Sermon 2849. Remembering God's Works
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1903.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 4, 1877.
"He has made His wonderful works to be remembered: the LORRD is gracious and full of compassion. He has given meat unto themthat fear Him: He will ever be mindful ofHis Covenant." Psalm 111:4, 5.
GOD'S works are, of course, wonderful because they are His works, but they are not "a nine days' wonder." They are not intendedto be admired for a little while and then to be forgotten. The Psalmist says, "He has made His wonderful works to be remembered."I fear that we too often fail to keep in our memory the recollection of God's exceeding goodness and that we allow the worksof the Lord, as well as His mercies, to lie "forgotten in unthankfulness." If it has been so in the past with any of us, letus, at the outset of our meditation, begin to chide ourselves for our forgetfulness and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthenour memories that we may remember the wonderful works of the Lord more than we have done.
Our subject is twofold. First, it is God's design that His wonderful works should be remembered. And, secondly, it is ourwisdom constantly to have those wonderful works in remembrance.
I. First then, I learn from our text that IT IS GOD'S DESIGN THAT HIS WONDERFUL WORKS SHOULD BE REMEMBERED.
He has ensured the carrying out of this design, for, first, the very greatness ofHis works prevents them from being forgotten.When God has come forth out of His secret places to work Redemption for His people with a high hand and an outstretched arm,He has worked such mighty marvels that all history has been made to ring with the tidings of them. Is it possible that Israelcould ever forget what the Lord did in Egypt when He smote the hosts of their oppressors and brought forth His people witha great deliverance? Could they ever forget the wondrous scene at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh and all his army sank like leadin the surging waters that had stood upright, like massive walls, to make a way for the ransomed hosts to escape? There wereother events, in the conquest of Canaan and in the life of David which must have been, through their extraordinary character,forever burned into the recollection of God's ancient people and, truly, you and I can say of many of God's works on our behalf,that they have been so great that it would be quite impossible for us to forget them! Do you remember your conversion, belovedFriend? Perhaps you were a great and open sinner and the change in you was so remarkable that you can easily remember thetime when it occurred-and it would not be possible for Satan himself to make you doubt that such a change did happen to you!You remember, my Brother, when the load of your guilt was removed from your burdened heart? I can imagine that I could forgetmy own name and that I could forget my own sons, but I think I never could, under any circumstances, forget the day when Ibegan to sing to my dear Lord and Savior-
"I will praise You every day Now Your anger's turned away."
It was such a marvelous thing-so amazing a thing in itself-so altogether extraordinary that it could never, never, never beforgotten! "He has made His wonderful works to be remembered" because they are so wonderful. Study deeply what Sovereign Gracehas done to you, that you may see the greatness of the mercy and admire it, for, very much in proportion as you appraise themercy of God at its proper value, will you be sure to have it fixed upon your memory all your life.
God made His wonderful works to be remembered, in the next place, because of the persons upon whom those works were worked.There is many a man who would soon forget all he hears about the favor of God because he is not conscious of his own needof it, but when a person is, spiritually, in an exceedingly anxious state of mind and heart, and God's great mercy comes tohim, he is sure to remember it. You remember that the Israelites were in Egypt as a nation of slaves, so that when God fetchedthem out, the serfs of the brick-kiln, the men who were driven to their daily tasks by the oppressors' whips, the poor slaveswho were denied even the straw with which to make the bricks-well, when they were Divinely delivered, at the very time whenPharaoh's tyranny had become utterly unbearable, they could not possibly forget how they had been delivered! That day of theiremancipation became the beginning of months to them and they numbered their years from it, for, to poor oppressed Israel,it was like life from the dead!
At the present time, in a spiritual sense, God, in His mercy, interposes on behalf of those who are in a similar conditionto that of Israel in Egypt. You remember how Hannah sang, "He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts up the beggarfrom the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory"? That dunghill would help thebeggar's memory. He would say, "How can I forget that I was thrown away like a worthless thing? In my own estimation, I wasa rotten, worthless, useless thing, fit only to be thrown among the rubbish of creation. But the Lord suddenly appeared tome, lifted me up and set me among the princes of His people! Can I ever forget that? Let the bride forget her ornaments andlet my right hand forget her cunning, but never can my soul forget how the Lord brought me up out of the horrible pit, outof the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."
