MUSINGS WHILE IN THE HOLD
Establish and Verify Thy Word Oh God
“Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.” (Psalm 119:38)
Faith concludes that God is true. It has been said by a few well meaning brethren, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” This sounds like rather an impressive statement; however, in truth it is a good bit defective. The fact of the matter is that “God said it and that settles it.” Whether man believes it or not does not make the word of God of non-effect. (Romans 3:3) Man’s assessment of the faithfulness of God neither advances nor hinders God’s word or His actions one wit. In short, when dealing with the eternally divine counsels of God, man is not relevant except as pleases God. God is sovereingnly independent and will do all that is in His pleasure. (Isaiah 46:10; Psalm 115:3, & 135:6) If Jehovah The Almighty could be overruled or hindered, He would no longer be Sovereign, and therefore could not be God. Our believing that He is God, is a mercy of the most precious kind. Puny man does not do God a favor by believing that He is GOD, but whoever comes to God must believe that He is even the God of their coming and that He will reward those that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
The word of God is settled in heaven and is eternally right. (Psalm 119:89) Believing such is not an acceptance on the part of man but is totally an act of grace which enables sinful man to receive divine gifts based solely upon the love of God in Christ Jesus. “You hath he quickened, who were dead. . . ,”. . . and the life now lived is a life which is by God the Father through the vicarious deeds of Christ, and effectuated by the life-giving miracle of the Holy Spirit. To introduce man as co-counsel in the purpose of redemption is to make salvation at best a cooperative effort between God and His creation. Salvation is then no longer by grace, but by works and deeds achieved by man with assistance on the part of God. This position is not taught in Scriptures. That men react to the acts of God is undeniably true, but faith in Him is a gift by, through, and to Him, and should never be seen as a voluntary act on the part of the natural man. In our natural state, man is a child of wrath, and fulfills only the desires of the flesh and the mind. (Ephesians 2:3)
All of fallen mankind are but clay. The potter is the Great Creator and the Word states that He has, and He only has the power over this lump of indigent clay. He can fashion one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor. To those who by faith believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God, they are those vessels of mercy to whom God our Father was pleased to make known the riches of His glory and grace. (Romans 9:22-24) It must ever be remembered by the redeemed that God is the Father of all mercies and He may bestow them on whosoever He chooses. (2 Corinthians 1:3)
The purpose of redemption must be established as an absolute objective of God before man can ever plead the prayer of the Psalmist. “Stablish thy word unto thy servant . . .”
“Stablish thy word unto thy servant. . .” Make it good, do as thou hast said. The Apostle quotes the Old Testament writer when he declares that it was honorable to believe what God had said. “I believe, therefore have I spoken. . . ” “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” (Psalm 116:10; 2 Corinthians 4:13)
The word teaches that it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:17-18) so faith should be bold to recite to God His own handwriting. With assurance and great confidence the redeemed can call Scriptures to witness when praying to their benevolent Father. The Glorious Jehovah hath said “. . . Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.” “. . . hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” “For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” “ I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Numbers 11:23; 23:19; Isaiah 14:24 & 27, 46:11) See also Hebrews 6:17-18 & Ephesians 3:11)
In Christ Jesus the believer has the A B C’s of Biblical faith. “In whom we have BOLDNESS and ACCESS with CONFIDENCE by the faith of Him.” (Ephesians 3:12) Should not all the renewed therefore plead with the Father of all grace His own promises, and Give Him no rest until He establishes and verifies His own counsels in our lives. “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6-7)
“Stablish thy word . . .” “Make good to thy servant thy word which Thou hast spoken to thy fearers. The first verb means to cause to stand, to set up, to establish, to confirm, and in this connection to fulfill or verify.” (J. A. Alexander) A verification of the promises of God is what all believers are invited to ask for, seek after, and humbly request. “And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it forever, and do as thou hast said. And let thy name be magnified forever . . . And now, O LORD GOD, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant: Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue forever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed forever.” (2 Samuel 7: 25-26, 28-29)
Genuine faith may be tried by pressures so heavy that even the most trusting believer may waiver and halt by reason of delay. It is in these situations of long and relentless testings that the living gift of faith shines forth with the brilliance of the noon-day sun. Mere pretense would have long ago departed from the declarations of God and sought deliverance from another source. Even otherwise strong faith can often find itself looking at allurements and alterative escapes from affliction when time drags on for what seems unkind on the part of Jehovah. To keep hope steadfast in the dark hours is a mercy granted only to the vessels of grace. The Spirit of God leads the child of God to seek comfort in the promises contained in the Scriptures for therein lies his hope. “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.” (Psalm 119:50) When the object of God’s mercies has been quickened by the word he follows the avenue of trust. Once truly taught by the Spirit of grace faith quite naturally is obliged to ask the God of hope and faith to remember His own word and promise and consider the hope He Himself authored in His child. “Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.” (Psalm 119:49)
Solomon, lead by divine inspiration asked the very God of heaven to confirm and substantiate His word. “And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father.” (I Kings 8:26) The children of God should not be tentative in their supplications, but filled with assured confidence and boldness when they hold before God His own promises. It is not disrespectful or flippant to press upon the Father of mercies to shine His face upon His child and show forth great and exceptional blessings.
