The Best Friend
James Smith, 1861
"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." Psalm 27:10
What a dreadful thing is sin. It has not only alienated man from God — but it has alienated man from man, and even snapped asunder the nearest, dearest, and strongest bonds that bind society together. It sets men against men, nation against nation, and dries up the fountains of a parent's love. The Psalmist supposed the possibility of this, and drew comfort from his knowledge of God in the prospect of it. His words are touching and encouraging, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up."
The Trial Supposed.We may be forsaken by our friends, our near friends, our nearest and dearest friends. The child may be forsaken by its parents. It has been so. There are instances of such unnatural conduct still. Fathers have lost all paternal feelings, and mothers have outlived a mother's love. The love of strong drink has produced this terrible effect in some — pride in others — and licentiousness in others. Sometimes the fault has been altogether with the parent — and sometimes it has been occasioned by the sin of the child. The prodigal has left his home to live in luxury, riot, and debauchery — and parents from disgust have disowned their child. Some daughters hare wounded their parents' hearts so deeply, and have sunk so low in society, that they have been excluded from the parental heart and home.
Some parents, poisoned by religious superstition, have hardened themselves against their Christian children, and for Christ's, and for truth's sake, they have cast them off. This has been the case often with Papists. Well, suppose the worst, both father and mother may forsake, and the poor believer may be cast on the wide world, alone. Will he be left destitute? Will he lack a friend? Mark,
The Confidence Expressed."Then the Lord will take me up." This supposes a knowledge of God, some faith in him, and an application made to him. God has revealed himself to us in his word, and more clearly in his Son; he reveals himself to us by his Spirit — and so we come to know him. This always produces faith in him, so that the soul can trust him, and commit itself unto him. So when troubles and trials come — there is an application made to him, and then he espouses our cause and takes us up. If like the poor forsaken infant cast out into the open field, we lie neglected and miserable — he will pass by us, look upon us, and bid us live, and perform every necessary act of kindness for us.
If like the rejected bride, he sees us desolate, lonely, and unhappy — he will call to us, and draw us unto himself. If like the wandering pilgrim, he see us wandering in the desert where there is no way — he will come after us, find us, lead us about, instruct us, and keep us as the apple of his eye. If like the lost sheep, we are wandering about upon every mountain, and every hill — he will, shepherd-like, both seek and search us out, lay us on his shoulders, and bring us to his fold, in safety and in peace. Or, without a figure, he will appear for us, especially indulge us, graciously adopt us for his own children, and be more than father or mother, or both unto us.
See what sin has done! It has made parents monsters, and many children little better! It has not only turned Eden into a desert, and the world into a wilderness — but it has entered our households, and broken up the sweetest associations, and divided the nearest relatives.
See how grace triumphs! God takes the creature's place, and becomes a father of the fatherless. He manifests more than a father's care, and more than a mother's love. How blessed a thing is real religion. We cannot lose by it, let us be called to part with what we may. Hear how sweetly Jesus speaks on this subject, "Everyone that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name's sake — shall receive a hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life!"
Young people, seek the Lord, and seek until you find him; for finding him you are forever blessed.
Fatherless children, come to Jesus, and God will be to you a father, a mother; yes, more than father or mother can be; look to the Lord, for "in him the fatherless finds mercy."
Tried soul, trust in the Lord, he bids you to trust him, he will honor the trust that you repose in him. If forsaken by friends, relatives, and acquaintances, look to God as your friend, and he will take you up.
Believer, prove the Lord, venture in his cause, plead his word, rely on his faithfulness — and you will find that when father and mother forsake you, then the Lord will take you up.
Aged Christians, witness for the Lord. Can you not look back upon trying scenes, distressing circumstances, and almost overwhelming troubles; and did you not find, that when creatures failed you, when all on earth proved impotent to help you — that the Lord took you up? Yes, yes, he has helped you in six troubles, and in seven he has not forsaken you. Having obtained help from him, you continue until now, and in the decline of life, as you are going down the steep of time, you can lean on him, and peacefully leave your future with him.