Some of us were mere wrecks of humanity-yawning chasms gaped beneath us and we thought that we would be speedily swallowedup. But we cried unto the Lord in our trouble and He brought us unto a quiet haven. Can we ever forget His wonderful works?We were sorely sick. Our soul abhorred all manner of food and we drew near to the gates of the grave-but the Good Physiciancame and restored us from all our sicknesses just when death stared us in the face. Beloved Brothers and Sisters, I feel certainthat I can appeal to many of you and say that you were in such a plight as this when the Lord revealed Himself to you. Suchwas your distress and the abject condition in which you were, that, for you to forget what the Lord did for you would be suchbase ingratitude that I cannot believe that it is possible! Surely you feel that you must remember Him, and that sooner mighta woman forget her sucking child than that you should forget the wonderful works which the Lord your God has worked for you!
Besides this, the Lord took care that His wonderful works would be remembered by putting them on record in the Scriptures.The five Books of Moses-the Pentateuch-are the Divinely-Inspired record of the wonderful works which God did for His peoplein the very early times of the world's history. The pen of Inspiration was carefully employed in order that what God had donemight be written down for all future generations to read. This blessed Book has made the wonderful works of God to be rememberedfor all time-it was written for that very purpose! It tells the unique story of the eternal love of God to us. It also tellsus the wonderful story of Love Incarnate in the Christ of Bethlehem and further tells us how He died, how He rose again andhow He lives in Heaven to plead for us as our great Intercessor before the Throne of God! Let us bless Him more and more forthese sacred pages in which He makes His wonderful works to be remembered! And I venture to suggest to you, Beloved, thatit is well when God performs any work of mercy for you, that you should cause it to be remembered in a similar way.
Much of God's praise is never made known on this earth for lack of a ready pen to record the gracious experiences of His people.The keeping of a diary is very apt to lead to a stilted form of piety. If a man feels that he must put something down everyday, he is very liable to put down that which is not true. He may think it is true even when it is really false. But the recordingof the many special mercies that we receive from God appears to me to be a duty which we owe to our age and also to our successors.If some of the wonderful deliverances which are recorded in the biographies of the saints had not been jotted down at thetime, we would have been great losers. And if we have anything worth recording and I think we have, even if we do not careto write it down to be seen by the public eye, yet, at least, let us record it for the sake of the little circle in whichwe live and move, that, perhaps, some of our descendants, or some of our friends may gather comfort from our personal experienceof God's mercy. "He has made His wonderful works to be remembered." Let us act in harmony with this grand design and preservethe memory of the Lord's great goodness to us!
Moreover, in order to preserve the memory of His wonderful works, God was pleased to command His people to teach their childrento remember what He had done for them. In addition to the Inspired records, He told them to make
their children's memories into books of remembrance. Jewish fathers were commanded to call their children together and tellthem how the Lord brought them out of Egypt, how He led them through the wilderness and how He gave them the land of Canaanto be their own possession. They were to teach their children and their children's children, the wonderful story of the Lord'sdealings with them. And we ought to be concerned to hand down, from father to son, the memory of God's great goodness to us.Tell your own children if you cannot tell anyone else, what God has done for their father. Sitting around the fire in theevening, your children might often be not merely interested, but instructed and impressed by the narrative of God's Providentialdealings with you. Possibly the story might not read well in print, but never mind that, for there will be an interest aboutit to your own household! So, be sure that you tell it. My memory recalls, at this very moment, many a pleasing incident fromwhat my grandfather told me concerning his early struggles in the ministry and the Providential interpositions of God on hisbehalf. Perhaps he might as well have written them down, but he did not. I think that, possibly, he knew that he had a livingbook within his grandchild's brain and that the boy might, in later days, tell to others what his grandfather had told him.At any rate, I do earnestly exhort all Christians to make God's wonderful works to be remembered wherever they can, and doit especially by telling your children what you have experienced of His goodness. Do not die, O you gray heads, you who havepassed your threescore years and ten-do not pass away from this earth with all those pleasant memories of God's loving kindnessto be buried with you in your coffin-but let your children and your children's children know what the everlasting God didfor you!
