Psalm 3:7
We have heard of the vox regis, and in these last days we are threatened with the equally dangerous and delusive vox populi. Let us consider -

I. NUMBERS DO NOT DETERMINE THE QUESTION OF RIGHT. There is a tendency with many to shirk responsibility. They look to others. Surely what the many say must be right. But this is folly. God has given us reason and freedom. We must judge for ourselves. Only what we know to be true can be truth to us; only what we feel in our consciences to be right can be binding upon us as duty. Besides, we see how often in the past the few have been in the right, not the many. Noah by his faith condemned the world. Elijah stood alone against the priests of Baal. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego dared the fiery furnace rather than bow with the multitude before the golden idol. Only when the people are all righteous can they be all right.

II. NUMBERS DO NOT DETERMINE THE QUESTION OF SUCCESS. No doubt there are times when numbers prevail. The few are crushed by the mere weight and force of the multitude. It has been said that "God is on the side of the biggest battalions;" but this is true in only a limited sense. Suppose the battalions are undisciplined or badly commanded, defeat may come instead of victory. But in the nobler fields - in the strife of truth and falsehood - how often has the victory been with the few, instead of the many! Besides, the question, in the deepest sense, is not - What wilt succeed? but - What is right?

"He is a slave, who will not be
In the right, with two or three." Further, we must not measure success by the poor standards of this world. What seems failure to us may be victory in the sight of the holy angels and of God.

III. NUMBERS DO NOT DETERMINE THE QUESTION OF HAPPINESS. It is hard to stand alone. It costs a struggle to dare to be singularly good. But better far have peace within than sacrifice conscience to convenience, and freedom to popularity. St. Peter was happier shut up in prison than when, in fear of men, he denied his Lord. St. Paul was infinitely more calm and joyous when he stood before Nero than when, with all the authority of the Sanhedrin, he set out on his fierce crusade against the Christians. Better be true than false; better be free than the slave of opinion; better, with St. Stephen and the martyrs, press heavenwards through "peril, toil, and pain," than follow a multitude to do evil. - W.F.







Thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone.
This shows that David's expectation of victory was not in himself, in his personal prowess as a warrior, but in the faithfulness of the Lord his God. Hence his impassioned cry, "Arise, O Lord! save me, O my God!" It is true that David marshalled his forces as a skilful and experienced general should, and as carefully as if everything in the battle to ensue was to be accomplished by the sword alone; — and yet he still looked to God alone for success. And to inspire himself with confidence that God would give success, he refers to the victories He had given him in times past, saying, "Thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly." This imagery of breaking the cheek bone and teeth of enemies is likening them to wild beasts whose great power is in their jaws and teeth, so that when their jaws and teeth are broken their power to injure is gone. The imagery, then, indicates that the Lord had always destroyed the power of David's enemies to injure him. And as the Lord had subdued his enemies before him hitherto, David could not but believe that He would subdue them still. This, his belief, was not in vain, as the speedy winding up of Absalom's rebellion showed; for Absalom's forces, though outnumbering his father's probably more than ten to one, were utterly routed and dispersed, and himself slain, in the first and only battle fought. The battle was the Lord's, the victory His, and to Him David ascribes it.

(David Caldwell, A. M.)

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