Sermon 3140. The Glory of Our Strength

(No. 3140)




"For You are the glory of their strength." Psalm 89:17.

THE Psalmist Ethan is here speaking of the Covenant people-the people of God, the people who know the joyful sound of theCovenant of Grace and who, therefore, walk in the Light of God's Countenance. It is said of these persons that God is theglory of their strength. All strength of every sort comes from God. Since He is the Author of all being, it is He who givesstrength to every form of existence. Read the remarkable chapters which close the Book of Job and see how God there claimsto have given strength to the eagle in her lofty flight and to the horse when he paws in the valley- and leviathan and behemoth,those mighty creatures of the sea and the land! God claims to have given all the strength that there is in any of these membersof the inferior creation and we are certain that He also lays an equally just claim to all the strength that there is in man.The power of the arms, the swiftness of the feet, the keenness of intellect-all these come from the Most High who has workedsuch wonders in the formation of the human frame! Whatever of vigor and capacity there may be in it, all must be traced tothe almighty hand of God! Even the glory of man's physical strength, whether he knows it or not, belongs to God. He makesthe young man vigorous and the full-grown man mature in strength, so He ought to have the service of the strength which Hehas, Himself, created!

Equally is this true of all mental power. The craftsmen learn their art from God. Bezaleel and Aholiab were instructed ofthe Most High, "to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass," as truly as Moses was taught of God in the writing of the Law.The poet receives his power for grand conceptions from God, who is beyond all human conception! And he who is most learnedin any particular science-the great discoverer, the man who measures the stars or maps the seas-receives all his mental strengthfrom the Most High! It would be well if this were always remembered, for it often happens that men who are great in wisdomascribe their greatness to themselves and then prostitute their native talents and their acquired knowledge to their own ambitiousends, or to some mean and groveling purpose. Oh, that all men would lay out their talents for God, for He is the great Householderwho has given to one of His servants one talent, to another two and to another five talents-and who will, at His coming-requirefrom them an account of what they have done with them! Oh, that all who are mentally strong would ascribe the glory of theirstrength to God!

But there is a higher and nobler form of strength than either the physical or the mental. We rise into another realm whenwe come to speak of spiritual'things. There are some men whom God has raised up from spiritual death. When they "were yetwithout strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly," and so He saved them from their death in sin and they have beenmade spiritually strong by God through the effectual working of His Son. By Divine Grace they are the sons of the AlmightyGod and they have become mighty through Him, so the glory of their strength is all to be ascribed to God. The Psalmist's declaration,"You are the glory of their strength," is true in reference to the whole of the spiritual seed-the Covenant people who aremade strong in spiritual things by the Grace of God.

I. Now, in trying to lead your thoughts into the meaning of this text, I want you first of all, by way of contrast, to spenda few minutes in considering the opposite of our text. God is the glory of our strength, but what I want you now to thinkof is THE SHAME OF OUR WEAKNESS.

This is a very humiliating subject, but it is one that should never be far from our thoughts, for we shall never realize tothe fullest, the glory of the strength which comes from God until we are deeply conscious of the shame of the weakness whichis in our nature as the result of the Fall and of our own sin. What poor weak creatures we are! It is no shame to us

that we have not the strength of the elephant or the lion. It is no shame to us that we have not the wings of eagles or ofangels. It is no shame to us that we are often the sport of the elements, so that we shiver in the cold or are blistered inthe sun. It is no shame to us that when the storm sweeps over the sea, it drives our navies before it like so many cockle-shells.It is no shame to us that there are many things in this world which are far more powerful than such a puny creature as manis! Such weakness as that which God intended us to have is no cause for shame-no, we turn to God in the full consciousnessof it and remind Him that we are but animated dust and that He made us weak as we are-and intended us to be weak as we are!That is not where the shame lies. The shame lies in the moral weakness which is natural to us in our fallen state!