Once more, in order to make His wonderful works to be remembered, the Lord was pleased to institute certain ordinances tokeep them in the minds ofHis people. To preserve the memory of the deliverance out of Egypt, there was the significant riteof the Passover. On that night when God brought His people out of the house of bondage, it was the blood of the paschal lambthat protected each house that was sprinkled with it. And so Israel ever afterwards kept the Passover in memory of that nightwhen God said, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." And you know how our blessed Redeemer has given us the institutionof the Lord's Supper, saying, "This do in remembrance of Me," that the Atonement, that great master-fact of the Christianreligion might always be fresh upon our memories and Christ be set forth visibly crucified among us as though it were butyesterday! If anything may be forgotten, it must not be Gethse-mane, Gabbatha and Calvary!
Beloved, take care that you attend carefully to that sacred memorial. If I am addressing any true Believers in Christ, who,nevertheless, have been disobedient to their Lord's command, "This do in remembrance of Me," I would solemnly ask them tobe disobedient no longer! I am sure, Beloved, you miss a great privilege and I am equally sure that you are omitting a verysacred duty by not obeying your Lord's command. If it is right for you, as a Believer in Christ, to stay away from your Master'sTable, it is also right for me, and right for all God's servants. If we all did so, there would be no celebration of the Lord'sSupper anywhere! And, so, that which our Savior, in His Divine Wisdom, instituted for a memorial, would cease to be. Perhapsyou say that you are not a church member. If so, I reply that if you are a Christian, you ought to be a member of Christ'svisible Church on earth, for, if you have a right not to be a member, I have a right not to be one and so have all the peopleof God. And, so, the Church of God, as an organization in the world, would cease to exist! Who is to maintain the ministryof the Word? Who is to keep up the ordinances of God's House if all His people break up into separate grains of sand insteadof being living stones built up into His spiritual Temple? "He has made His wonderful works to be remembered." So, join withHim in that sacred purpose and, in observing the ordinances instituted by your Lord, set forth in your Baptism, your death,burial and resurrection with Him and, in the memorial Supper, show forth His death until He come.
Thus I have shown you how God has made His wonderful works to be remembered and I press it upon the heart and conscience ofall the Lord's people to see that their memory is happily burdened with the recollection of God's mercy. Study diligently,in the Biblical record, what He did in the olden times. Learn, from Church History, what He has done from the days of Christ'ssojourn upon the earth until now. But especially recollect what He has done for you and often say, "Come and hear, all youthat fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul." Abundantly utter the memory of God's great goodness! TheLord's children should not be dumb! Worldlings are noisy enough in praising their false gods-they often make night hideousand startle us from our sleep as they sing the songs of Bacchus, or Mars, or other heathen deities.
Then shall the children of God be silent and allow His mercies to lie forgotten in unthankfulness? No, no! But write the recordof them upon your doors! Let it be seen upon the walls of your houses! Publish the glad news wherever you go! Tell it evento unwilling ears and say, again and again, "The Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever. I can speak with confidenceupon this matter, for in my experience I have proved it to be so." Facts like these are among the best arguments to silenceinfidel doubts and Satanic temptations. Tell the skeptics what God has done for you and ask them whether unbelief can worksuch wonders for them. You, poor widow, with your seven little children, tell them how you took your troubles to the Lordand He helped you, so that you know that there is a God, for you rested and your family rested upon Him in your great sorrow-andHe upheld and delivered you. Tell them, you who have been sick, and in poverty, and who cried unto God and He helped you-tellthem that you know that there is a God that hears prayer! Tell them, you who are rejoicing in God with unspeakable joy andwho often feel so happy that you scarcely can bear the great delight-tell them that God still lifts up the light of His Countenanceupon His people! And if they sneer at you, tell them that you are as honest as they are and that they have as much reasonto believe your word as you have to believe theirs. Pit your experience against their arguments! Lay your facts over againsttheir fallacies and, in this way, you shall become valiant soldiers for the Truth as it is in Jesus.
II. Now, secondly, IT IS WISDOM ON OUR PART TO REMEMBER THESE WONDERFUL WORKS OF THE LORD, for the effect upon our minds willbe useful in many ways.
