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THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD

THE PRECIOUSNESS OF THE DIVINE PROMISES

With Much Assistance from Octavius Winslow and

His Book THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD

June 6, 1995

II Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Note below the previous verses upon which we based our study of the Precious Things of God:

Precious Jesus

I Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

Precious Faith

II Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

Precious Trial

I Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Precious Thoughts of God

Psalms 139:17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

AND NOW PRECIOUS PROMISES.

Note our current verse and the wonderful context in which it is found.

II Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness , through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature , having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

This is a particular passage which I personally often quote both to myself and others. It is a passage full of promise. Promise from God and Promise upon which we may rely on and trust. Is God a God of his word? Can he be trusted? CERTAINLY, He is not a man that he should lie but the CREATOR of Heaven and Earth the Whole World and all that therein lies. God values his word above all things.

Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

 

Can you hear the HOPE and PROMISE in this passage,

"given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness" He has given us ALL THINGS unto LIFE and GODLINESS.

AND

given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature He has given us EXCEEDING GREAT and PRECIOUS PROMISES with which we may be partakers.

Praise God for ALL THINGS and PROMISES BY WHICH WE MAY PARTAKE. Is the mental anguish too much for you? Are you in despair over your current circumstances? Do you battle against the flesh? Look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of your faith. Come unto the Lord our God who has given us all things and who has given us EXCEEDING GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES. Consider this in relation to the churches current love affair with psychology. Has God given us All things or do we need to look to another? Psychology is another religion, another gospel providing another set of answers and helps to spiritual problems. Psychology will prescribe a good dose of self-esteem but the Word of God will advise one to die to oneself. Psychology will search the past for answers to the problems of the present. The word of God will counsel us to forget those things which are behind and to press forward. Psychology will point to left side or right side of your brain but the word of God will counsel you to MIND THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT. Pscyhology will determine which temperment classification you fit into and then prescribe an explanation and solution to your current behavior problems. The Word of God tells us we must be born again. We don't look to our own heart for the answer we come to God for a NEW HEART.

The next time your tempted to look to psychology for an answer, to POP movements like Promise Keepers for an answer, to SELF-HELP books for an answer REMEMBER this passage:

II Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

We hate psychology because God hates it. We hate man's explanation for who we are, why we do what we do, and how to change our behaviour because God hates it, and because it is the way of death. Trust in the Lord, look to God the creator of heaven and earth the world and all that therein lies. Look to God, who loves you, who sent his only begotten son into the World to die for the remission of your sins. Look to God, who loves you, who has given you all things pertaining to life and godliness, who has given you exceeding great and precious promises. Look to the word of God for the counsel that gives life. Don't become entangled in the death of psychological views and solutions. Know the truth of God's word for if you know the truth, if you know HIM who is truth you shall be free indeed.

Note again our theme passage for this study. Let us turn our meditations directly upon these words of life and hope, comfort and peace, and joy.

II Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

According As: Seeing that or since,

His divine power: God is sometimes called POWER, Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Or Jesus also is God's divine power.

All power in heaven and earth has been given unto him.

Hath given: Already given. Note the PERFECT tense of the verb, completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated.

All things: What lack have we? Do we want any good thing when our God by Jesus Christ has given us all things.

Pertaining to Life and Godliness: The Lord will care and does care for our temporal needs, note the lilies and the grass of the field, note the birds of the air. See Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. But here in this verse (2pe 1:3) All things pertains especially to our spiritual needs, Eternal LIfe, the Life of God in the Soul of Man, Godliness, spirituality, graces, faith, holiness, patience, gentleness, patience, temperance, long-suffering.

Through the knowledge of him: Not just a intellection knowledge, but experiential knowledge, practical knowledge, a knowledge of him that impacts and changes life. It is a knowledge of him, the glory person and righteousness of Jesus Christ. It is a knowledge that knows also all things given by God and Christ for our spiritual life and perfection. This is a knowledge which we should perfer far above all other knowledge of all other kinds. And it is a knowledge which is illuminated in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? and John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

That hath called us to glory and virtue: We have not been chosen of God to sin, but to holiness. Our calling is a being called to glory and virtue. Christ is the door, godliness is the way. Faith and obedience or inseparably tied together.

Whereby: All things pertaining to life and godliness, or His divine power, or his glory and virtue: Through Which (Whereby)

Are given unto us: Again the perfect tense is used. Past completed action, once for all, never again to be repeated.

Exceeding great: megista-the greatest of great. (ELATIVE SUPERLATIVE)

Used only here in the entire New Testament.

and Precious: Timios, as of great price, precious, honorable.

Promises: Adoption, Reconcilation, Redemption, Righteousness, Justification, Sanctification, and etc. The promises of the new and everlasting covenant of which Christ is the mediator, surety, the messenger. They are exceeding great and precious promises. Consider the author of them who is exceeding and great himself. God the Creator of the whole world, of all that there is without whom NOTHING IS THAT IS. He as the creator was under NO obligation to the creation to make such precious promises but as he is so are his promises. They are promises worthy of his greatness. They are promises that cannot fail for he confirmed them with an oath. Hebrews 6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, They can be kept by HIM WHO HAS ALL POWER IN HEAVEN AND EARTH. The promises of an OMNIPOTENT GOD are precious and cannot fail. He is faithful to his own word, he will not deny himself. II Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

That by these you might be partakers of the divine nature: NOT DIVINE ESSENCE, But Godliness, conformed to the image of Christ, Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. and Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Partakers of the divine nature by way of resemblance and likeness Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, We are changed from glory to glory in spiritual growth by the gospel being applied to our hearts, by the secret inner working of the Holy Spirit in regeneration and sanctification, by the promises of God contained in the gospel till finally we enter glory seeing him as he is. I John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

And now NOTE, seeing God has given us so much we must also do our duty: II Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

Faith: The number one grace which is the foundation and root of all other graces.

