1 Elohim is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
...in the midst of all-the very severest, the most threatening, the most calamitous, yea, even to the verge of death and unto death itself-it is a standing consolation that God reigns, though He appears not to do so, and that all things work together for God to those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose.
The consolation applies even to matters that are not matters of calamity, but of care only. We can understand what Jesus means when he says,
"Take no thought (care, worrying, anxiety) for tomorrow."
We can respond to this intelligently and thankfully in faith. We remember that he said,
"Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of,"
and that if we seek first the kingdom of God, these things will be provided, even as they were for all the fathers now sleeping. Believing this, we can rest, obeying that other exhortation which says,
"Cast all your care upon him, for he careth for you."
This is a great protection from the feverish care of temporal things that consumes the soul of those who have not set God before them: it is a constant solace in the midst of a generation that is bent on providing a reserve of the wherewithal to eat, drink, and be clothed.
Sunday morning 338.
I will be exalted in the earth.
Why are the hordes of the northern Gog to be smitten on the mountains of Israel? That Israel may be delivered? Nay,
"I will bring thee against my land that the heathen may know me when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes" (Ezek. 38:16).
...why... in our salvation has God adopted a procedure which stops every mouth, and makes all the world guilty before Him? That God may be glorified in the manifestation of favour, and that no flesh may glory in His presence.
...The great aim in the whole plan is to exalt God to the supreme place of honour in the recognitions and affections of men. Some shallow minds among unbelievers perceiving this, have called the God of the Bible a selfish tyrant. The suggestion is as essentially unreasonable as it is daringly blasphemous.
The supremacy of God means the well-being of men. There can be no peace on earth till there is glory to God in the highest. The highest well-being of man is in the holiest service of God. This is the case even now: how much more evident will it be when godly men are made immortal?
God is the fountain of all power, life, and faculty. He exists of Himself and by Himself from eternity. Estranged from Him or unsubject to Him, man must from his very constitution fail of well-being. When this is realised we shall mightily appreciate the wisdom and the goodness of God in aiming at His own exaltation in all His dealings with men.
But let us look at the practical application of this great and wide-reaching fact to our present individual cases. If God says "I will be exalted in the earth"-if this is the object of His past dealings with nations-is it not obvious that we must realise this result as individuals before we can be acceptable before Him?
Of what value at last will be our technical enlightenment in the truth if it fail in inducing the one great result aimed at in all its operations-the enshrining of the Deity in our hearts as the highest reverence, the strongest affection and the great moving power of our lives?
Wise men and women will see the answer for themselves. Jesus has placed this as
"the first and great commandment:" "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy strength and with all thy soul and all thy mind."
And since it is only those who "do His commandments" that will "enter through the gates into the city," we may be quite certain that no man will pass through those gates who lacks in the obedience of "the first and great commandment." The favoured multitude who pass those portals have
"the name of the Father written on their foreheads:"
what is this but the symbolic representation of that knowledge and love of God, which dwelling richly in the mind, enable their possessor to obey "the first and great commandment?"
Therefore, brethren, let us go on unto perfection
Sunday Morning 338.