First, it will assure us of the Lord's mercy and compassion. Read the next sentence of the text, "The Lord is gracious andfull of compassion." Gracious, that is, to the sinful! Full of compassion, that is, to the weak and to the sorrowful! If wekeep in remembrance the wonderful works of God, our experience will prove the Truth of the text. How gracious the Lord wasto sinful Israel! When they rebelled against Him and murmured at Him, He still worked great wonders for them. He fed themwith manna from Heaven and brought them flesh to eat and guided them by His fiery-cloudy pillar. He would not let their sinturn away His Grace, but He still loved them. Does not your life, Beloved, prove to you that God is very gracious to you,forgiving your sin, overlooking your infirmities and bearing long with you? I want you to notice that it has been so in yourown life because, then, when you meet with a poor trembling sinner, you can say to him, or to her, "I know that God is verygracious, for He has been gracious to me." You can tell the man with a troubled conscience that Christ can ease it for Hehas eased yours. You can tell how your great sin was taken away by Christ's great Atonement and you can comfort those whoare burdened and bowed down, by saying, "He did all this for me and though, to my shame, I have to confess that I have oftengrieved Him, He has never left me, nor forsaken me. Even when I have lost the Light of His Countenance, through my own fault,yet, when I have mourned over my guilt, He has beamed upon me again. In great mercy has He dealt with me and He has been wonderfullygracious to me." Such testimony as that will be a great encouragement to others. As they hear what the Lord has done for you,they will be led by the Spirit of God to turn to Him that the like favor may be displayed towards them.
Recollect, also, the great compassion of the Lord. I hope your own life has shown you how very tender He is towards thosewho trust Him, even as the Psalmist says, "Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him." Ican recollect how, in a time of terrible depression of spirit and of intense anguish of pain, I cast myself upon my God withthat text in my mouth. I said to Him, "O Lord, I am Your child and if any child of mine were pained as I am, and I could takeaway his pain, I would do so. You are my Father. Prove your fatherliness by easing me, or else by strengthening my frail spiritto endure all this agony." I can even now recall the wonderful relief that came over both body and mind when I had pleadedlike that before God and I, therefore, speak with confidence of His fullness of compassion, for I have tried it and provedit for myself! And I invite all who are bowed down to do as I did.
Some of you may be in great distress of mind, a distress out of which no fellow creature can deliver you, you poor nervouspeople at whom others often laugh. I can assure you that God will not laugh at you! He knows all about that sad complaintof yours, so I urge you to go to Him, for the experience of many of us has taught us that "the Lord is gracious and full ofcompassion." As a mother comforts her children so will He comfort you. He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench thesmoking flax-so go to Him in all the weakness of your deep contrition and you shall find a mother's heart in the bosom ofJesus-something more tender than a man's heart could ever be! Flee to your God this very hour! Our own experience leads usto urge you to do so, does it not, Brothers and Sisters in Christ? If this were the time and place, and we could turn thisservice into an experience meeting, would not many of you rise and say, "It is even so," as
you remembered God's wonderful works to you? Would you not say, "Yes, truly He is the God of Grace, gracious and full of compassion"?
The next effect that this remembrance will have on our mind is this. It will make us consider and acknowledge the Divine bountyto us throughout all our lives. Observe what the Psalmist says next-"He has given meat unto them that fear Him." Now, as weremember that-as the Israelites might have recollected how they had abundance of food even in the wilderness-we shall be ledto think of what poor creatures we must be to be so dependent upon our God. We would not have been alive if He had not fedus. How poor we all are in our natural condition! I heard one say of another, who had grown to be a rich man, and it was saidin a wicked, envious spirit, "I recollect the time when he had not two shirts to his back and I said to him, 'And your motherremembers the time when you had not one.'" There is not much for the richest man to boast of-men glory in their possessions,and they talk of others who are poor, as though they were to be despised. There is not a man alive who has not had to be indebtedto God for the breath in his nostrils! We owe everything to Him and, in looking back upon our spiritual career, we have tosay, "He has given meat unto them that fear Him."
