgressions.

18. We may also lose a comforting sense of God’s mercy through neglecting to use the means of grace. Stop the regular reading of your Bible, and then you will be like the man who misses his meals, and so grows weak and languid. Neglect private prayer, and then see whether you will not have to cry, with Job, “Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; when his candle shone on my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness!” Stay away from the prayer meeting, and then, if your soul is not sad, it ought to be. If a man will not come where there is a fire, is it surprising that he cries that he cannot get warm? The neglect of the means of grace causes many to enquire, “Lord, where are your former lovingkindnesses?”

19. The same result follows when any idol is set up in our heart. While we worship the Lord alone, the temple of our heart will be filled with his glory; but if we set up an idol on his throne, we shall soon hear the rushing of wings, and the divine voice saying, “Let us go from here.” God and mammon cannot reside in the same house. Remember that you serve a jealous God, and be very careful not to provoke him to jealousy. Every idol must be cast down, or his comforting presence cannot be enjoyed.

20. Coldness of heart towards God is another cause for the loss of enjoyment of his favour. When the heart grows spiritually cold, the whole being soon gets out of order. If the heart is warm and vigorous, the pulsations throughout the entire body will be kept strong and healthy; but when the heart is cold, the blood will be chilled in the veins, and all the powers will be benumbed and paralysed. So, beloved, see to it that, in the power of the Holy Spirit, you maintain the love of your espousals, that pristine warmth of holy affection which you delighted to reveal when you first knew the Lord; or else you will soon have to cry, “Lord, where are your former lovingkindnesses?” Live near to God, and this shall not often be your cry; but if you backslide from him, this shall soon be your sorrowful enquiry. If you have to mourn an absent God, try to know the reason why he has withdrawn himself from you, and repent of the sin that has separated you from him.

21. IV. Now, lastly, LET US REMEMBER THAT THE DIVINE COVENANT REMAINS FIRM AND STEADFAST UNDER ALL CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES. The covenant made with David was established by the oath of God, and Paul, writing to the Hebrews, says that “God, willing more abundantly to show to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us.”

22. For our consolation, let us remember, first, that the parties to the covenant are always the same. God does not have one set of chosen ones today, and another set tomorrow. In the Lamb’s book of life, there are no erasures of certain names, and the insertion of others in their place. No, beloved, that is not the way in which the Lord deals with his elect; he does not play fast and loose with them like that. He does not love them one day, and hate them the next. Oh, no!

 

   Whom once he loves, he never leaves,

      But loves them to the end.

 

23. And, next, the seal of the covenant is always the same. It is sealed with the precious blood of Jesus; his one great sacrifice on Calvary made the covenant for ever sure.

 

   ’Tis signed, and sealed, and ratified,

      In all things ordered well.

 

We do not seal the covenant, Christ himself has done that; it is his blood that makes the covenant sure for all for whom he stood as Surety and Substitute. This is our consolation even when we have no present enjoyment of the blessings that are secured to us by the covenant. Even the sealing of the Spirit is not the seal of the covenant, though it is to us the certain evidence of our interest in the covenant; it is like a seal to our copy of the covenant, the great deed itself, sealed with the blood of Jesus, is safely preserved in the archives of heaven where no one can mutilate or steal or destroy it.

24. Further, the efficacy of the covenant is always the same. It is not like human covenants, which may or may not be fulfilled, or which may become void through lapse of time. This covenant is eternal, covering past, present, and future, and it shall be fulfilled to the last jot and tittle, for he who swore to David will certainly perform all that he has promised to his own chosen people.

 

   The voice that rolls the stars along

      Speaks all the promises.

 

When God said, “Let there be light,” there was light; and when that same God says, “Let there be light in that dark soul,” the light at once enters the heart, and it is divinely illuminated. So it has come to pass that we, who were once darkness, now are light in the Lord; and to us comes the apostolic injunction, “Walk as children of light.” The efficacy of the covenant does not depend on us; if it did, it would be a poor, feeble, fickle thing that would fail us just when we needed it most. There would be no hope of our ever getting to heaven if we had to depend on our own efforts, or our own merits, or anything of our own; our comfort arises from the fact that the covenant is made on our behalf by our great Representative and Redeemer, who himself will see that all that is guaranteed to us in the covenant is fulfilled in due season. There rolls the glorious chariot of salvation, in which all believes are riding to heaven. Death and hell cannot stop it, all the fears of any who are in it will not affect their eternal safety, and not one of them shall be found to be missing in the day when the roll of the redeemed is called in glory. Be of good courage, believer, for you are saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation. Even though you have for a while to mourn the loss of the Lord’s former lovingkindnesses, search your heart to see how far that loss has been caused by your own sin, and then return to the Lord with all your heart, and he will renew to you his former favours, and give to you new mercies of which you have not as yet even dreamed.

