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.
10 Be still, and know that I am Elohim: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
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.
His point of view is the governing one. The world forgets this - even the world that considers itself not the wicked world - the moral world - the religious world, the broad-minded, charitable, cultured world. They have invented for themselves a doctrine that is not in the Bible - that God is a universal Father and will save men without reference to their attitude to Him.
This doctrine is pleasing and convenient, but it is not true. The cross of Christ contradicts it.
Why did Christ die? Because of sin. And why is sin so dreadful as to require such an awful ingredient in the process of remedy! For the very reason that God is so great and terrible a majesty. This is the last thing that men of our generation rise to: yet it is the first lesson in true godliness - the godliness that God will accept (and none else is worth talking about).
God is good - God is love: but there is a method in the goodness which is its chiefest glory: This method insists on the indispensable conditions for the effectuality of goodness in wisdom and holiness. Goodness without wisdom and holiness, and the firmness that in 'consuming fire' insists on those conditions would not be goodness. The first of those conditions is God's supremacy: -
"I will be exalted." -I will be sanctified in them that approach unto me."
The second is absolute obedience. On these two points there has and cannot be the shadow of compromise in God's dealings with the earth. They are the two points that men instinctively dislike. Paul's words are not too strong. -The carnal mind - the mind of the flesh - the mind that the brain generates left to itself - is enmity against God: it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. He further says:
"They that are in the flesh cannot please God"
- that is, men who are animated by the views and principles that the flesh invents for itself, which is the sort of men all the world is composed of, of whatever age, country, or nation. We have only to allow reason to rule to see how purely reasonable and good are God's requirements in the matter, and how intrinsically absurd and mischief - working merely natural views are. God is self-subsistently the first. Nothing was before Him or could be. He has contrived all things, and all things subsist in Him.
Is it not reasonable, therefore, that His views should prevail? If there is any credit or glory arising out of man, is it not reasonable it should be to God and not to man at all, seeing it is of His hand man holds everything, and man made nothing?
Does not common honesty and common gratitude require that all thanks and all praise should be to Him, and that man, while highly gifted, should be humble and thankful?
Is it not robbery and barbarism for man to ignore God and take all the glory to himself when in truth none belongs to him?
Is it not the programme of the simplest justice that God should aim to fill the earth with His glory?
Seasons 2: 11