We have had to receive from the Lord the daily food that our souls have required. In temporal things and in spiritual, wehave been pensioners at His gate, beggars wholly dependent upon His bounty. We have not been able to provide for ourselvesone morsel of the bread of Heaven! The Lord has had to give us all that we have had all through our whole life, both physicallyand spiritually. He has not only given meat to His people once or twice, but all their lives! The bread you eat to nourishyour body and the spiritual food whereon your soul has been fed have been continually given to you. Have you ever countedhow many meals you have eaten from the first day until now? Have you ever thought of the great store of spiritual food thatyou have received from the Lord? The queen of Sheba was astonished at the provision that Solomon made for his household fora single day, but oh, what wonderful provision Christ has made for you! He has given you, spiritually, His flesh to eat andHis blood to drink! He has given you, even in superabundance, the riches of His Grace and He will, in due time, give you theriches of His Glory! Do not fail to recollect His wonderful works, in order that, while you realize your absolute dependenceupon Him, you may also see how He has continually supplied all your needs so that you have lacked nothing from the first dayeven until now! He has prepared a table before you in the presence of your enemies and He has made you to lie down in greenpastures and led you beside the still waters.
Recollect, too, the circumstances under which some of you have been fed. I t was a great wonder when God furnished a tablein the wilderness and it has been a wonder, to some of you, where your daily bread has come from, has it not? I can look backupon the past history of some of you and note how trying your circumstances have been. Yet all your real needs have been supplied.You often woke up in the morning feeling very much like the little birds that do not know where their breakfast is to be found.But I hope that you, like the little birds, began to sing even before you found your breakfast, for you did find it! I love,in the winter, to see the robins sit on the bare tree limbs and yet sing. It is easy enough to sing in springtime when allthe birds are singing-but it is not so easy to sit on the bare limbs and still praise the Lord. Still, you should do eventhat, for you have been fed up till now, have you not? You know that ancient promise, "Bread shall be given him; his watersshall be sure"? And that promise has been fulfilled in your experience. Sometimes, perhaps, you have attended a ministry whereyour soul has been well-nigh starved and you have not known where to look for the spiritual meat that you needed to make yougrow. Yet, you are still alive, for the Lord Jesus has, Himself, fed you. "Not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedsout of the mouth of God" has your soul been nourished! So, bless Him and praise His holy name, this very hour, and let notthe memory of His great goodness ever be forgotten by you.
Then remember, dear Brothers and Sisters, the variety of supplies that you have had. ' 'He has given meat to them that fearHim." All sorts of spiritual meat has He given you. When you were a child, you fed upon the simple doctrines of the Word.But since then, your Lord has given you strong meat that you may become a man in Christ Jesus. In all conditions, you havehad food convenient for you. At some stages of your spiritual history, it was not every ministry that could meet your needs.You could not listen with profit to this man or that, but the Lord Himself fed you with His Word-and many a choice morselyou had while you were reading your morning chapter-and it seemed as if every verse in that chapter had been written speciallyfor you, or as if the ink were still wet upon the page and that the love-letter came to you fresh from your dear Father'shand! Thus has He, many a time, given meat to you who fear Him.
Blessed be His holy name, not one good thing has failed of all that He has promised! Have you ever lacked anything? Has yourLord been a wilderness unto you, a land of barrenness? No, you have dwelt in a land flowing with milk and honey and you havebeen fed to the fullest! Do not forget this but tell the story of it to others. Tell it to your poorer neighbors. Tell itto poor saints when they are in low water. Tell it to the poor distressed children of God who cannot feed upon the Word. Tellthem that their Heavenly Father will never let them die of starvation, for God, who feeds the ravens and the sparrows, willsurely not allow His own children to starve!
There is another thing to be learned from the memory of God's goodness. It is intended to certify us ofHis faithfulness. ''He will ever be mindful of His Covenant," is the last clause of our text. The Lord never forgot the Covenant He made withAbraham. Often, when He might, otherwise, have destroyed Israel, He remembered that Covenant and He turned aside His wrath.And do you think He will ever forget the Covenant which He has made with His only-begotten Son, a Covenant signed, sealedand ratified, "in all things ordered well," a Covenant confirmed by the Sacrifice of His well-beloved Son, a Covenant whichHe signed with His own blood and which is to stand fast forever and ever? No, He cannot be false to His oath! He cannot lie!He must perform what He has promised. "Has He said, and shall He not do it?" All the past history of our lives goes to showthat God is faithful and will be faithful even to the end. I have never met with a child of God whose experience did not goto confirm the fidelity of God. "You are My witnesses," said the Lord. And if He were to call me into the witness-box and,I may say that if He were to call many of you, your witness would be very straightforward, very plain, very clear, very definite.You would say, "He keeps His Covenant forever and ever." He is not forgetful of the pledge which He gave to David, and toDavid's Lord, therefore, go forward with unwavering confidence in Him. Doubt not, nor be discouraged, but rejoice in Him andtrust Him evermore!