25. As for those here who have no former lovingkindnesses of the Lord to which they can look back, I pray that this may be the beginning of better days for them. May they think of the mercies which the Lord has bestowed on others, and may they cry to him, “Lord, do for us as you have done for them; adopt us also into your family as your sons and your daughters, and let us share in all the blessings that you give to your children!” Remember, dear friends, that it is by simple and sincere faith in the crucified Christ of Calvary that sinners are eternally saved; it is by his blood that we, who once were afar off, are now made near. Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed or confounded; therefore, my hearer, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and God shall be glorified. So may it be, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ps 89}

1, 2. I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, “Mercy shall be built up for ever: you shall establish your faithfulness in the very heavens.” {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1565, “Maschil of Ethan” 1565}

Here is an eternal song concerning eternal mercy. The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, so the saints’ praise for the never-ending mercy must itself be without end.

The psalmist has made known God’s faithfulness to all generations, not only by speaking of it, but especially by writing of it, for what is written remains when what is merely spoken is soon forgotten. God’s faithfulness concerns heaven as well as earth, and he will establish it “in the very heavens.”

3, 4. “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn to David my servant, ‘I will establish your seed for ever, and build up your throne to all generations.’” Selah.

The complete fulfilment of this glorious covenant promise concerns, not only David and his seed, but “great David’s greater Son” and his spiritual seed, the chosen people with whom the Lord has made “an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.”

5-7. And the heavens shall praise your wonders, oh LORD: your faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heavens can be compared to the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be compared to the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those who are around him.

A holy reverence is becoming in all who draw near to the thrice-holy Jehovah, whether in the upper sanctuary or in the congregation of the saints on earth. In his gracious condescension, he allows his people amazing familiarity in their approaches to him, yet this must never make them forget the infinite distance that separates the Creator from even the highest and holiest of his creatures.

8-10. Oh LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like you? or to your faithfulness all around you? You rule the raging of the sea: when its waves arise, you still them. You have broken Rahab in pieces, as one who is slain; you have scattered your enemies with your strong arm.

The ruling of the raging of the sea, the stilling of the stormy waves, and the breaking and scattering of the might of Egypt are used by the psalmist to illustrate the omnipotence of Jehovah, before which the mightiest monarchy on earth had no more power than if it had been a corpse.

11, 12. The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours: as for the world and its fulness, you have founded them. The north and the south you have created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in your name.

The psalmist rejoices in the Lord as the Creator and Possessor of the heavens above and the earth beneath. “All things were created by him, and for him.”

13. You have a mighty arm: strong is your hand, and high is your right hand. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 674, “The Mighty Arm” 665} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1314, “The Mighty Arm” 1305}

Amid all the varying expressions that the psalmist uses, he continues to admire and magnify God’s majestic might. Whether for the defence of his people or the overthrow of his enemies, his arm is mighty; yes, more than that, for it is almighty. No human language can adequately describe that glorious hand which only has to be opened to satisfy the desire of every living thing.

14. Righteousness and justice are the habitation of your throne: mercy and truth shall go before your face.

What blessed heralds does the Lord employ! “Mercy and truth shall go before your face.” It is these gracious attributes, especially as they are displayed in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, that enable us even to welcome those sterner attributes, “righteousness and justice,” which are the habitation of God’s throne.

15. Blessed is the people who know the joyful sound:

There are many who hear it, but perhaps not one out of a thousand of them who really know it. The hearing of the joyful sound is not sufficient to make people blessed, though faith comes by hearing; it is the understanding of what is meant by the good news, it is the reception of the gospel message which brings immediate and eternal blessedness.

15. They shall walk, oh LORD, in the light of your countenance.

The practical result of a saving knowledge of the gospel is a holy walk, a walk of communion with God. Dear friends, do you walk in that way? Do you know the joyful sound? Can you discern the difference between the true and the false gospel? Can you distinguish the contrast between the harmonies of the one and the discords of the other? Do you know the inner secret of the heavenly music? Has it ever vibrated in your own souls? Happy are you if this is the case with you.

The psalmist goes on to show how such people are blessed.

16. In your name they shall rejoice all the day:

They shall not have mere passing fits of joy, but they shall be glad from morning to night.

16. And they shall be exalted in your righteousness.

They shall mount to a higher platform of joy than on what the men of the world are standing; they shall be lifted up in soul and spirit by the righteousness of God, especially as they see how that great attribute guarantees their eternal salvation.

17-19. For you are the glory of their strength: and in your favour our horn shall be exalted. For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king. Then you spoke in vision to your holy one, and said, “I have laid help on one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 11, “The People’s Christ” 11}

This is the very marrow of the gospel; this is indeed “the joyful sound” which makes us truly blessed,—the fact that God did, of old, exalt “One chosen out of the people,” with whom he entered into an eternal covenant, pledging himself to bless us through him.