I mean that, left to ourselves, we are weak enough to allow our baser spirits to be our masters and our meanest capacitiesto have the sway over our entire nature. God has put the earth under our feet, but we often put ourselves under the earthby permitting that which is earthy to dominate us. We have a nature that, in its origin, was akin to the Divine, yet how oftenwe allow the passions of our fallen nature to control our whole being! We let that part of our nature which is worst be supremeover that which is best, yet it should never be so. Look at the weakness of the strongest man ever born of a woman! See himlying helpless at Delilah's feet and there committing suicide for I can call it by no other name-by revealing the secret ofhis strength and so delivering himself into the hands of the Philistines! Look at the weakness of the wisest man who everlived and see how Solomon's heart was turned aside from God! Look at the weakness of one of the best of men who ever lived,the man who was as great as a saint as he was as a poet-David, the sweet singer of Israel-who was weak as water when leftto himself! I need not mention other cases. God grant that we may not, ourselves, become instances of such weakness! But wehave been, I do not doubt, in some way or other, foolish enough to let our baser passions consent to sin while our noblerspiritual nature has hated the evil thing and fought against it.

Our weakness may also be seen in another way-we are very apt to be carried away by circumstances. We think we are standingvery firmly, but a very slight change in our position or condition will affect us very seriously. It is really extraordinaryhow easily a holy man, who has been truly communing with God, will be put out of temper by a circumstance so infinitesimalin importance that he would be ashamed to have it known that he had been influenced by it! I think some of you must have knownwhat it has been to have close fellowship with God and yet, afterwards, the merest trifle in the household has sufficed torob you of all the good you had gained. Possibly if God should give you, at this service, a very special manifestation ofHis Presence and you were to meet with a great trial at home, you would be enabled to bear it with equanimity. Yet some littleinsignificant thing-I shall not conjecture what may cause you to lose your temper or put you off your guard in some otherrespect, or cause you to become concerned about other things than the highest and best things and effectually bring you downfrom your privileged position as follower of the Lord Jesus Christ to the common level-I was about to say of an ordinary worldling!Oh, how weak we are! How weak we are in such a case as that!

It is also amazing to think how good men have been led into sin and overcome by the very smallest adversary. Look at Peter,for instance-bold, lion-hearted Peter. Who was it that led him to deny his Master? If some huge Roman legionary had come upto him with his drawn sword and said to him, "You Galilean, if you dare to say, 'I know Jesus,' this sword shall smite offyour head," I should not wonder but that Peter would have been equal to that emergency and certainly he would have wishedto have in his hand the sword with which he cut off the ear of Malchus so that he might at least defend himself. If the highpriest had pointed to Peter and said, "I believe that yonder stands one of the men who were with Jesus of Galilee," it maybe that he would have been bold enough to confess his Lord. But it was only a damsel, one of the high priest's maids who sawhim as he was warming himself at the fire, and who said to him, "You, also, were with Jesus of Galilee"-and he denied it-andso the strong man was overcome! It is thus that little foes have frequently mastered us where great foes could not do so.I think it was Admiral Drake who, in a storm at the Nore, said to his sailors, "Surely we have not braved many tempests outin the open sea to come here to be drowned in a ditch." Yet it has often been so. Men who have done business in great waters,(who have encountered huge Atlantic waves of temptation), have nevertheless been allured into sin by a temptation that wasutterly contemptible! And perhaps it was just because it seemed to them so contemptible that they became carnally secure andso it proved to be doubly dangerous to them. But

oh, what weak creatures we must be when trifling circumstances can turn us aside and when little things suffice to conquerus!

One thing in which we all betray our littleness is the readiness with which we fall into the gross sin of idolatry. We are,none of us, likely to bow down before blocks of wood and stone as the heathen do. Nor are we likely to worship the god madeof bread which is the god of so many in this country-yet we are all too prone to make unto ourselves gods that are reallyidols! At one time it is favorite child who is thus worshipped. "There never was a fairer child than mine. She is more likean angel than a human being," says the fond and foolish mother whose heart is wrapped up in her little one! Then comes God'sgreat hammer that breaks all idols-and the dead child is carried to the silent tomb. After such a painful experience as that,will the mother ever make an idol of another child? Yes, there are some who have done that, to their own confusion, time aftertime! If it has not been a little child who has been thus idolized, it may have been the partner of one's own life. Perhapsit has been some cherished idea which we have pursued with such avidity that it has became a god to us. It is very, very easyto put your trust in an arm of flesh-either your own or somebody else's. But as soon as you do that, you bring yourself underthat ancient curse, "Cursed is the man that trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the Lord"-forall trust in the creature is a subtle form of idolatry! After we have trusted in the creature once, twice, 20 times and beendeceived, will we do it again? Yes, for such is the shame of our weakness that we still turn away from the eternal arm whichcan never fail us and cling to that poor puny arm of man that is often as false as it is weak! We still we make gods of thingsthat are not gods, for, like the children of Israel, we are weak as water in this point also!