The last thing that this memory of God's wonderful works ought to do for us is to make us praise Him. This Psalm begins with,"Praise you the Lord," and it finishes up with, "His praise endures forever." Well, Beloved, the memory of His great goodnessis intended to make us praise Him forever and ever, so let us begin to do it at once! Do not go out of this place sorrowful-letyour recollection of God's goodness move you to praise Him. If you have no present cause for joy, so far as you can see, thinkof the past mercies that you have received. If everything looks gloomy ahead, recollect how the Lord has helped you in allthe steps you have already trod. Give Him a grateful song this very hour. Smooth those wrinkles from your brow. Let your eyelidsno longer hang down with heaviness, but say in your soul, "The Lord has dealt well with His servants, according to His Word.Therefore will we praise Him with our whole heart in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation." I frequently exhortyou to praise the Lord because I feel how necessary it is and because we shall soon be in Heaven-therefore, it is well tobe holding frequent rehearsals here of that which is to be our everlasting song!
Now I turn to the unconverted and say, Dear Friends, from our own experience we can tell you that to serve God is a blessedthing. He is a grand Master-there is none like He. He makes His servants blessed forever. He never leaves them, nor forsakesthem. Therefore, come and put your trust in Him. Hide yourself under the shadow of His wings and then, you, too, shall beable to say, even as we do, "He is faithful. His mercy endures forever." God bless you, for Christ's sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: PSALM111.
Verse 1. Praise you the LORD. Or, "Hallelujah," "Praise be unto Jehovah." "Praise you the Lord." I invite all Christians togive good heed to this injunction, whether others praise Him, or not, "Praise you the Lord." Do it now! Do it always, do itheartily, do it instead of what you sometimes do, namely, doubt Him, murmur at Him, rebel against Him. "Praise you the Lord."You who are beginning the Christian life, praise Him for your regeneration. You who have long continued in it, praise Himfor sustaining you. You who are the most ripe for Heaven, begin now the praises that will never, never end!
1. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. It is always wellwhen a preacher practices what he preaches. David does that here-"Praise you the Lord. I will praise the Lord." One of thebest ways of enforcing an exhortation is to practically obey it. "Praise you the Lord. I will praise the Lord."
But when a man becomes an example to others, he should be very careful to set a goodexample. Hence, the Psalmist not onlysays that he will praise the Lord, but that he will do it heartily, yes, with his whole heart. Such a God as Jehovah is, isworthy of all the praise we can give Him. We ought to praise Him with all our thought, with all our skill, with all our love,with all our zeal, with all our heart. David tells us that he would render this praise both among the choice and select companyof God's people, "in the assembly of the upright," and also in the larger congregation, where a more mixed multitude wouldbe found. Brothers and Sisters, praise is never out of place and never out of season. If you are with a little company oftwo or three choice Christian Friends, praise the Lord in their midst. Tell them your experience and bless the name of theLord for His Grace and mercy. But if you should be in a larger assembly, where the characters of some may be doubtful, benot abashed, but still continue to praise the Lord.
2. The works of the LORD are great They are great in number, in size, in purpose, and in effect. Even when God makes a littlething, it is great because of the wisdom displayed in making it. The microscope has taught us the greatness of God in creatingtiny creatures of wondrous beauty, yet so small as not to be perceptible to the naked eye. "The works of the Lord are great,"
2. Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. If we take pleasure in a man, we also take pleasure in his works-welike to see what he has made and, in like manner, the saints of God take pleasure in His works. They revel in the beautiesof creation. They delight to study His wisdom in Providence, but, best of all, they are most charmed with the wonders of DivineGrace. These works are so marvelous that a mere surface glance at them is not sufficient-you need to search them out, to digdeep in the mines of God's Wisdom as seen in His works, to try to find out the secret motive of His everlasting purposes and,the more you study them, the more they will grow! Some things impress you at first with greater significance than they doafterwards, but the works of God are so great that if you look at them throughout your whole lifetime, they will continueto grow still greater.