Virtue: Universal righteousness in our lives, a goodness and holy living.

Knowledge: Spritual prudence, practical knowledge in all the will of God.

Temperance: A grace which curbs all inordinate lusts.

Patience: Bearing afflictions and injuries.

Godliness: Our immediate duty to God as found in the first four commandmants.

Brotherly Kindness: Love to all believers.

Charity: Love to all men even our enemies.

 

THE PRECIOUSNESS OF THE DIVINE PROMISES:

I. THE PROMISES ARE COMPREHENSIVE.

As Winslow States concerning these precious promises by which we are:

"Guided in our March heavenward" Psa 25

"Upheld in our weakness" 2Cor 12:9

"Cheered in our Depression"

"Conducted Step by Step"

These are not the promises of man but of THE Infinite, All Powerful, God.

Guided ever heavenward:

Psalms 25:1 { [A Psalm] of David.} Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Psalms 25:8 Good and upright [is] the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the LORD [are] mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it [is] great.

Upheld in our weakness:

II Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Cheered in our depression:

Isaiah 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy [shall be] upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; [and] sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

Psalms 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and [why] art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him [for] the help of his countenance. Psalms 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, [who is] the health of my countenance, and my God.

Conducted Step by Step:

Psalms 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD [is] upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he [is] our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Psalms 37:23 The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Psalms 119:116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.

Proverbs 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, [is] from the LORD.

Proverbs 20:24 Man's goings [are] of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

Again we remind ourselves - GOD'S PROMISES ARE COMPREHENSIVE. Let us never forget this. How bleak, how in despair we might be if there was some sorrow having a grip on our hearts for which God had no promise. Some SIN having a mastery over us for which God had no promise. Some tribulation where no promise of COMFORT EXISTED. But it is not this way with our GOD the ONLY TRUE GOD. He has given unto us exceeding great and precious promises and they are comprehensive. There is a COMPLETE SUFFIENCY IN OUR GREAT GOD, GOD OF ALL GLORY, GOD OF ALL COMFORT, GOD IN WHOM IS GREAT SALVATION AND ABUNDANCE OF MERCY, GLORY AND MAJESTY, Let us fear his great and terrible name and trust in his mercy, goodness and PROMISE. ALL THINGS PERTAINING TO LIFE AND GODLINESS have been given unto us if we belong to him through Jesus Christ, the Lord our righteousness.

II. THEY ARE THE PROMISES OF THE NEW COVENANT OF GRACE

Better Promises - A More Glorious Covenant

Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

Jesus is a mediator of the NEW COVENANT. We have better promises and they have been given unto us by HIS DIVINE POWER. They are secured in Christ Jesus, confirmed by his blood - the blood of the covenant that speaketh better things than that of Abel's. Jesus makes peace for us with God by the blood of His cross. Jesus satisfies the justice of God on our behalf. Jesus now appears in the presence of God as our Advocate with the Father. Jesus ever liveth to make intercession for us.

John Gill:

Ver. 6. "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry", &c.] Christ has a ministry, he is the minister of the sanctuary, "#Heb 8:2" he has "obtained" this ministry of his father; he was called unto it and engaged in it by him; and he has "now" obtained it; for though he was called to it from eternity, it was in time he came an high priest of good things, to come; and his ministry is "a more excellent" one than that of the priests, who offered gifts according to the law and served to the example and shadow of heavenly things; as abundantly appears from the preceding chapter, and from this, as well, as from what follows: "by how much also he is the Mediator of a better covenant"; the covenant of grace, as administered under the Gospel dispensation; which is not only better than the covenant of works, that being conditional, this absolute; that stood on the foot of works, this on the foot of grace, and is established in Christ; that being broken and made void, this continues; and not only better than the covenant of the Levitical priesthood, which was but a typical one, and is now ceased, but also than the covenant of grace, as administered under the legal dispensation; being better than that, as to the manner of its manifestation, which is more full and clear; and as to the extent of its administration, reaching to Gentiles as well as Jews; and as to the ratification of it by the blood of Christ, called from thence the blood of the everlasting covenant; and as to the promises of it, here said to be better: "which was established upon better promises"; which are not now delivered out as before, under the figure of earthly and temporal things; nor under a condition to be performed nor confined to a particular people and nation; and which are attended with a greater measure of the spirit, to open and apply them; and are all secured in Christ Jesus, and confirmed by his blood: and now of this covenant Christ is the "Mediator"; a mediator is of more persons than one, and of these at variance; and he is a middle person between both; and his business is to bring both parties together, and make peace between them: the two parties in this case are God and man, set at a distance from each other by the sin of man, whereby man is become enmity to God; Christ is the Mediator between God and man, a middle person between both, being both God and man, the daysman, who lays his hands on both; who brings men to God that were afar off, and makes peace for them by the blood of his cross, and satisfies the justice of God, which he has done by the sacrifice of himself; and now appears in the presence of God for them, and intercedes for them, and applies the blessings of the covenant to them by his spirit, and keeps and preserves them safe to his everlasting kingdom; and for this office he is every way fit, and in this he excels the Levitical priests, and has a ministry superior to theirs, since he is such a Mediator, and a Mediator of such a covenant,

II Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written [and] engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which [glory] was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation [be] glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away [was] glorious, much more that which remaineth [is] glorious.

They are the promises of the New Covenant. A more glorious Covenant. More glorious because more clearly revealed now after the incarnation death and resurrection of Jesus Christ than ever before.