There is another thing that shows the shame of our weakness, namely, our unbelief. Have you never caught yourself saying,"After this, I shall never have a doubt again"? I have frequently found some such expression as that come to my lips, forI have had such extraordinary deliverances and such proofs of God's gracious loving kindness that when I have received them,I have said, "Oh, what a blessed God! Oh what a faithful God! Oh, what a prayer-answering God!" And then the thought has come,"The next time I am in trouble, I shall not be so timorous and so unbelieving!" Yet I fear that many of you will have to joinme in confessing with deep shame and confusion of face that it has only needed a new trial to come to us to cause us to findout that what we thought was strength was utter weakness! Have not you also found it so? Why, we are weaker even than ourown children, for our children can and do trust their father! But sometimes we, the loved ones of Heaven, cannot and do nottrust our Father who has never deceived us! We may well lament the shame of our weakness.

If I were to keep on speaking of this part of my theme, I might show you that we are weak everywhere and weak in every way-weakto all good and weak in the presence of all evil if God once withdraws Himself from us. You who are most mighty in prayer,are you not sometimes weak when you are upon your knees? You who often bear testimony to Christ with much courage, are younot sometimes weak in holy boldness? You who can generally rejoice in the Lord, are you not sometimes weak and feeble throughdespondency? Apart from God, our whole head is sick, our whole heart is faint and we are a mass of misery and a heap of weakness!

II. Now, having spoken thus by way of converse, I hope it is a fitting preparation for our dwelling a little while upon thesecond point which is, according to the text, THE GLORY OF OUR STRENGTH. True Believers, though they are a very feeble folkin themselves, are very strong when God is with them! They are so strong that their strength has a great glory in it of whichwe will now speak. The strength of the true Christian is so great that nothing can overcome him and he is more than a conquerorin every engagement into which he enters!

What strength God gives to us, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, at the very first, when we rise out of the grave of ourspiritual death. There we lie, bound hand and foot in that dark sepulcher-and a great stone is rolled over the mouth of it.The moment the Lord says to us, "Come forth," we open our eyes and begin to discover the gloomy grave in which we lie. Thenand there God gives us the power to unbind ourselves, to remove the stone and to come forth into liberty! I mean that men,quickened by Divine Grace, deliver themselves from evil habits, from customs which had bound them as with bands of iron, frominveterate sins which had held them captive as in a net! They become free from all these things in the strength of the HolySpirit when He has regenerated them and brought them up from their spiritual captivity. The achievements of a new-born soul,in its first conflicts with its old sins, are perfectly marvelous! There are many wonders in the Christian life, but I believethat the first stroke he gives when he is but newly born and, therefore weak, has a marvelous degree of power in it. Manymen have been swearers. Many have been drunkards. Many have been guilty of all manner of evil, but those old sins have beenlaid dead at their feet by one blow struck in the power of the ever-blessed Spirit. Truly, the glory of the strength of thenew-born child of God must lie in his God!

The man being Divinely quickened, we now find him contending for the right. And wherever he contends, he over-comes!The worldfrowns on him and he laughs at the frown. Then it fawns on him and he despises its flattery. Sham faith soon yields to theenemy, but real faith wins the victory over the world! If the whole world should attack a true Believer, the Believer wouldovercome the world and break through all its toils. Faith also overcomes the flesh and that is no small victory. He who hastrue God-given faith in Christ contends with inbred corruptions, strong passions and the deceitful-ness that is engrainedwithin the human heart. Where the life of God is in the heart, there is strength given to overcome the flesh. Though the manmay have been sensual and devilish before conversion, Divine Grace is more than a match for the flesh and Grace gains thevictory! It is a great thing to be able to overcome the world, the great world without and the little world within-but Satancomes into the field and sets himself among those who are arrayed against the Believer-and, blessed be God, the devil faresbadly in the fight, for many a time the dread Apollyon who has stretched himself across the way and said that he would slaythe saint, has himself been pierced by the Sword of the Spirit and has fled away wounded! What strength there must be in theBeliever when he is able to overcome that accursed trinity of antagonists- the world, the flesh and the devil!

