The Secret!

James Smith


"The secret of the Lord is with those who fear him; and he will show them his covenant." Psalm 25:14

Real religion, in the Old Testament, is often called, "the fear of the Lord;" in the New Testament, it is called, "love." Under the past dispensation, the saints felt more like servants; under the present, they have the privilege of children.

Yet still we fear God. The fear of the Lord includes . . .
faith
in His word,
hope
in His mercy, and
love
to His gracious character.

Where these are experienced and possessed, there is:

1. a fear to offend God, as a child fears to offend a beloved and kind father;

2. a fear to tempt God, by presuming upon His promises when neglecting His precepts, or expecting His intervention when dishonoring His name;

3. a fear to turn a deaf ear to Him, whether He speaks in mercy or majesty, for comfort or reproof.

Indeed, the ruling desire of such an one, is to commend himself to God, and enjoy His approving smile.

"The secret of the Lord is with those who fear him." A secret is a sacred deposit between two friends. And the secret of the Lord with a person is real religion, which is "the root of the matter," and the cause of holiness, happiness, and honor.

The secret of the Lord consists in the power of God sweetly put forth, to raise the thoughts, the desires, the hopes, the affections, and the whole soul to God. It furnishes the man with what answers to the wings of the eagle, so that he mounts upward to his God, and enjoys the ascent. He learns to understand what the apostle meant, by being, "raised up together, and made to sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

The secret of the Lord includes pleasure in the presence, service and ways of God; they are no more toilsome, tiresome, or vexatious; but afford joy, impart comfort, and yield sacred satisfaction.

The secret of the Lord comprehends grace sanctifying, that is, fitting and setting apart the person for God's glory, both in this world, and also in that which is to come.

So that the secret of the Lord which is with the righteous, consists in such a knowledge of Him, and such communications from Him, as make his ways pleasantness and his paths peace. Or it is power raising, pleasure inviting, and grace sanctifying the man; so that he becomes a new creature, and piety becomes his element, his food, and his delight.

Those who fear the Lord, are much in secret with the Lord. They dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and abide under the shadow of the Almighty. They love His company, they enjoy His presence, they prefer His society, they profit by His communications, and hold confidential fellowship with Him. He entrusts them with His secrets, treats them as His friends, and opens His heart to them. And they trust Him with theirs, they tell him what they wish, what they fear, the purposes they have formed, and leave their concerns with Him.

"He will show them His covenant." His new covenant, which is a covenant of grace and peace.

He shows them the provision which it contains; provision for their guilt, fears, weakness, foes, sorrows, and dangers all they can want in time, or enjoy throughout eternity! A covenant ordered in all things and sure, containing all their salvation, and all they can consistently desire.

He shows them the basis on which it rests even His own grace, faithfulness, and immutability; so that it cannot be broken, or fail; for His holiness, power, and glory are involved in its permanence and completion.

He shows them the objects it secures, as the glory of God, the complete salvation of the whole church, the overthrow of the kingdom of Satan, and the destruction of every foe!

He shows them that it is identified with Jesus, who is called the covenant, and promised the Gentiles as such. He is the messenger of the covenant, who publishes it, and is engaged for its fulfillment. He is the Mediator of the covenant, who stands between the Father and all the covenant seed, presenting His blood as an atonement for their sins, and becoming the medium of communication between God and them. He is the Surety of the covenant also, who is to see every promise fulfilled, the provision appropriated; and the people covenanted for, or given by the Father to Him . . .
called by grace,
preserved through life,
fitted for glory, and
raised up and presented faultless at the last day.

The Lord shows this covenant by shining on His word, enlightening the mind, and leading us to feel our need of covenant blessings to seek them in faith, receive and enjoy them, and to know more of this covenant; and to enjoy more of its provision, security, and pleasures!