Who will show us any good?

(Horatius Bonar, The Two Cries and the Two Answers")

"Many are asking: Who will show us any good?" Psalm 4:6

1. This is the cry of EMPTINESS. They feel that there is something lacking. They were not made for this perpetual hunger and thirst. They are empty, and therefore they cry. They are poor and needy; but find no supply.

2. This is the cry of WEARINESS. They who utter it are seeking rest, but finding none; they labor and are heavy laden. They would sincerely rest, but know not how or where. UNREST! This is their portion. Unrest here; sad prelude of the eternal unrest, the never-ending weariness.

3. This is the cry of DARKNESS. All is darkness and blindness. They grope about, not knowing which way to look, or to turn; and they cry, 'Show us something; for our eyes are blind; we have tried in vain to see.'

4. This is the cry of HELPLESSNESS. They have tried many expedients; tried to create good for themselves, or to get it from others; but in vain. They find themselves helpless.

5. This is the cry of EARNESTNESS. It comes forth often amid bitter tears and groans. Men are bent on being happy; they would do or give anything for happiness. They are mistaken, yet in earnest. They would take any good, if they could get it.

6. This is the cry of DESPAIR. Who, who, who? They have tried every one, everything. All in vain. They are emptier, hungrier, thirstier, sadder than at first.

7. This is a LOUD AND UNIVERSAL cry. Many. Yes, the whole world. It is Esau's loud and bitter cry reverberating through the earth. It is the cry of the many, not of the few. The world is unhappy. It has no rest. It is thirsty, and knows not where to drink; it is hungry, and knows not where to find bread. It weeps, and knows not how to get its tears dried! Every man walks in a vain show; going about asking, Who will show us any good?

O, how long will you love vanity? How long will you dote upon this vain world, and worship it as your idol? How long will you treat its broken cisterns as if they were the fountains of living water? Oh, love not the world! What will its good things profit in the day of the Lord? Will its pleasures cheer a death bed, or brighten the gloom of the grave? What is the ball room when "its flowers are fled, its garlands dead?" What can the music and the dance do for you when sickness comes, or the last trumpet sounds? Will that gay dress of yours do for a shroud?

How will these "revelings and banquetings" appear to you in the retrospect of time, still more in the retrospect of eternity? What will you think of your "idle words," your "foolish talking and jesting," your "filthy communication," your riotous mirth, your luxurious feasting, when you stand confronted with the last enemy, or before the Judge of all? You have gone from scene to scene, from gaiety to gaiety, from party to party, from vanity to vanity, from novel to novel, from ball to ball, in the dreary emptiness of your poor aching hearts, crying, "Who will show us any good?" and when the end comes, what is your gain? Is it heaven, or is it hell? Is it joy, or is it woe?

"Many are asking: Who will show us any good?" Psalm 4:6