There shall never be a failure on the part of the Lord or in any of His promises, regardless of how dark and impossible circumstances speak and testify to the contrary. Believers have hearty witness in the Scriptures with respect to the promises of the faithful Godhead. “Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.” (1 Kings 8:56)
Establish thy word unto thy servants, O Lord of glory. One can take comfort in the convictions of other believers who have left volumes of sound doctrine on record for the benefit of generations to follow. Let us share a few of the golden nuggets left by brethren who are now with their Lord in glory.
“Stablish thy word unto thy servant.” “Make me sure of thy word: Make it sure to me and make me sure of it . . . Times will arise when every doctrine and promise seems to be shaken, and our mind gets no rest: then we must appeal to God for establishment in the faith, for he would have all his servants to be well instructed and confirmed in his word.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)
“Prayer is nothing but the promise reversed, or God’s word formed into an argument, and retorted by faith upon God again.” (William Gurnall)
“This seems to be a prayer against the influence of doubt and skepticism; a prayer that doubts might not be suffered to spring up in his mind, and that the objections and difficulties of skepticism might have no place there.” (Albert Barnes)
“God loves to have his own seal and handwriting brought before him. “Put me in remembrance” – saith he: “let us plead together.” “He cannot deny himself.” (Isaiah 43:26; 2 Timothy 2:13) ..”Now – have not circumstances or Providence, or the distinct application of the Spirit, made some words of God especially precious to your soul? Such words are thus made your own, to be laid up against some future time of trial, when you may “put your God in remembrance” (Isaiah 43:26) of them. . . Will he not remember his word? Faith may be tried, perhaps long tried. “But he abideth faithful. He cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13) Faith trusts – not what the eye sees, but what the word promises.” (Charles Bridges)
What a great day is soon coming to faith. Not only in the sweet by and by, but even in this life God must honor His promises in Christ Jesus, or the hope of all believers is nothing.
Joshua’s testimony will one day be repeated by all who truly believe that God is faithful to His word and will greatly reward those that diligently seek Him. “And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.” (Joshua 23:14)
“ . . . who is devoted to thy fear.” Devoted in the sense here described has many definitions which sparkle like a prism placed in the sunlight. Beams of truth shoot out in all directions, each one having its own peculiar and particular significance and beauty. Devotion has the strength of consecrated trust and dedicated faith. It is ardent in its loyalty and is permeated with an awe that can only be defined as reverential worship. They are a spiritual attachment which is so solitary in nature that it excludes all intruders with faithful zeal. This devotion seeks continuous growth and shuns the very thought of ever achieving the total fulfillment in this life, but hungers after righteousness with a divinely created passion. Truly death will have no victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-55) over those who with David can rightfully claim to be the servants of God, devoted to His fear.
These descriptions of devotion reveal a void that rips to the core of the believers all too human heart. Woe is me! Father, I know that I am truly dull. Quicken me in thy righteousness.
At best Christians can only declare as did Nehemiah “I desire to be devoted,” “I desire to fear thy name,” but the desire “to be” is not the same as “truly being” devoted. There are times when the very most we seem to be able to muster is a “desire to have the desire.” This puts greater force in the prayer of Nehemiah who evidently saw that there was a lacking of true reverence and fear towards God by His people. “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, WHO DESIRE TO FEAR THY NAME: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day. (Nehemiah 1:11)
“ . . . thy fear.” When trust in God is such that all else dies in its continued presents, and assurance in His faithfulness is beyond natural understanding, one is then able to discern that reverence for Jehovah God in Christ Jesus has found its authorship in glory
Those poor folks who look for saintly devotion toward God within themselves are conspicuously entangled in delusion. The devotion, worship, and Godly fear are things we must concede do not exist in our frame. The Holy Spirit must first work a work of confession and contrition in our heart, and strike a hunger after THE Lord and His ways. Faith prays to be devoted, to worship, to fear the Sovereign Lord of Lords, knowing that only the gift of God can keep believers from falling and give them a desire for righteousness and the power to seek it in Jesus.
When believers pray to be devoted to the fear of their God ,they should rejoice when in mercy He exposes the great distance between what He deserves and what they offer. At the same time let each child of grace be bold in their praises knowing that the faithful keeper of their souls will fill them full and when they are truly filled, He will enlarge their spiritual borders so they might receive even more. Faithful is He and worthy of our constant devotion. Amen!