3. His work. I suppose the Psalmist means God's chief work, His grand work of Grace. "His work."
3. Is honorable and glorious: and His righteousness endures forever The work of God is full of Grace and it is full of honorand glory to His blessed name. And every single portion of the work of Grace is full of that which resounds to the honor andglory of the Triune Jehovah. I hope, dear Friends, that you delight to study the whole plan of saving mercy, from its initiationin the eternal purpose to its culmination in the gathering together of all the people of God. If you do, you will see thatall through, it "is honorable and glorious: and His righteousness endures forever." As it endured Calvary, it may well endureforever! Though the Lord Jesus Christ purposed so to save His people, He would not do it by sacrificing His righteousness.He fulfilled righteousness to the utmost by His perfect life and by His suffering even unto death and now we are quite surethat no further strain will ever be put upon that Divine Attribute. "His righteousness endures forever."
4. He has made His wonderful works to be remembered. Do not be forgetful of God's wonderful works! They are made on purposeto be remembered, so treasure them up, for they are worthy of being held in everlasting remembrance.
4. The LORD is gracious and full of compassion. This is what His people always find to be true whenever they read the historyof His works. The thought that strikes them is, "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion." If any of you long to be atpeace with God, however far you may have wandered from Him, He is ready to receive you if you will but return to Him, forHe "is gracious and full of compassion"-not merely tender-hearted, but full of graciousness. He abounds with thoughts of lovetowards His people! Come and try Him for yourselves.
5. He has given meat unto them that fear Him: He will ever be mindful ofHis Covenant The needs of all His people are alwayssupplied by Him. He finds food, both for body and soul, and you may rest assured that every promise of His Covenant will befaithfully kept. You may forget it, but He will not. "He will ever be mindful of His Covenant" and mindful of you becauseof that Covenant-mindful of your heavy cares, mindful of your bitter griefs, mindful of your weakness and infirmity becauseyou are in His Covenant and He is mindful of it!
6. He has showed His people the power ofHis works. He showed the Israelites what He could do, what force He could throw intowhat He did and He has shown to us Christians the same thing in another way, by the power of His gracious Spirit, blessingthe preaching of His Word to the conversion of sinners and maintaining the great fight against the dread powers of darkness."He has showed His people the power of His works."
6. That He may give them the heritage of the heathen. He gave to Israel the land of Canaan where the heathen dwelt. And Hewill give to Christ, when He asks for them, the heathen for His inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession!Let us pray God to prove the power of His works in the subduing of the nations unto Christ.
7. The works ofHis hands are verity and judgment He never acts contrary to Truth and righteousness. Even when He puts on Hismost terrible look and smites His enemies in His wrath, still, "the works of His hands are verity and judgment."
7, 8. All His commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in Truth and uprightness. Whatever Godcommands, determines, purposes-you may rest assured that it will be accomplished. But His purposes are always accomplished,not by caprice, but by "Truth and uprightness." God is a Sovereign, doing as He wills, but He never wills to do anything thatis inconsistent with justice, truth, and uprightness.
9. He sent redemption unto His people. He brought them up out of Egypt with a high hand and a stretched out arm. And He hassent redemption to us, first, by price, when He redeemed us from our guilt upon the tree. And then by power, when the HolySpirit came and broke our bands asunder and set us free from the dominion of our sins!
9. He has commanded His Covenant forever: holy and reverend is His name. His whole Character commands our reverence becauseit is superlatively holy and His name is to us a word of awe never to be mentioned flippantly and never to be quoted withoutearnest thought and prostration of heart before Him. I fear that there are some professors who use the name of God far toofreely-they do not recollect that "holy and reverend is Hsname." I can hardly think that any man can be "reverend." Thereare some who choose to be called by that title-I suppose they mean something less than the word means here. "Holy and reverendis His name," not mine, certainly.
10. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. It is the A B C of true wisdom. He who has learned to fear God has learnedthe first part of wisdom. According to some, the word, "beginning," here means the chief, the head, the front, just as, oftenin Scripture, "beginning," signifies that. "The fear of the Lord" is the chief part of "wisdom," the essence of it.
10. A good understanding have all they that do His commandments. Practical goodness is the proof of a good understanding.A man may have an orthodox head and yet not have a good understanding. A man may be able to talk very glibly about the commandmentsof God and even to preach about them with considerable power-but it is the doing of them that is the main point.
10. His praise endures forever