Below is an excerpt from the commentary of John Gill on the passage above from II Cor 3:6-12. I know that it is extremly lengthy but what he has said seems so relevent to our times and to our study and understanding of the scriptures that I included it all both for my knowledge and later reading as well as for anyone else who may see fit to read this study.

John Gill:

Ver. 6. "Who also hath made us able ministers", &c.] This is an answer to the question in "#2Co 2:16" who is sufficient for these things? No man is of himself; we are indeed sufficient for them, but not of ourselves; our sufficiency is of God, he hath made us able, or sufficient ministers: such ministers as are not of men's, but God's making, are sufficient ones; and none are sufficient but whom God makes so; and those he makes able and sufficient, by giving them spiritual gifts, fitting them for the ministry: and these are ministers "of the New Testament", or "covenant"; the covenant of grace, of which Christ is the Mediator and surety; called "new", not because newly made, for it was made with Christ from everlasting; nor newly revealed, or it was made known to Adam after his fall, and to all the Old Testament patriarchs, and was exhibited under the legal dispensation, though but darkly, in types, shadows, sacrifices, &c. which therefore waxing old is vanished away; and the covenant of grace is now more clearly revealed under the Gospel dispensation, free from all the obscurity it before laboured under; and therefore is called "new", as well as because it will always continue so, and never give way to another covenant: now the Gospel, and the ministry of it, is nothing else but an exhibition of the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises; and the work and business of those who are ministers of it is not to insist upon the covenant of works, the terms, conditions, obligations, promises, and threatenings of that covenant; but to open and explain the nature, promises, and blessings of the covenant of grace: for such who are fit and proper ministers, are ministers "not of the letter, but of the spirit"; which is to be understood, not of any difference between the books of the Old and the New Testament, for a faithful minister of the word may and will bring forth things new and old, out of the one as well as the other; nor of the literal and allegorical, or mystical sense of the Scriptures, as if the latter and not the former was only to be attended to; nor of the difference of communicating the Gospel by letters, and preaching it by word of mouth; since both methods may be used for the spread of it, as were by the apostles themselves; but of the difference there is between the law and the Gospel. The law is "the letter", not merely because written in letters, for so likewise is the Gospel; but because it is a mere letter, hereby showing what is to be done or avoided, without any efficacy in it, or communicating any to enable persons to obey its commands, to give life to its observers, or either to sanctify or justify any who are under it, or of the works of it; it is a mere letter, as observed by an unregenerate man, who only regards the externals of it, being unacquainted with its spirituality. The Gospel is "the spirit"; see "#Joh 6:63" it contains spiritual things, and not things merely natural, moral, and civil, as does the law, but spiritual blessings and promises; it penetrates into the spirit and soul of man, and comes from, and is attended with the spirit of God. The law is "the letter" that "killeth", by irritating and provoking to sin, the cause of death, which though not the design and natural tendency of the law, and therefore not to be blamed, yet so it is, through the corruption of human nature; and by convincing of sin when the sinner is killed, and it dead in his own apprehension; and by not only threatening with death, but by cursing, condemning, and punishing with it: "but" the Gospel is "the spirit", which "giveth life"; it is a means in the hand of the spirit of God, of quickening dead sinners, of healing the deadly wounds of sin, of showing the way of life by Christ, and of working faith in the soul, to look to him, and live upon him; it affords food for the support of the spiritual life, and revives souls under the most drooping circumstances. The apostle may allude to a distinction among the Jews, between the body and soul of the law; the words, they say, are ^hrwt apwg^, "the body of the law"; and the book of the law is the clothing; and besides these, there is ^atyrwad atmvn^, "the soul of the law"; which wise men look into {w}.

{w} Zohar in Numb. fol. 63. 2.

Ver. 7. "But if the ministration of death", &c.] The apostle having observed the difference between the law and the Gospel, the one being a killing letter, the other a quickening spirit, enlarges upon it, and more, fully explains it; and proceeds to take notice of other things in which they differ; and to show the superior glory and excellency of the one to the other; for that by "the ministration of death", he means the law, as delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai, is clear from its being said to be "written and engraven in stones"; as that was by the finger of God himself: rightly does the apostle say, that it was both "written" and "engraven"; for the two tables of the law are expressly said to be written with the finger of God, "#Ex 31:18" meaning either the spirit of God, who is sometimes so called, "#Lu 11:20" compared with "#Mt 12:28" or the power of God, which at once caused this writing to exist; and it is in so many words affirmed, that "the writing" was "the writing of God"; and not of man, nor of any creature, no not of an angel, "#Ex 32:16" yea, even the two tables which were hewn out by Moses, after the first were broken, were written upon by the Lord himself, and not Moses, "#Ex 34:1". So that as the work of the tables was the work of God, and wonderfully made, the form of the letters, as Abarbinel {x} observes, were miraculously made by him; for this law was, ~en grammasi~, "in letters", as the apostle here says; and as it was written in the Hebrew language, very likely it was in the same form of letters now in use with the Jews; though some have thought that the Samaritan letters are the original ones: moreover, the law was not only written, but "engraved"; for so it is said, that the writing was graven upon the tables, "#Ex 32:16" and though the word so rendered is no where else used but there, it is rightly rendered graven, as appears by the apostle in this place; and which may lie confirmed by the Targumist on that, who renders it by ^qyqx^, "engraven"; and by the Septuagint ~kekolammenh~, which signifies the same; and so in the book of Zohar {y}, the letters are said to be ^wpylgta^, "engraven" on the tables: and that the tables were tables of stone, it is certain; they are often so called, "#Ex 24:12 31:18 34:1 De 9:9,10 10:1" wherefore theapostle very properly says, that the law was engraven "in stones"; but what stones these tables were made of cannot be said; the Jews, who affect to know every thing, will have them to be precious stones, but what they were they are not agreed in; for though they generally say

