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Lord’s Day 44, 2005

I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. Psalms 122:1, (Geneva Bible)

The All-good

MY GOD,

  • Thou hast helped me to see,
    • that whatever good be in honour and rejoicing, how good is he who gives them, and can withdraw them;
    • that blessedness does not lie so much in receiving good from and in thee, but in holding forth thy glory and virtue;
    • that it is an amazing thing to see Deity in a creature, speaking, acting, filling, shining through it;
    • that nothing is good but thee,
    • that I am near good when I am near thee, that to be like thee is a glorious thing:

  • This is my magnet, my attraction.

  • Thou art all my good in times of peace,
    • my only support in days of trouble,
    • my one sufficiency when life shall end.

  • Help me to see how good thy will is in all,
    • and even when it crosses mine
    • teach me to be pleased with it.

  • Grant me to feel thee in fire, and food and every providence,
    • and to see that thy many gifts and creatures
    • are but thy hands and fingers taking hold of me.

  • Thou bottomless fountain of all good,
    • I give myself to thee out of love,
      • for all I have or own is thine,
      • my goods, family, church, self,
    • to do with as thou wilt,
    • to honour thyself by me, and by all mine.

  • If it be consistent with thy eternal counsels,
    • the purpose of thy grace,
    • and the great ends of thy glory,
    • then bestow upon me the blessings of thy comforts;

  • If not, let me resign myself to thy wiser determinations.

The All-good taken from The Valley of Vision - A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, Arthur Bennett, editor. ©The Banner of Truth Trust 1975, 2002

Psalme 146 (Geneva Bible)

1 Prayse ye the Lorde. Prayse thou the Lord, O my soule.
2 I will prayse the Lorde during my life: as long as I haue any being, I wil sing vnto my God.
3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the sonne of man, for there is none helpe in him.
4 His breath departeth, and he returneth to his earth: then his thoughtes perish.
5 Blessed is he, that hath the God of Iaakob for his helpe, whose hope is in the Lord his God.
6 Which made heauen and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth his fidelitie for euer:
7 Which executeth iustice for the oppressed: which giueth bread to the hungry: the Lord loseth the prisoners.
8 The Lorde giueth sight to the blinde: the Lord rayseth vp the crooked: the Lord loueth the righteous.
9 The Lord keepeth the strangers: he relieueth the fatherlesse & widowe: but he ouerthroweth the way of the wicked.
10 The Lord shall reigne for euer: O Zion, thy God endureth from generation to generation. Prayse ye the Lord.

Today’s exposition
is brought to us by
Matthew Henry (1662-1714)

This and all the rest of the psalms that follow begin and end with Hallelujah, a word which puts much of God's praise into a little compass; for in it we praise him by his name Jah, the contraction of Jehovah. In this excellent psalm of praise, I. The psalmist engages himself to praise God (Psalm 146:1-2). II. He engages others to trust in him, which is one necessary and acceptable way of praising him. 1. He shows why we should not trust in men (Psalm 146:3-4). 2. Why we should trust in God (Psalm 146:5), because of his power in the kingdom of nature (Psalm 146:6), his dominion in the kingdom of providence (Psalm 146:7), and his grace in the kingdom of the Messiah (Psalm 146:8-9), that everlasting kingdom (Psalm 146:10), to which many of the Jewish writers refer this psalm, and to which therefore we should have an eye, in the singing of it.

Psalm 146:5-10

The psalmist, having cautioned us not to trust in princes (because, if we do, we shall be miserably disappointed), here encourages us to put our confidence in God, because, if we do so, we shall be happily secured: Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, that has an interest in his attributes and promises, and has them engaged for him, and whose hope is in the Lord his God.

I. Let us take a view of the character here given of those whom God will uphold. Those shall have God for their help,
  • 1. Who take him for their God, and serve and worship him accordingly.
  • 2. Who have their hope in him, and live a life of dependence upon him, who have good thoughts of him, and encourage themselves in him, when all other supports fail. Every believer may look upon him as the God of Jacob, of the church in general, and therefore may expect relief from him, in reference to public distresses, and as his God in particular, and therefore may depend upon him in all personal wants and straits. We must hope,
    • (1.) In the providence of God for all the good things we need, which relate to the life that now is.
    • (2.) In the grace of Christ for all the good things which relate to the life that is to come. To this especially the learned Dr. Hammond refers this and the following verses, looking upon the latter part of this psalm to have a most visible remarkable aspect towards the eternal Son of God in his incarnation. He quotes one of the rabbis, who says of Psalm 146:10 that it belongs to the days of the Messiah. And that it does so he thinks will appear by comparing Psalm 146:7-8, with the characters Christ gives of the Messiah (Matthew 11:5-6), The blind receive their sight, the lame walk; and the closing words there, Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me, he thinks may very well be supposed to refer to Psalm 146:5. Happy is the man that hopes in the Lord his God, and who is not offended in him.