When God is in him, the Christian finds himself able to do anything. "By You," says David, "I have run through a troop, andby my God have I leaped over a wall." And God said, "Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel, I will help you, saysthe Lord" and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. "Behold, I will make you a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth;you shall thresh the mountains and beat them small." Weak as we are, with God's help, nothing is impossible for us! What featsof valor some Believers have performed! Read the histories of the saints of the olden ages and think of the Apostles and theirimmediate followers. What strength was theirs and it was only faith that made them strong! You have read Foxe's Book of Martyrs,perhaps, till you have felt your blood boil with indignation and you have shut the book up and said, "I can read no more ofthe dreadful story lest it should disturb my dreams." But if you cannot even bear to think of the tortures which the saintsunderwent, what must it have been for them to bear them so heroically as they did? Women and even children defied their tormentorsand there were saints who, in the midst of the fire, bravely quoted verses of Scripture against their persecutors and withholy joy sang Psalms in the midst of the flames! How the saints baffled Nero, Domitian and other cruel tyrants! The Inquisition,in its dreary vaults, almost rivaled Hell in its pains and torments, but it was not able to quench the noble spirit of God'sfaithful servants! The persecutors may do what they will, but only give us a band of men and women who have God's Spirit inthem-and even though their foes may tear them limb from limb-they shall not conquer them! It is impossible that God's truesaints should be overcome, for they have a glory of strength that nothing can destroy!

Neither persecution, nor tribulation, nor nakedness, nor distress, nor famine, nor peril, nor sword, no, nor even death, itself,has been able to make the saints deny their Master! And we see the same strength upholding them still! I have, in my mind'seye now, one dear Sister, a member of this Church, in whom I have seen, within the last few days, the matchless way in whichthe saints can conquer death. When they have been almost worn out by disease and incessant pain. When sleep has been banishedfrom their eyes. When their whole body has been only a road for the feet of pain to traverse-even then they have never beenimpatient and they have rejoiced in the prospect of departure-not merely because they wished to be free from pain, but becausethe Presence of Christ had already made them so happy that they longed to get to the fountainhead of those sweet streams whichwere even then making them glad! Death has never yet conquered a saint! The children of God have all been conquerors. Everysepulcher of a saint is but another monument of the victory of faith! "These all died in faith," might be inscribed over thevast mausoleum of Believers-and then the palm branch might be put at the bottom of the inscription, for, dying in faith, they,every one of them, achieved the victory!

Let me add that God's servants have a glory of strength which I must not even mention without much humbleness of heart. God'speople are, through His Grace, so strong that they not only overcome the world, the flesh and the devil, but they overcomeGod Himself. Oh, matchless mystery, that the Omnipotent should yield to the Believer 's strength! Do you ask, "How is this?"Let me remind you of the Brook Jabbok and the memorable wrestling there when the Divine Wrest-

ler said to Jacob, "Let Me go, for the day breaks," but the brave man of faith replied, "I will not let You go, except Youbless me." And so he won the blessing-and with it came that new name, so full of meaning-"Your name shall be called no moreJacob, but Israel, for as a prince have you power with God and with men, and have prevailed." Truly did Joseph Hart, write,concerning God-given faith-

"It treads on the world and on Hell!

It vanquishes death and despair!

And what is still stranger to tell

It overcomes Heaven by prayer!" Surely there is a great glory in the strength of a Christian when even Heaven is moved bythe pleading voice of a true Believer!