{z} they were made of the sapphire stone, and sometimes say {a} they

were hewed out of the sapphire of the glorious throne of God; yet at other times they call them marble tables {b}; and Aben Ezra {c} was of opinion, that the tables which Moses hewed were not of any precious stone, for he asks where should a precious stone of such size be found? though others pretend to say {d}, that Moses in a miraculous manner was shown a sapphire quarry in the midst of his tent, out of which he cut and hewed the stones; but very likely they were common ones; however, certain it is, that the tables of stone, as written and engraven by the Lord himself, were made, as the apostle here says, "in glory", ~egenhye en doxh~; and so Jarchi on "#Ex 32:16" "and the tables were the work of God", says, this is to be understood literally ^wdwbkbw^, "and in" or "for his glory"; or by his glorious power he made them: now this law, though thus written and engraven, and glorious, it was "the ministration of death"; and is so called, because it threatened and punished the transgressors of it with a corporeal death; they that sinned against it died without mercy upon proper evidence and witnesses; every precept of it had this penalty annexed to it, in ease of disobedience; as the having any other goals but one, making of graven images, taking the name of God in vain, the violation of the sabbath, dishonouring of parents, murder, adultery, theft, and covetousness; instances there are of each of these being punishable by this law with a bodily death: and besides, it is the ministration of eternal death, the wages of sin the transgression of the law; which is that wrath of God, a sense of which it is said to work; the curse it threatens with and the second death or lake of fire it casts into: and may be said to be the "ministration" of it; as it shows persons they are deserving of it, pronounces the sentence of it on them, and will execute it upon them, if grace prevent not; now though it was the ministration of death, yet it "was glorious". There were many things which made it so; but what the apostle here particularly takes notice of is the glory that was upon the face of Moses, when he received it and brought it from the Lord, which was very great; "so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face" "of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which glory was to be" "done away". The history of this may be read in "#Ex 34:29,30,35" it was a real visible glory that was upon the skin of his face, so that it shone again; it is said, "the skin of his face shone"; and this shining of his face the apostle very properly calls "the glory of his countenance": agreeably to the Septuagint version, which renders it, "the appearance of the skin, or colour of his face, was glorified"; and still nearer to the paraphrase of Onkelos, which is, "the splendour of the glory of his countenance was great"; and to the Targum of Jonathan, which also assigns the reason of it, and which seems to be the true one, "the splendour of the form of his countenance was glorious, because of the splendour of the glory of the majesty of God, at the time he talked with him". The Vulgate Latin version has led many wrong, to paint Moses with two horns, rendering it, "his face was horned", the Hebrew word having the signification of an horn in its derivative; because glory darted from him like horns, as rays of light do from the sun; see "#Hab 3:4 *marg" and this brightness and glory were so very great, and so dazzling, that Aaron and the people of Israel were afraid to come nigh; which Jarchi, a Jewish writer, imputed to their sin, and shame, and fear, having worshipped the calf; but our apostle ascribes it to the lustre of his countenance, which was such that they could not steadfastly look upon it; they saw it indeed, as it is said in"#Ex 34:35" yet they could not look wistly at it, nor bear the splendour of it; though this was only a glory, which was to continue but a while; according to the opinion of Ambrose {e}, this glory continued on Moses's countenance as long as he lived; but be it so, it at last was done away: now this glory was put there to bear a testimony to the divine authority of the law, that it came from God, and was to be received at the hands of Moses, with awful reverence as from God, and to make them afraid of violating a law which came with such majesty and glory; and also to command awe and respect from the Israelites to Moses, whom they were inclined at every turn to treat with contempt, and to let them see that he had communion with God, which this was the effect of: now this was a circumstance which rendered the law glorious, and was expressive of a real glory in it; which, though as this on Moses's face, "was to be done away"; wherefore the apostle argues; {x} In loc.

{y} In Exod. fol. 35. 1.

{z} Zohar ib. Targum Jon. in Dent. xxxiv. 12.

{a} Targum in Cant. 1. 11. Targum Jon. in Exod. xxxi. 18.

{b} Targum Jon. in Deut. ix. 9, 10.

{c} In Exod. xxxii. 15.

{d} Jarchi in Exod. xxxiv. 1. Pirke Eliezer, c. 46.

{e} Comment. in Psal. cxix. 135.

 

Ver. 8. "How shall not the ministration of the spirit", &c.] By "the ministration of the spirit", is meant the Gospel; so called not only because it ministers spiritual things, as peace, pardon, righteousness and salvation, spiritual joy and comfort, and even spiritual life; but because it ministers the spirit of God himself, by whom it is not only dictated, and by him at first confirmed, and who qualities persons for the preaching of it; but by it he conveys himself into the hearts of men, and makes it powerful for illumination, consolation, edification, and an increase of every grace; and therefore must be rather glorious, or much more glorious than the law, the ministration of death.

