1 Chronicles 17:20, 21
O LORD, there is none like you, neither is there any God beside you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.…
David saw plainly a troth which seems equally plain to us from the records given in the Scriptures, that God's ways of dealing with the nation of Israel had been throughout singular, unique, and surprisingly gracious. A few illustrative instances from the history may be given. But this is precisely the impression which each one of us receives upon a review of our own lives. The Divine dealings with us seem, in the preciseness of their adaptations, and the tenderness of their grace, quite unique; and it seems, to the sincere heart, that nobody can sing just such a thankful, happy song as he can. Now on earth, and much more yonder, we shall adore that special grace which is so manifest in our individual lives.
I. DIVINE DEALINGS ARE ALWAYS THE SAME. 'Very much is made in these days of the uniformity and absolute working of law in the physical spheres. But we can more than match the truth by our teachings respecting the uniformity and the absolute working of law in the moral and spiritual spheres. Sin always carries its consequences. Personal influences on others can be as strictly assured as laws of nature. St. Paul boldly affirms that "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." The forces God brings to bear on men are always the same. There is but one gospel for man's redemption. Nobody can come to God save by the way of penitence and faith and prayer. The truth may be applied to the minutest conditions and circumstances of life. There is nothing new in the circumstances, and God will deal with us in them exactly as he dealt with our fathers. Because of this uniformity of Divine dealings in the moral spheres, we can use the experiences of the fathers, and be warned, encouraged, or taught by the records left of their life-histories and the Divine dealings with them. No right-minded man would ever wish any deviation from either the eternal principles or practices for his sake. He would rather just be in the Divine order, within the conditions and provision of the infinitely wise and infinitely good Divine law. We require to press this point, because fanaticism has often assumed that God steps aside of his laws to deal in special ways with favoured individuals. There is a sense in which Divine dealings are special, but it is of the utmost importance that we gain first hold, and firm hold, of the truth that God's ways are orderly and regular, fixed and unalterable, because settled in the infinite Divine wisdom. It may be necessary here to deal with the idea of a miracle. It may be said, "Does not God work miracles? And has he not worked them for individuals?" We are coming more clearly to see that a miracle is not a contravention of law, but only a modification of the workings together of law, made apprehensible by man. Thus God's law of the vintage is that vines bear grapes, Man's apprehension of the law is that vines bear grapes in so many months. Christ's miracle shows us that man's time-law is no essential part of the law; the vintage may come in what man calls a moment. Christ's miracles contravened no laws, if the laws be relieved of man's additions to them.
II. DIVINE DEALINGS BECOME UNIQUE BY ADAPTATION TO THE INDIVIDUAL. We must never conceive of law as if it were working distinct from the Lawgiver. It is not like an "act of parliament," which is passed, and then set free to its work. Law, in its proper sense, is the condition on which the Lawgiver acts. And God acts as a Father, with special knowledge and care of each individual, and due adjustment of law to each case I am individual to myself; individual and unique. And I may hold the confidence that God will deal with me just as if no other being lived. The uniformity of moral law has this sublime qualification, "The Lord knoweth them that are his." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: O LORD, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.