Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain my own ways before him.
I never have delivered a discourse on trust in God but that someone has thanked me for it. Confidence in Him is a constant necessity, but there are always some in special need. To fail of this possession is like a captain's putting to sea without fresh water, or like a mother who should think of sending a son to college without a Bible in his trunk. There are sudden surprises in life, when trouble comes like a cyclone. All we can do is to coil the rope about the belaying pin and wait. Fair-weather faith is abundant, cheap and worthless. It is easy to trust God when the larder is full and the dividends large. Indeed, there is then danger of self-content and self-conceit. But we want a faith that will hold in the teeth of the tempest. The disciples did not doubt Christ's power when peace rested on the lake, but when the storm came they cried to Him, "Master, save! we perish!" That courage is worthless which blusters in the tent and retreats at the cannon's mouth. That amiability which is seen where there is no provocation, or that temperance which is maintained where no temptations assail, is of little merit. The trust spoken of in the text is a childlike faith. We can learn much from the trustfulness of a child. It feels its weakness, and puts confidence in the parent. If he betray it, he destroys the child's confidence. Absence of faith in God is infidelity. Unbelief is dry rot to the character. A little child is not anxious as to whether there will be food for the table, or a pillow for its tired head; he leaves it all to his parent. Much of the worry which nowadays results in softening of the brain and paralysis, is only borrowed trouble. Why take thought for the morrow? Our fears strangle our faith. The soul is nightmared. We grow choleric, and complain of God's treatment of us. We forget what is left to us. Some of you have camped out this summer, and learned how much you have at home is not absolutely needful. I said to a noble Christian merchant, who, by no fault of his, had suddenly become bankrupt, "Your decks have been swept clean by the gale, but did it touch anything in the hold?" The thought, he said, was a comfort to him. I was in a home of sorrow today, where the grief was peculiarly tender and sore, but there was the hope of heaven when the beloved went home. God sometimes strips us that we may be freer to run the race to heaven. The nobleness of this trust is to feel that Christ is left, though superfluous things are taken. The Bible is left, the Holy Spirit and heaven remain. No loss is comparable to the loss of Christ from the soul, yet men do not hang crape on the door, or even have a sleepless night at that loss. But anxiety for this is wholesome. To be forced to say with the poet —
"A believing heart has gone from me,"
is worse than to have a house burned, or a child die. Again, the childlike faith shown in the text is perfectly unsuspecting. See that beggar's babe clinging to the mother's rags that hardly cover it. Why should we, when in darkened paths, hesitate to trust our Heavenly Parent implicitly? He has pledged us all things, and doubt is an insult to Him. I stood on the heights of Abraham a few weeks ago, and recalled the victory of Wolfe, with thrilling emotion, but did not forget those steps, one by one, through dark, narrow, and precipitous paths, that led that gallant general to victory. You have your heights of Abraham to scale ere triumph crowns you. Each one has his trials. There is a skeleton in each closet, a crook in each lot. Character grows under these stages of discipline. Trust Him day by day. Live, as it were, from hand to mouth. Do present duty with present ability. Trust in God for victory, and be content with one step at a time.
(Theodore L. Cuyler, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.