“O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy upon Jerusalem? … And the Lord answered the angel … with good words and comfortable words.” – Zec_1:12, Zec_1:13
What a sweet answer to an anxious enquiry! This night let us rejoice in it. O Zion, there are good things in store for thee; thy time of travail shall soon be over; thy children shall be brought forth; thy captivity shall end. Bear patiently the rod for a season, and under the darkness still trust in God, for his love burneth towards thee. God loves the church with a love too deep for human imagination: he loves her with all his infinite heart. Therefore let her sons be of good courage; she cannot be far from prosperity to whom God speaketh “good words and comfortable words.”
What these comfortable words are the prophet goes on to tell us: “I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.” The Lord loves his church so much that he Continue reading →
“I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.”- Eze_34:26
Here is sovereign mercy-”I will give them the shower in its season.” Is it not sovereign, divine mercy?-for who can say, “I will give them showers,” except God? There is only one voice which can speak to the clouds, and bid them beget the rain. Who sendeth down the rain upon the earth? Who scattereth the showers upon the green herb? Do not I, the Lord? So grace is the gift of God, and is not to be created by man. It is also needed grace. What would the ground do without showers? You may break the clods, you may sow your seeds, but what can you do without the rain? As absolutely needful is the divine blessing.
“The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power.” – Nah_1:3
Jehovah “is slow to anger.” When mercy cometh into the world she driveth winged steeds; the axles of her chariot-wheels are red hot with speed; but when wrath goeth forth, it toileth on with tardy footsteps, for God taketh no pleasure in the sinner’s death. God’s rod of mercy is ever in his hands outstretched; his sword of justice is in its scabbard, held down by that pierced hand of love which bled for the sins of men.
“The Lord is slow to anger,” because he is GREAT IN POWER. He is truly great in power who hath power over himself. When God’s power doth restrain himself, then it is power indeed: the power that Continue reading →
“His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” – Gen_49:24
That strength which God gives to his Josephs is real strength; it is not a boasted valour, a fiction, a thing of which men talk, but which ends in smoke; it is true-divine strength. Why does Joseph stand against temptation? Because God gives him aid. There is nought that we can do without the power of God. All true strength comes from “the mighty God of Jacob.”
Notice in what a blessedly familiar way God gives this strength to Joseph-”The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Thus God is represented as putting his hands on Joseph’s hands, placing his arms on Joseph’s arms. Like as a father Continue reading →
Edom’s princes saw the whole country left desolate, and counted upon its easy conquest; but there was one great difficulty in their way-quite unknown to them-”The Lord was there”; and in his presence lay the special security of the chosen land. Whatever may be the machinations and devices of the enemies of God’s people, there is still the same effectual barrier to thwart their design. The saints are God’s heritage, and he is in the midst of them, and will protect his own.
What comfort this assurance yields us in our troubles and spiritual conflicts! We are constantly opposed, and yet perpetually preserved! How often Satan shoots his arrows against our faith, but Continue reading →
Hagar had once found deliverance there and Ishmael had drank from the water so graciously revealed by the God who liveth and seeth the sons of men; but this was a merely casual visit, such as worldlings pay to the Lord in times of need, when it serves their turn. They cry to him in trouble, but forsake him in prosperity. Isaac dwelt there, and made the well of the living and all-seeing God his constant source of supply.