Ver. 9. "For if the ministration of condemnation be glory", &c.] So the Jews call the law, for they say, ^hrwt ala dwbk Nya^, "there is no glory but the law" {f}; this is another head of opposition or difference between the law and the Gospel, from whence the superior glory of the one to the other is argued. The law is "the ministration of condemnation"; as sin is a transgression of the law, it accuses for it, convinces of it, pronounces guilty, and adjudges to death on account of it; which is the condemnation it ministers; and this it does to all Adam's posterity, and for his sin too; and to all the actual transgressors of it, to all unbelievers, to all that are under it; even to God's elect themselves, as considered in Adam, and in themselves as transgressors; and this it ministers to their consciences when convicted, though it is never executed onthem, because of the suretyship engagement and performances of Christ. The Gospel is "the ministration of righteousness"; not of a legal one, or a man's own, but of the righteousness of Christ, by which the law is honoured, justice is satisfied, and God's elect justified from all sin and condemnation; this being perfect, pure, and spotless, and for ever: the Gospel is "the ministration" of it, as it is a means of stripping a man of his own righteousness, of revealing Christ's to him, and of working faith in him, and encouraging him to lay hold upon it for himself; and thus it is not to righteous persons, but sinners, to all believers, to all the second Adam's posterity; nowas "much more" as righteousness exceeds condemnation, and a justifiedstate a condemned one, so "much more" does the Gospel"exceed" the law "in glory".

{f} Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Lev. fol. 33. 4.

Ver. 10. "For even that which was made glorious", &c.] The apostlegrants that there was a glory in the law: it "was made glorious"; it was glorious in the author of it, who is God; it was of his appointing and ordaining, agreeable to his nature, and a declaration of his will; his authority was stamped upon it, and it was written by himself, which cannot be said of any other law whatever; it was glorious in its promulgation, God himself appeared in great glory at the giving of it; Christ was then present; it was ordained by angels, and by them delivered into the hands of Moses, on whose face such a glory was left as could not be steadfastly looked upon; and it was attended with thunderings, lightnings, the sound of a trumpet, &c. it was glorious in the matter of it, it contained great and excellent things; the substance of it is love to God, and to our neighbour; and it was glorious in its properties, being, in its nature and substance, holy, just, good, spiritual, perfect,immutable, and eternal; but yet "had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth". There is such an excelling glory in the Gospel, that the other is swallowed up and lost in it; it excels it in those things in which it was so glorious: in the author of it, which, though the same, yet with this difference; the law was given by God as a judge, the Gospel by him as a father, as the father of Christ, and of his people in him; the law is the birth of his holiness and righteousness, the Gospel of his wisdom, grace, and love; the law declares his will with respect to duty, the Gospel with respect to salvation; the authority of God is stamped on the law, but the Gospel is the image of Christ; the law was written by the finger of God, but the Gospel was hid in his heart, and came from thence: in the promulgation of it, through the long train of patriarchs and prophets, that went before it to usher it in; it was published by Christ, the son of God himself, confirmed by the gifts and miracles of the Holy Ghost, and in it is a greater display of the glory of God; it was attended with angels too, and a voice from heaven delightful and not terrible; and there was a glory on Christ's countenance, far exceeding that of Moses's: in the matter of it; which is the love, grace, and mercy of God; the Lord Jesus Christ, in all the glories and fulness of his person and offices; salvation by him, spiritual blessings, exceeding great and precious promises; neither of which are to be observed in the law: the ordnances of it vastly exceed the legal ones; and it has greatly the advantage of it in its effects on the souls of men, when accompanied by the spirit of God.

Ver. 11. "For if that which is done away", &c.] Here another difference is pointed out, which subsists between the law and the Gospel, and proves that the one is more excellent and glorious than the other. The law is "that which is done away"; not merely the ceremonial law, or the judicial law, but the whole ministry of Moses, and particularly the law of the Decalogue: for the better understanding of this, distinguish between the matter and ministry of it; the ministry of it by Moses is done away, the matter of it so far as of a moral nature abides: distinguish between the law, as inthe hands of Moses and of Christ; as in the hands of Moses it is broken to pieces and abolished, as in the hands of Christ, as King in his church, it remains: distinguish between precepts and precepts; some are mixed, being partly moral, and partly ceremonial,as the fourth and fifth commands, and others are not; what is ceremonial, or purely related to the Jews whilst in their civil policy, and in the land of Canaan, is done away; but what is purely moral, is, as to the matter of it, still obliging: distinguish between the law as a covenant of works, and as a rule of walk and conversation; as a covenant of works it is done away, as a rule of walk and conversation it still continues: distinguish between persons and persons; to them that are redeemed from it, it is done away; to them that are under it, it remains; and lastly, distinguish between a right and a wrong use of it; as to any use of it to justify us before God, by our obedience to it, it is done away; but as it may be of use to convince sinners of sin, and to direct saints in a course of righteousness, so it abides. The Gospel is "that which remaineth"; which denotes the continued efficacy, the incorruptibleness, the inexpugnableness, and duration of it; notwithstanding all the opposition of men and devils to it, still its blessings, promises, doctrines, ordinances, and effects continue; it remains in the Scriptures, in the church, in the hearts of believers,and in the world too, until all the elect of God are gathered in: now as things that remain are much more glorious than those which are done away, so the Gospel must be much more glorious than the law.

Ver. 12. "Seeing then that we have such hope", &c.] Having this confidence, and being fully persuaded that God has made us able and sufficient ministers of the Gospel, has called and qualified us for such service; and since we have such a ministry committed to us, which so much exceeds in glory the ministry of Moses, a ministry not of death and condemnation, but of the spirit and of righteousness; not which is abolished and done away, but which does and will remain, in spite of all the opposition of hell and earth: "we use great plainness of speech"; plain and intelligible words, not ambiguous ones: or "boldness"; we are not afraid of men nor devils; we are not terrified by menaces, stripes, imprisonment, and death itself: or "freedom of speech"; we speak out all our mind, which is the mind of Christ; we declare the whole counsel of God, hide and conceal nothing that may be profitable to the churches; we are not to be awed by the terror, or drawn by the flatteries of men to cover the truth; we speak it out plainly, clearly, with all evidence and perspicuity. The apostle from hence passes on to observe another difference between the law and the Gospel, namely, the obscurity of the one, and the clearness of the other.