III. Now let us notice, in the third place-and may the Spirit of God give His own unction and power with the

thought!-that Believers, thus having God-given strength, know that ALL THE GLORY OF THEIR STRENGTH


I hope you have understood this Truth of God even while I have been speaking about it, for it is true that the Christian hasno other strength than that which has come from God. It is so in every individual Christian. The glory of any strength thathe has must be given to God because God has given that strength to him. Have you all learned this lesson yet or are any ofyou proud of anything that you are, or of anything that you have done? Have you not yet learned the Truth of the text, "Youare the glory of their strength"? Have you been foolish enough to say, "I preach well," or, "I work well," or, "I suffer well,"or, "I am growing in Grace, so there is some credit due to me?" Dear Brother, if you talk like that, may the Lord deliveryou from all such delusions! He is the glory of our strength-let us keep to that and never get away from it, for the Lordour God is a jealous God and He is especially jealous of His own glory! And if He sees that we give that glory to ourselves,or to any other but Himself, He will take away from us the strength that He gave and make us cry out once again because ofour weakness. So do not destroy your own strength by taking the glory of it to yourself. Oh, how many a man has flung himselffrom the battlements of his pulpit by beginning to feel that he did it and that he had some strength of his own! How manya professor has marred a life of consistency in one dark hour-and the reason has been that self-sufficiency and carnal securitywere hidden away in his bosom-and at last betrayed him. When you are strong, then are you weak. But when you are consciousof weakness, then are you truly strong! While you lay the crown at the feet of Him who gave you the strength to win it, youwill always be made strong. But as soon as you begin putting the crown on your own head, your strength shall be taken fromyou and if, like Samson, you go out to shake yourself as at other times, you will find that the Lord has departed from youto chasten you for your pride!

Further, what is true of individual Christians is also true of a Church And I want to impress this Truth upon the membersof this Church and upon the members of all other Churches. When God makes a Church strong, it is a very blessed and gloriousthing-but the glory and strength of every Church must always lie in God. It never lies in the fact that there are many wealthypersons belonging to it. If God ever sees His people worshipping the golden calf, He will send a plague upon them to punishthem for their idolatry! The glory of a Church must never lie in the fact that there are certain persons of intelligence connectedwith it. I believe that is the worm at the root of many Churches and that it will lead to their decay. Everything is donewith the view of pleasing two or three people who are supposed to be very intellectual-yet those very people, if they arethe Lord's people-do not need "intellectual preaching" at all! They have enough work for their intellect on the other sixdays of the week and they need the simple Gospel-plain spiritual food for their souls to feed upon on the Sabbath! There area great many ministers who cause their hearers to break the fourth commandment for the labor involved in hearing them preachis indeed terrible-it must rack the soul instead of resting it! I should like to see a Lord's-Day Rest Society establishedto keep the people's mind at rest instead of their being tortured with all manner of quibbles and questions! They need tohear of Jesus Christ, for He is the true Rest for the soul and it is the very essence of the Divine Commandment to leave yourown work and to rest in Christ! That is the way to keep the Sabbath holy and he who has not done that cannot know the trueSabbath rest which is the portion only of those who are resting in the Lord Jesus Christ!

So it will not do to make the glory of our strength to lie in the wealthy people or the intelligent people. And it will notdo to make the glory of our strength to lie in fine elocution. "The wisdom of words" appears to have strength in it,

but when it makes the Cross of Christ of no effect, it is sheer weakness! It was one of the worst days that ever dawned uponthe Church of Christ when it began to cultivate the art of oratory and turned aside to "enticing words of man's wisdom." Butwhen men speak out of an overflowing soul of what God has done for them, that is the power which the Spirit of God gives tothem and the power which He will bless to their hearers! They do not then try to use out-of-the-way words and nicely roundedsentences, nor to pile up perorations-for that is magnifying the preacher and dishonoring the Word that has come out of themouth of God!

