You formed the mountains by Your power, having girded Yourself with might.
I. Here is A CONFESSION DEFEAT. When we look within we find that, instead of all being right, all is wrong. This alarms us. We rouse ourselves to action. We resolve to live a new life of love and holiness. But the more we try the less we succeed. Our strength is weakness. Our purposes are broken off. Our best endeavours end in defeat. Instead of overcoming evil, we are overcome of evil. Instead of gaining purity and freedom, our case grows worse, and we groan in misery as the bond slaves of sin. Confused and confounded, our cry is, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?"
II. THANKSGIVING FOR VICTORY. Though we despair of ourselves, we must not despair of God. We know what God is, and what he has done for us, and therefore we turn to him with hope. Casting ourselves simply upon his mercy in Christ, we are able to grasp the gracious promise, "Sin shall not have dominion over you." God's love to us is a personal love. God's work in us is designed to make us pure from sin, and he will perfect it in the day of Christ. While we say, therefore, with grief and pain, "Iniquities prevail against me," let us with renewed hope proclaim, "As for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away. - W.F.
Which by His strength setteth fast the mountains: being girded with power.
Homilist.I. God in material nature WORKING.
1. Settling (ver. 6). He keeps all things in their place. There is a principle of dissolution in every part of nature. All things that are settled in nature are settled being "girded" by His "power."
2. Tranquillizing (ver. 7).(1) How tumultuous is the sea at times! When the stormy winds lash it into fury; then its billows rise high as the hills, roar like thunder. Who can quiet them? God, and He only.(2) The excited passions of men, of mobs or nations, are oven more furious and terrible than the ocean in a tempest. He "stilleth" them also. This is a slow work, but a work possible to God, a work which He alone accomplishes.
3. Cheering (ver. 8). He sets the whole day to music. At dawn the strains are jubilant with hope, and at eve they swell into the rich deep notes of thankful memories.
4. Fructifying (ver. 9). The rich harvest is the coronation of heavenly goodness, and all the antecedent and preparatory mornings and evenings are so many sparkling jewels in the diadem.
II. God in material nature WORSHIPPED.
1. His presence is discoverable in nature. God is in nature in a higher sense than the engineer is in his machine, or the author in his book. The personalities of men are not in their works; but God is personally in nature. He is here — not merely His influence, His works, but Himself. It is because we are spiritually blind that we do not see Him.
2. His adorable character is discoverable in nature. You cannot worship the mere presence. Worship implies character, and the worshipful character must be benevolent. You cannot worship stolid indifference. Still less can you worship malice. In nature you see Divine goodness everywhere.
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