III. EXCEEDING GREAT - megista - the greatest great

A. GREAT because they promise us great blessings.

B. EXCEEDING GREAT because they are the promises of GOD.

C. Winslow Notest that, THEY rest upon four foundations.

1. God's Holiness - He will not deceive

2. God's Goodness - He will not forget

3. God's Truth - He will not change

4. God's Power - He is able to accomplish what he promised

 IV. They are Precious Promises

A. "Because of the source from whence they originate"

B. "From the channel through which they flow"

I Timothy 2:5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

1. Mercies of God's Providential Care.

2. Your Sins pardoned

3. Your name written in the Lamb's book of life

"Dearly beloved, look at the precious promises. They all come to you through the merits, mediation, finished work, atoning sacrifice, the incessant and ever-prevalent intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consequently, they become exceedingly precious. Nay, more than this. Every promises meets and centres in Christ. " [Winslow, Precious Things, pg 148]

II Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him [are] yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

They are certain - not, here or there, maybe and possibly. Not, by chance and by golly. Not "today yes and tomorrow no". Certain and dependable, trustworthy and eternal. They are in Christ affirmed. They are in Christ CERTAIN. They are ours in CHRIST as we are said to be the HEIRS OF THE PROMISES. Hebrews 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath:

to vai - Jesus Christ is THE YEA. The fullfillment and accomplishment, their affirmation. He is THE AMEN. AMEN the Hebrew way of saying YEA.

John Gill (small excerpt here from larger excerpt below)

and are all of them very ancient, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; are exceeding great and precious, suited to the various cases of God's people; are free and unconditional, immutable and irrevocable, and will all of them have their certain accomplishment. These promises are all "in" Christ; with and in whom could they be but in him, since he only existed when they were made, which was from everlasting?

JOHN GILL:

Ver. 20. "For all the promises of God in him" [are] "yea", &c.] This is a reason or argument proving what is before said, that "in" Christ "was yea", since "all the promises of God in him are yea"; and shows, that God has made many promises to his people: mention is here made of "promises", and of "all" the promises; or, as the words may be rendered, "as many promises of God". There are some which concern the temporal good of the saints; as that they shall not want any good thing; and though they shall be attended with afflictions, these shall work for their good, and they shall be supported under them. Others concern their spiritual good; some of which relate to God himself, that he will be their God, which includes his everlasting love, his gracious presence, and divine protection. Others relate to Christ as their surety and Saviour, by whom they are, and shall be justified and pardoned, in whom they are adopted, and by whom they shall be saved with an everlasting salvation: and others relate to the spirit of God, as a spirit of illumination, faith, comfort, strength, and assistance, and to supplies of grace by him from Christ: and others concern everlasting life and happiness, and are all of them very ancient, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; are exceeding great and precious, suited to the various cases of God's people; are free and unconditional, immutable and irrevocable, and will all of them have their certain accomplishment. These promises are all "in" Christ; with and in whom could they be but in him, since he only existedwhen they were made, which was from everlasting? with and in whom should they be of right, but in him with whom the covenant, which contains these promises, were made, and who undertook the accomplishment of them? where could they be safe and secure but in him, in whose hands are the persons, grace, and glory of his people? not in Adam, nor in angels, nor in themselves, only in him. Moreover, these promises are "in him yea", "and in him amen"; they are like the Gospel which exhibits them, consistent, and all of a piece; like the covenant which contains them, and is ordered in all things, and sure; and like the author of them, whose faithfulness and lovingkindness to his in Christ shall never fail; and like Christ himself, in whom they are, who is "the amen, the true and faithful witness, the same today, yesterday, and for ever"; by whose blood, the covenant, and all the promises of it, are ratified and confirmed, and in whom, who is the truth of them, they are all fulfilled. And these are "unto the glory of God by us"; these serve to illustrate and advance the glory of God, when they are preached by us, and held forth by us in the Gospel, just as they are in Christ, free, absolute, and unconditional; and when they are received "by us" as believers in Christ; for the stronger we are in the faith of the promises, the more glory we give to God; faith by laying hold on, and embracing the promises, glorifies the veracity, faithfulness, power, and grace of God.

THUS AS SAID BY THE ABOVE VERSE, THE PROMISE IS IN CHRIST, THROUGH CHRIST, FROM CHRIST AND WILL BE MADE GOOD TO YOU IN VIRTUE OF YOUR UNION WITH CHRIST. [Winslow,Precious, pg 148]

 

V. These PROMISES are PRECIOUS in themselves.

A. When under REAL conviction of Sin and seeking Salvation by the Hand of God through Jesus Christ.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Rest for those weiried with the burden of sin and the lack of righteousness with which to stand before God. How wearisome it is for the man who honestly considers how he is not prepared to die for he has no righteousness with which to stand before God. Then rest from the daily burdens of this world.

Faith and obedience are two things yet inseparable as though they were one. Why is the Yoke of Christ ease?

1. Our corruptions were what would have made it hard.

2. It is easier than the burden of the law which showed no mercy.

3. It may be harder for a beginner but then becomes easier as we become aquainted with the way of Christ.

4. It is not our strength but the assistance of God enabling.

5. The Love of God makes it easy - because we love him.

6. It is lighter than serving our lusts.

7. It is lighter because of the prospect shown in the exceeding promise of the reward.

Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

EXCEEDING GREAT and PRECIOUS PROMISE that bids us come, come unto Jesus the LORD for rest, pardon, forgivness, salvation from Sin.