II. Let us take a view of the great encouragements here given us to hope in the Lord our God.
  • 1. He is the Maker of the world, and therefore has all power in himself, and the command of the powers of all the creatures, which, being derived from him, depend upon him (Psalm 146:6): He made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and therefore his arm is not shortened, that it cannot save. It is very applicable to Christ, by whom God made the world, and without whom was not any thing made that was made. It is a great support to faith that the Redeemer of the world is the same that was the Creator of it, and therefore has a good-will to it, a perfect knowledge of its case, and power to help it.
  • 2. He is a God of inviolable fidelity. We may venture to take God's word, for he keepeth truth for ever, and therefore no word of his shall fall to the ground; it is true from the beginning, and therefore true to the end. Our Lord Jesus is the Amen, the faithful witness, as well as the beginning, the author and principle, of the creation of God, Revelation 3:14. The keeping of God's truth for ever is committed to him, for all the promises are in him yea and amen.
  • 3. He is the patron of injured innocency: He pleads the cause of the oppressed, and (as we read it) he executes judgment for them. He often does it in his providence, giving redress to those that suffer wrong and clearing up their integrity. He will do it in the judgment of the great day. The Messiah came to rescue the children of men out of the hands of Satan the great oppressor, and, all judgment being committed to him, the executing of judgment upon persecutors is so among the rest, Judges 1:15.
  • 4. He is a bountiful benefactor to the necessitous: He gives food to the hungry; so God does in an ordinary way for the answering of the cravings of nature; so he has done sometimes in an extraordinary way, as when ravens fed Elijah; so Christ did more than once when he fed thousands miraculously with that which was intended but for one meal or two for his own family. This encourages us to hope in him as the nourisher of our souls with the bread of life.
  • 5. He is the author of liberty to those that were bound: The Lord looseth the prisoners. He brought Israel out of the house of bondage in Egypt and afterwards in Babylon. The miracles Christ wrought, in making the dumb to speak and the deaf to hear with that one word, Ephphatha - Be opened, his cleansing lepers, and so discharging them from their confinements, and his raising the dead out of their graves, may all be included in this one of loosing the prisoners; and we may take encouragement from those to hope in him for that spiritual liberty which he came to proclaim, Isaiah 61:1-2.
  • 6. He gives sight to those that have been long deprived of it; The Lord can open the eyes of the blind, and has often given to his afflicted people to see that comfort which before they were not aware of; witness Genesis 21:19, and the prophet's servant, 2Kings 6:17. But this has special reference to Christ; for since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind till Christ did it (John 9:32) and thereby encouraged us to hope in him for spiritual illumination.
  • 7. He sets that straight which was crooked, and makes those easy that were pained and ready to sink: He raises those that are bowed down, by comforting and supporting them under their burdens, and, in due time, removing their burdens. This was literally performed by Christ when he made a poor woman straight that had been bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself (Luke 13:12); and he still does it by his grace, giving rest to those that were weary and heavily laden, and raising up with his comforts those that were humbled and cast down by convictions.
  • 8. He has a constant kindness for all good people: The Lord loveth the righteous, and they may with the more confidence depend upon his power when they are sure of his good-will. Our Lord Jesus showed his love to the righteous by fulfilling all righteousness.
  • 9. He has a tender concern for those that stand in special need of his care: The Lord preserves the strangers. It ought not to pass without remark that the name of Jehovah is repeated here five times in five lines, to intimate that it is an almighty power (that of Jehovah) that is engaged and exerted for the relief of the oppressed, and that it is as much the glory of God to succour those that are in misery as it is to ride on the heavens by his name Jah, Psalm 68:4.
    • (1.) Strangers are exposed, and are commonly destitute of friends, but the Lord preserves them, that they be not run down and ruined. Many a poor stranger has found the benefit of the divine protection and been kept alive by it.
    • (2.) Widows and fatherless children, that have lost the head of the family, who took care of the affairs of it, often fall into the hands of those that make a prey of them, that will not do them justice, nay, that will do them injustice; but the Lord relieveth them, and raiseth up friends for them. See Exodus 22:22-23. Our Lord Jesus came into the world to help the helpless, to receive Gentiles, strangers, into his kingdom, and that with him poor sinners, that are as fatherless, may find mercy, Hoseah 14:3.
  • 10. He will appear for the destruction of all those that oppose his kingdom and oppress the faithful subjects of it: The way of the wicked he turns upside down, and therefore let us hope in him, and not be afraid of the fury of the oppressor, as though he were ready to destroy. It is the glory of the Messiah that he will subvert all the counsels of hell and earth that militate against his church, so that, having him for us, we need not fear any thing that can be done against us.
  • 11. His kingdom shall continue through all the revolutions of time, to the utmost ages of eternity, v. 10. Let this encourage us to trust in God at all times that the Lord shall reign for ever, in spite of all the malignity of the powers of darkness, even thy God, O Zion! unto all generations. Christ is set King on the holy hill of Zion, and his kingdom shall continue in an endless glory. It cannot be destroyed by an invader; it shall not be left to a successor, either to a succeeding monarch or a succeeding monarchy, but it shall stand for ever. It is matter of unspeakable comfort that the Lord reigns as Zion's God, as Zion's king, that the Messiah is head over all things to the church, and will be so while the world stands.

Heidelberg Catechism for Lord’s Day 44 from CoffeeSwirls.

Grace and peace to you this Lord’s Day.

2005-10-30 at 12:01 AM MT | |




Anonymous Robin sayth,

I see you have quoted "The Valley of Vision" - don't you just love the Puritan prayers? I don't hear that kind of heart warming devotional writing in our generation.

11/08/2005 4:50 PM  
Blogger Loki Odinsson sayth,

You're right, we don't. I have only begun reading the Puritans in the last couple of years. Most of todays writing doesn't require as much thinking from the reader, or provoke as much, either.

11/08/2005 5:07 PM