The glory of our strength must never lie in any of these things-it must lie in God alone. If it does so lie, then we shallglory in the Gospel which is one of the great supports of our strength! We shall glory in the Cross of Christ which is themain strength of the Gospel. And we shall glory in the Holy Spirit, who alone can raise the spiritually dead, who alone cangive the eyes that look to Christ upon the Cross and who alone can make the heart long after its Redeemer! O Brothers andSisters in Christ, we have need to pray for God the Holy Spirit to work mightily among us! We have the Holy Spirit still withus, so we have no need to pray that He would come down from Heaven. He came down at Pentecost and He never went back to Heaven,so He is still here. He is in all His people! He is in this assembly right now. He dwells among us, though we are apt to forgetthat He does. We reckon that the glory of our strength lies in our ministers, or in our organizations, or in our creeds. Weforget that the glory of our strength is spiritualand lies in the Holy Spirit, Himself, who is in us and who shall be foreverin us if we are truly the Lord's! Cry mightily in prayer, Beloved, that this true glory of our strength may continually berevealed in our midst as a Church, for so often we restrain Him, grieve Him and bind Him, as it were, with chains! He cannotdo many mighty works among us because of our unbelief. He withholds His richest blessings because of our sinfulness. Let usturn to Him again! O Lord, turn us and we shall be turned, and then we shall see the glory of our strength among us, and weshall give all the glory to Him who gives to us all our strength!

I offered a prayer, this evening, (and I prayed in faith), that the Lord would, in His mercy, save some souls tonight. AndI expect to hear that He has done so. I do not expect that blessed fact to remain concealed until we get to Heaven, but Iexpect to know tonightthat same of my hearers have come and found rest in Jesus!

I think I hear someone say, "I would gladly be saved, but I am so weak." But the almighty Savior came to save weak sinners!"Oh, but I am so weak I do not feel any repentance." But Christ was exalted to give repentance! O poor weak ones, it is tojust such as you are that Jesus says, "Look unto Me and be you saved, all the ends of the earth." It is but a lookthat isneeded-and even thatthe Holy Spirit gives you! He gives it to you now-He enables you now to look to Jesus, the great atoningSacrifice! And as you look, you are saved in a moment, saved through His Grace by that simple looking unto Jesus! Oh, to leapout of death into life, out of thick darkness into unutterably glorious light in one moment! I pray that the Holy Spirit mayspeak to many a soul here through the words that I am now uttering. "Awake, you that sleep and arise from the dead, and Christshall give you light." The Lord grant that it may be so-and to Him shall be the glory, for He is the glory of our strength.Amen!


Verses 1, 2. I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever: with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.For I have said, Mercy shall be built up forever: Your faithfulness shall You establish in the very heavens.

[See Sermon #1565, Volume 26-MASCHIL OF ETHAN, A MAJESTIC SONG.] So far,

the gracious man declares the resolution of his heart to praise his God forever and gives the reason for that resolve. Nowhe quotes the Lord's Covenant with David.

3, 4. I have made a Covenant with My chosen, I have sworn unto David, My servant, Your seed will I establish forever, andbuild up your throne to all generations. Selal. That Covenant, as you well know, was not only made with David, but it hada higher spiritual bearing, for it related to that great and glorious Son of David who still reigns and shall reign forever-andin whom every Covenant blessing is secured.

5. And the heavens shall praise Your wonders, O LORD: Your faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. It is oftenvery profitable when we are enjoying fellowship with God, for us to speak to God and then wait for God to speak to us. Itis so here, you see. First the Psalmist says that he will praise God forever. Then God tells him of His Covenant

and explains to him the reason why mercy shall be built up forever. And then the man of God begins to praise God again. Thatwill give you a hint for your own private devotion. Sometimes you feel that you cannot praise God and cannot pray to Him.Well then, if you cannot speak to God, sit still and let Him speak to you! Read a portion of Scripture and then, perhaps,some suggestive verse or word in it will set you praying. And then when you have prayed, stop a little while and read again-andso a blessed conversation shall be carried on between you and your God! Thus the Psalmist takes his turn again-"And the heavensshall praise Your wonders, O Lord: Your faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints."

6, 7. For who in the Heaven can be compared unto the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?God is greatly to be feared. That is, reverenced.

7-9. In the assembly ofthe saints, and to be hadin reverence ofall them that are about Him. O LORD God ofHosts, who is a strongLORD like unto You? Or to Your faithfulness round about You? You rule the raging ofthe sea: when the waves thereof arise,You still the . He lets them arise and He bids them sink down again. All the Providential dealings of God seem to be illustratedin the ever-varying phenomena of the sea. The Lord sometimes lets tempests arise in our circumstances, but soon with a WordHe stills them and there is a great calm.