20. I have found David my servant; I have anointed him with my holy oil:

David was the means of bringing great blessings to the people over whom he ruled. God blessed the whole nation through him, and the covenant made with David was virtually a covenant made with all the people of Israel. In the same way, the covenant made with “great David’s greater Son” is virtually made with all those for whom he stood as Surety and Representative. The essence of the gospel lies in the covenant which God has made with his Son, Jesus Christ, on behalf of all his chosen people.

Notice that God found David, and anointed him as king, even as he has taken the Lord Jesus, and anointed him with the oil of gladness more than his fellows.

21. With whom my hand shall be established: my arm shall also strengthen him.

The omnipotence of God is revealed in Christ, for he is “the power of God” as well as “the wisdom of God.”

22. The enemy shall not outwit him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him.

“The son of wickedness” did afflict David for a while, but afterwards he came to the throne, and ruled gloriously over God’s ancient people. So it is with our covenant Lord and King. The wicked cannot now outwit him, nor afflict him; he sits on the throne in glory far beyond their reach.

23. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague those who hate him.

Who can ever stand up in opposition to Christ? He is that stone of which he himself said, “Whoever shall fall on that stone shall be broken; but on whomever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”

24. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted.

God is always with his Son, Jesus Christ, in the plenitude of his faithfulness and mercy, to make him a continual blessing to his people.

25. I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers.

Our King is a great King, and he rules over sea and land; there is no limit to his dominions, and there will be no end to his righteous rule.

26. He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.’

All God’s children are a praying family, and his only-begotten and well-beloved Son sets a noble example in this respect as well as in everything else. He is still the great Intercessor before the throne of his Father.

27. I will also make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.

Christ is indeed “higher than the kings of the earth,” for he is “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Do not your hearts rejoice as you think of this blessed King with whom God has entered into a covenant to bless all who are trusting in him, even the very poorest and feeblest of them? What a joy it is for us to see Jesus shaking hands with the Eternal, and entering into an everlasting covenant on our behalf!

28, 29. I will keep my mercy for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand firm with him. I will also make his seed to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.

There can never be an end to the throne of Christ, for his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; and there can never be an end to the family of Christ, for his seed shall endure for ever.

30-32. If his children forsake my law, and do not walk in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and do not keep my commandments; then—

“Then”—what? “I will destroy them, and sweep them away for ever?” Oh, no! “Then”—

32. I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.

There is no sword in God’s hand to be used against his own children, but he does hold a rod, and that rod makes us smart, and causes the blueness of the wound which cleanses away evil. We are grieved when we feel its strokes, yet there is covenant mercy in them. The rod of the covenant is one of the best things that ever comes to us, since it whips our folly out of us. May God grant us grace to kiss the rod whenever we transgress against him, and he visits our iniquity with stripes!

33. Nevertheless I will not utterly take my lovingkindness from him, nor allow my faithfulness to fail.

Notice the use of the word “him” here, as if it was intended to teach us that God’s love for his dear Son, and for his people in him, is so great that, though he may chasten us for our transgressions, he will never cast us away.

34-37. I will not break my covenant, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once I have sworn by my holiness that I will not lie to David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.” Selah.

In the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the dynasty of David shall endure for ever, and the spiritual seed of Christ shall also never come to an end. By the most binding covenant, and the most solemn pledge, and the most sacred oath, Jehovah has guaranteed the everlasting kingdom of his Son, and the eternal endurance of “his seed.”

38-45. But you have cast off and abhorred, you have been angry with your anointed. You have made void the covenant of your servant: you have profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. You have broken down all his hedges; you have brought his strongholds to ruin. All who pass by the way plunder him: he is a reproach to his neighbours. You have set up the right hand of his adversaries; you have made all his enemies to rejoice. You have also turned the edge of his sword, and have not made him to stand in the battle. You have made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground. You have shortened the days of his youth: you have covered him with shame. Selah.

Spiritually, this sad description reveals the sorrowful state of the professing church of Christ in the times in which we live.

46. How long, LORD? will you hide yourself for ever? Shall your wrath burn like fire?

That was the wisest thing for the psalmist to do, and it is our best course also; in the darkest days of the most sinful age we can always resort to prayer, let us do so.

47, 48. Remember how short my time is. Why have you made all men in vain? What man is he who lives, and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.

The brevity of life makes it all the more important that we should waste none of it, and that we should appeal to the Lord to intervene speedily on the behalf of the truth and those who love it.

49-52. Lord, where are your former lovingkindnesses, which you swore to David in your truth? Remember, Lord, the reproach of your servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; with which your enemies have reproached, oh LORD; with which they have reproached the footsteps of your anointed. Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen and Amen.

The psalm ends on its keynote of praise to Jehovah. There had been much to sadden the writer, as there is much to sadden us in these days; but we can unite with him in saying, “Blessed be the Lord for evermore. Amen and Amen.”

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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