David Before the Lord
No one ever loses, by anything he does for God — for God will never be any man's debtor. Nay, even if it is not done — but only purposed and planned — God approves, accepts, and rewards it. David purposed to build a house for God, it was not permitted — but God immediately promised to make him a source of blessing to all generations. Overwhelmed with a sense of the Divine goodness, he went and sat before the Lord, poured out his full heart, and enjoyed a little Heaven upon earth. The close of his interview with God is very instructive, may the Lord make it profitable unto us. "O Lord, you are God! You have promised these good things to your servant. Now therefore let it please you to bless the house of your servant — that it may be before you forever. For you, O Lord, have blessed it, and it will be blessed forever!" 1 Chronicles 17:26-27
HIS ACKNOWLEDGMENT. "You have promised." Promises are freely made, especially God's promises. They arise out of the infinite goodness of his nature, and are the utterances of his eternal love. No one could wring a promise from him. Nothing out of himself could induce him to make one. As he loves freely — so he promises freely. But promises once made, bring under sacred obligation. No man is at liberty to break a promise which is seriously and deliberately made. God can have no temptation to do so. Nothing can arise which he did not know before he promised. As therefore he promised with a perfect knowledge of all that could or would appear, a reason to depart from his word can never occur. Solemn thought, for our comfort, that we might have strong consolation. God has bound himself by his own word, to be to us a God, and to do for us all that our circumstances can call for.
God's promises are exceeding great. They include all we can need in time — and all we can enjoy in eternity. They embrace all the fullness that is treasured up in Christ. The greatest and most costly blessings, in the greatest fullness and variety — are promised us by our gracious God and loving Father.
God's promises are invaluable. Being priceless, no price can be set upon them. They contain . . .
all that God can give,
all that we need while on earth,
and that all eternity can unfold!
As great as his own love,
as gracious as his Divine nature,
and as glorious as his almighty power —
are the promises which God has given us in Christ.
HIS PRAYER. "Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight." He acquiesced in God's will, and approved of what God had promised. His heart echoed back God's word, and He cried, "Do as you have said." His soul panted to enjoy the blessings which God had graciously promised.
God's promises are intended to awaken and regulate our desires; and to draw out our souls in ardent and earnest prayers at the mercy seat. David earnestly pleaded God's word, and pleading prayers are the best prayers. When we take God's own words to us, and present them as expressive of what we desire from him. He says, "Put me in remembrance, let us plead together."
Promises viewed rightly, suppose need, we need mercy and great blessings, both temporal and spiritual, and God anticipating our needs — promises to supply them. Promises demand faith, if God says, "I will give" or "I will do" — the least we can do is to believe him; and the least that he can expect, is that we place confidence in him. Promises call for prayer, for though God has promised, He expects to be appealed to, and pleaded with by his people — that he may do for them, or give unto them. Promises are connected with diligence. When we receive the promises, we are to understand them, place confidence
in them, and then go about God's work, persuaded that he will make them good.
This leads us to notice, HIS FAITH. "You are God." He believed
that Jehovah was God, and that he alone was God. He had therefore the word of God to trust in, and depend upon.
"You are God" — and therefore cannot deceive. God never . . .
trifles with misery,
mocks necessity, or
disappoints the expectations raised by his word.
He cannot say what he does not mean-or fail to make good what He has spoken.
"You are God," and cannot change. He is ever in one mind. He is without variableness or the shadow of a turn. To Israel he said, "I am the Lord, I do not change — therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed." God's immutability — is our security. Jesus also, in whom all the promises are deposited and confirmed, "Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
"You are God," and are therefore able to do, able to make good every promise you have given with perfect ease. He is able to do exceeding and abundantly above all that we ask or think. "You bless, O Lord — and it shall be blessed forever." Man can pronounce a blessing — God only can impart it. God's blessings are not trifles — but solid, lasting, inestimable blessings. They are not for a season — but are forever. They embrace all time — and they reach forward into eternity. If God once blesses — he will bless forever, for he is the everlasting God.
Promises properly appreciated produce humility. They did in David, who was filled with wonder, that God should promise such great and good things to one like him. Just so it is with every believer, feeling his own nothingness and utter unworthiness — the goodness and condescension of God breaks his heart, and lays him in the dust of self-abasement, full of gratitude and love.
True humility always leads us to God's throne of grace. There the full heart vents itself, in sighs if it is distressed; or in songs, if it is impressed with a sense of the Lord's goodness.
Grace from God — always leads us back to God, that we may make our acknowledgment, and give thanks to the Lord's most holy name. At the throne of grace, the humble plead what God has promised. There the Lord hears his children telling him — what he has first told them; and asking of him — what he has promised to confer upon them. The Father loves to meet his child thus, to listen to his simple pleading, and grant him his request.
Believer, can you lay claim to any of God's promises? Do they express what you need, what you desire, what you would give anything to possess? Then they are yours! You may take them as from God's mouth, carry them with confidence to God's throne, and plead them there in the name of Jesus until they are fulfilled. God will not refuse to listen — if you ask for what you feel you need; nor to give — if you plead any one of his precious promises. He gives liberally and upbraids not. He listens, sympathizes, and makes good his word. Therefore it is said, "Every one who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks — it shall be opened."
Good and gracious God, I bless you for making the promises, for recording them in your book, for putting them into my hand, above all for fulfilling so many of them in the experience of one so vile, so utterly unworthy, and depraved!