B. When in mental anguish and despair there is promise for the elect of God. There is PROMISE and Precious it is to receive help from such a spiritual heaviness as so often visits. Especially, I think, visits the inhabitants of our country where even the poorest have so much. Especially, I think, in our country where psychology seeks to profit from every corner it can. Even to the point of Creating in the minds of its victims the very disease it hopes to cure. If in much heaviness of heart, depression, then don't turn to psychology for the answer but turn to the LORD GOD who has promised to be a very real and present help in time of need.

Psalms 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, [who is] the health of my countenance, and my God.

Following is an excert from Treasury of David, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. There is much and it is lengthy but I've included it for my own later mediations upon this verse. Be warned----what we call depression is so common and so able to rob one of joy we must be on guard against. Self, Discontenment, Pride and other like sins lie at the bottom of it. Our remedy is to HOPE THOU IN GOD. Do not be robbed of your joy. Set you affections on things above and HOPE THOU IN GOD.

EXPOSITION

Verse 11. ["Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?"] In the rehearsal of his sorrow, he finds after all no sufficient ground for being disquieted. Looked in the face, his fears were not so overwhelming as they seemed when shrouded in obscurity. ["Hope thou in God."] Let the anchor still keep its hold. God is faithful, God is love, therefore there is room and reason for hope. ["Who is the health of my countenance, and my God."] This is the same hopeful expression as that contained in verse five, but the addition of ["and my God"] shows that the writer was growing in confidence, and was able defiantly to reply to the question, "Where is thy God?" Here, even here, he is, ready to deliver me.

I am not ashamed to own him amid your sneers and taunts, for he will rescue me out of your hands. Thus faith closes the struggle, a victor in fact by anticipation, and in heart by firm reliance. The saddest countenance shall yet be made to shine, if there be a taking of God at his word and an expectation of his salvation.

"For yet I know I shall him praise

Who graciously to me,

The health is of my countenance,

Yea, mine own God is he."

Reference: The Treasury of David, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Published by Guardian Press, 1976, Vol. II, Pages 304, 305.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

[Verses] 5, 11. In case thou art at any time oppressed with sorrows, ask thy heart and soul that question which David did in the like case twice in one Psalm: ["Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?"] and certainly the soul would return answer, My distress of sadness springs from my unbelief. You may know the disease by the cure, in the very next words, ["O put thy trust in God; hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."] All sorrow of heart springs principally from our unbelief, not from the greatness of other evils; I mean, [destructive] sorrow, for godly sorrow is a friend to godly joy. It is not so much the weight of the burthen, as the soreness of the back, that troubles the poor beast: so it is not so much the weight of outward evils, as the inward soreness of a galled conscience, not purified nor healed by faith, that vexeth and troubleth the poor creature. [Matthew Lawrence, in "The Use and Practice of Faith," 1657.]

[Verses] 5, 11. As afflictions do proceed from ourselves, they may be called troubles, or perturbations; for the best man doth sometimes cause this bad liquor to boil out of his own bowels. David, not once, but often, hath cried out, ["Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?"] And show me the man that annoyeth and troubleth not himself in vain, because with patience he doth not tarry the Lord's leisure? The foolish bird, who, being in a room whose door is locked, and the casements shut, beateth herself against the wall and windows, breaking her feathers and bruising her body, whereas, would she stay till the passages were by the keeper opened, she might depart, being not at all wounded; even so falleth it out with us: for when the Lord doth shut us up, and straiten our liberty for a time, we would fain make way for ourselves, having many devices in our hearts to break through the walls of his providence; whereas, if we would stay his leisure, depend on his promise, and submit ourselves to be disposed of by his hand, we might with more ease endure this prison, and with less hurt at the last be set at liberty. For God is in one mind, and who can change him? He will bring to pass that thing that he hath decreed upon us. [John Barlow's Sermon,] 1618.

[Verses] 5, 11. If you would get assurance, spend more time in strengthening your evidences for heaven, than in questioning of them. It is the great fault of many Christians they will spend much time in questioning, and not in strengthening their comforts. They will reason themselves into unbelief, and say, Lord, why should I believe? Why should I take hold of a promise that am so unholy and so unmortified a creature? And so by this they reason themselves to such a pass that they dare not lay hold upon Christ, whereas it should be your work to reason yourselves into Christ as much as you can. Labour to strengthen your comforts, and reason thus, Why should I not believe in Christ? Thus David did. Psalm 42. ["Why art thou troubled, O my soul, and why art thou cast down within me?"] Is not the mercy of God more than sin in the creature? Is not there free grace where there is guilt? Are not there pardoning mercies where condemnation is deserved? You should reason up your comforts rather than reason them down, and spend more time in strengthening than in questioning of them. You would count him a very unwise man that hath a lease of so much land, and he himself shall create scruples and doubts, and shall use no means to make his title good. And truly many Christians are as unwise for heaven. They have, as I may say, good bond and seal that God will bring them to heaven, and yet they will question and cavil themselves into unbelief. Beloved, this should not be, but you ought rather to strengthen your comforts than question them. [Christopher Love.]

[Verse] 11. Imitate here the example of David, instead of yielding to a vague grief: cite your soul; [enquire] of it the particular cause of your sorrow: different remedies will be requisite according to the different sources of your distress; and be careful that you trifle not with God, and your comfort, and your salvation, while you enquire of your soul, ["Why art thou cast down, O my soul?"] Be impartial, there is another and more solemn judgment to succeed: be persevering, like the psalmist, return, again and again to the investigation: be prayerful; self-love, or the delusion of your heart, may otherwise deceive you. Pray then to God, to "search you, and see if there be any wicked way in you." [Henry Kollock, D.D., in "Sermons,"] etc. 1822.

[Verse] 11. ["Hope."] Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. [Samuel Smiles, LL.D.]