10. You have broken Rahab in pieces as one that is slain.The great crocodile of Egypt.

10-12. You have scattered Your enemies with Your strong arm. The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours: as for the worldand the fullness thereof, You have founded them. The north and the south You have created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoicein Your name. Oh, what a blessed spirit the spirit of true devotion is! There is such life in it that it seems to quickenall inanimate creation and make the rocks and mountains sing, the trees of the woods to clap their hands and the waves ofthe sea to praise the great Creator! So the whole world is like a great organ and man, guided by God's Spirit, puts his fingerson the keys and wakes the whole world to the thunder of adoration and praise! Oh to be taught of God to have a praiseful heart,for then all around us will be more likely to also praise Jehovah!

13, 14. You have a mighty arm. [See Sermons #674, Volume 12-THE MIGHTY ARM and #1314, Volume 22 which has the same titlt.]Strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand. Justice and judgment are the habitation of Your Throne: mercy and Truthshall go before Your face. There are wells of joy in this verse to those who know how to draw it up. It is a great delightto every man who is oppressed to know that justice and judgment stand, like armed sentinels, on either side of the Throneof God and to every human soul, conscious of unworthiness, it is an unspeakable delight that Mercy and Truth, like royal heralds,go before God wherever He goes! It has been well said that a God of all mercy would be an unjust God-but a God of all justicewithout mercy would be terrible, indeed!

15-21. Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of Your Countenance. In Yourname shall they rejoice all the day: and in Your righteousness shall they be exalted. For You are the glory of their strength:and in Your favor our horn shall be exalted for the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king. Then Youspoke in vision to Your holy one, and said, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of thepeople.Ihave found David My servant; with My holy oilhave I anointed him: with whom My hand shall be established: My arm also shallstrengthen hi . David was a great blessing to the nation over which God made him king. Among the choicest gifts that God evergives to men are men and, therefore, we read concerning Christ, "When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, andgave gifts unto men"-and those gifts were men, for, "He gave some, Apostles and some, Prophets; and some, Evangelists; andsome, pastors and teachers." These were the choice ascension gifts of Christ! Yet, while these verses primarily refer to David,the king of Israel, we must believe that a greater than David is here, even Christ, who deigns to call Himself God's Servant,who has been anointed by the Spirit of God, with whom God's hand is always established and who is ever strengthened by thearm of Omnipotence.

22-25. The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before hisface and plague them that hate him. But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted.I will set his hand also in the sea and his right hand in the rivers. Do not believe, dear Friends, any of the propheciesthat some men make concerning the destruction of the Kingdom of Christ and the failure of His Church- but be certain thatthe Lord will not suffer Christ to fail or be discouraged-and rest assured that the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper inHis hands! The history of the Church of Christ is a history of conflict, but it shall be a history of victory before it iscompleted-"I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers."

26-34. He shall cry unto Me, You are my fatheer, my God, and thee rock of my salvation. Also I will make him My first-born,higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him forevermore, and My Covenant shall stand fast with him. Hisseed also will I make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of Heaven. If his children forsake My law, and walk notin My judgments; if they break My statutes, and keep not My commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod,and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulnessto fail. My Covenant will I not break, or alter the thing that is gone out of My lips. If, then, you are in the Covenant,you will have the rod-you may rest sure of that! If you do not walk in God's ways, but break His statutes, you will not beallowed to go unchastened. If a father saw some boys in the street breaking windows or otherwise misbehaving themselves-andhe gave one of the boys a box on the ears, you may be pretty certain that the boy is his own son. And when God sees men doingwrong, He often permits the wicked to go unpunished in this life-but as for His own people, it is written, "You only haveI known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." Our heavenly Father's handstill holds the rod and uses it when necessary-but it is in love that He corrects us. Let us, therefore, when He chastensus, plead the Covenant that is here recorded and say to Him, "You have said, 'Nevertheless My loving kindness will I not utterlytake from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail. My Covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of Mylips.'"

35-37. Once have I sworn by My holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as thesun before Me. It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in Heaven. Selah.