[Verse] 11. ["God . . . . .is the health of my countenance."] The health of David's countenance was not in his countenance, but [in his God,] and this makes his faith silence his fears, and so peremptorily resolve upon it, that there is a time coming (how near so ever he now lies to the grave's mouth) when he ["shall yet praise him."] The health and life of thy grace lie both of them, not in thy grace, saith faith, but [in God], who is [thy] God, therefore I shall yet live and praise him. I do not wonder that the weak Christian is melancholy and sad, when he sees his sickly face in any other glass than this.[William Gurnall.]

[Verse] 11. ["The health of my countenance."] The countenance is often a true index to the mind. In the present awakening in religion, nothing is more remarkable than the sad or joyous looks of those whom God has spiritually exercised. It is easy who are sad, and who happy. There is nothing new in this; the psalmist says, "My soul is cast down within me." Therefore had he a dejected countenance; but said he, "Send thy light and thy truth; let them lead me; then will I go unto God, my exceeding joy. . .

. . . . And he shall be [the health of my countenance."] In his sorrow, the face of Jesus was marred more than any man's, and his visage more than the sons of men. The martyr Stephen was so filled with the sight of Jesus, that in the midst of his persecutors, with death in prospect, he had a face which "shone as the face of an angel." My friend, how is it with thee? Is thy countenance sad? or doth it shine with the joy of the Lord, telling the true tale of thy life and lot? [J. Denham Smith.] 1860.

[Verse] 11. Hast thou seen the sun shine forth in February, and the sky blue, and the hedgerows bursting into bud, and the primrose peeping beneath the bank, and the birds singing in the bushes? Thou hast thought that spring was already come in its beauty and sweet odours. But a few days, and the clouds returned, and the atmosphere was chilled, and the birds were mute, and snow was on the ground, and thou hast said that spring would never come. And thus sometimes the young convert finds his fears removed, and the comforts of the gospel shed abroad in his heart, and praise and thanksgiving, and a new song put in his mouth. And he deems unadvisedly that his troubles are past for ever. But awhile, and his doubts return, and his comforts die away, and his light is taken from him, and his spirit is overwhelmed, and he is fain to conclude that salvation and all its blessings are not for him. But the spring, though late, shall break at last. ["Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?"] [H. G. Salter's "Book of Illustrations,"] 1840.

[Verse] 11. His arguments and motives hereunto are impregnated with very great sense and strength; and urged upon himself as the just rate thereof. ["Hope thou in God."] For he is 1. ["God."] 2. ["Thy God."] 3. ["The health of thy countenance,"] and 4. [One whom thou shalt] (certainly and for ever) [praise as such.] And 5. Do it [yet,] as lamentable and hopeless as thy case appears at present through seeming difficulties or unliklihoods. God and ourselves well understood, deeply considered, and skilfully urged and improved, give gracious hearts the best encouragements and supports under the severest accidents of time. And they will very strangely animate our hopes in God under our sorest troubles and dejections. David had (1) confidence in God; and (2) reasons for it; and (3) skill and a heart to urge them. When he reviewed himself, he saw that his soul was gracious; and so he knew God valued it. It was bent for praising God; and so he knew that he should have an opportunity and cause to do it, through some signal favours from him. He had an interest in God; and he would neither lose it nor neglect it, and he had great experience of God's former mercies, and he would not forget them. And when he thinks on God, then praises must be thought on too, and everything relating to it, and all the divine perfections, within the circumference of his knowledge, must have their fresh remembrances and powerful sense revived upon his own heart. [Matthew Sylvester (1636 - 1708, in "Morning Exercises."]

[Verse] 11. The soul, when once greatly disturbed, is often not soon calmed, on account of infirmities and remaining corruptions. [Henry March.]

Reference: The Treasury of David, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Published by Guardian Press, 1976, Vol. II, Pages 320, 321.

 

C. Spiritual Gloom all around you?

Isaiah 50:10 Who [is] among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh [in] darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.

D. You sense a WITHDRAWING GOD.

Isaiah 54:8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

E. You are now convicted of Backsliding - You have gone astray like a lost sheep.

Jeremiah 3:12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; [and] I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I [am] merciful, saith the LORD, [and] I will not keep [anger] for ever.

F. You are in Trouble.

Psalms 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

G. You are in the midst of temptation.

II Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

I Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

H. Deep Affliction and Sore Adversity

Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

I Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

I. Answers to prayer are delayed.

Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

J. You Anticpate severe trouble in the future and are afraid as it approaches.

Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

K. Do you fear that you will not persevere to the end.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:

Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

L. Have your friends and relatives forsaken you.

Psalms 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

Hebrews 13:5 [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

M. Are the infirmities and weaknesses of Age weighing upon you.

Isaiah 46:4 And [even] to [your] old age I [am] he; and [even] to hoar hairs will I carry [you]: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver [you].

N. Have you fear of poverty here in this world.

Isaiah 33:16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence [shall be] the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters [shall be] sure.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

O. Do you right now fear death.

Psalms 48:14 For this God [is] our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide [even] unto death.

VI. Precious are these promises in the EXPERIENCE of God's OWN.

VII. Precious PROMISES, precious in the fruit they bear.

VIII. CONCLUDING INFERENCES

A. Take hold of the promiser himself.

The promise is nothing apart from the promiser. We are to deal with the PROMISER HIMSELF--see Abraham.

Romans 4:20-21 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

B. Store up in your heart the exceeding great and precious promises.

C. Remember these promises are God's gifts and not your purchase. They are given unto you.

D. Walk in the HOLINESS OF THE PROMISE.

II Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Promises of God dwelling with us, of God IN Us, Of God being to us a Father.

Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

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