I will say to the LORD, "You are my refuge and fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
I. SUCH RESOLVES GENERALLY. It is good to make them; for:
1. They are really prayers. Underlying them there is the desire of the heart that God may give the help needed to fulfil such resolve.
2. They are a blessed stirring up of the grace of God that is in us. The will summons the soul to energy by means of such holy resolves.
3. They are well pleasing to God, for they are an actual endeavour to do his will.
II. THIS RESOLVE.
1. See its nature. He would take the Lord as his "Refuge." It is a confession of need and of trust. And as his "Fortress." He would need help in his warfare; he would rely on the Lord for it. As his God, his soul's Centre, Strength, and Joy.
2. He would do this now. 3. Openly. 4. Personally. 5. Habitually. III. WHAT LED TO THIS RESOLVE. The experience of God's sheltering love of which he tells in the first verse. He was dwelling in the secret place, was abiding in Christ, and he found, as a fact of his experience, that he was sheltered from all evil. IV. HOW THIS RESOLVE WAS SUSTAINED. By going and telling others of what God had done for him, and would do for them. - S.C.
3. Openly. 4. Personally. 5. Habitually. III. WHAT LED TO THIS RESOLVE. The experience of God's sheltering love of which he tells in the first verse. He was dwelling in the secret place, was abiding in Christ, and he found, as a fact of his experience, that he was sheltered from all evil. IV. HOW THIS RESOLVE WAS SUSTAINED. By going and telling others of what God had done for him, and would do for them. - S.C.
4. Personally. 5. Habitually. III. WHAT LED TO THIS RESOLVE. The experience of God's sheltering love of which he tells in the first verse. He was dwelling in the secret place, was abiding in Christ, and he found, as a fact of his experience, that he was sheltered from all evil. IV. HOW THIS RESOLVE WAS SUSTAINED. By going and telling others of what God had done for him, and would do for them. - S.C.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.I. A SOUL'S EXPERIENCE OF GOD. The humblest child of God has as great a weapon forged for his defence of spiritual truths as has the most learned: they each have an experience of God, and that is a weapon which can never be blunted by any intellectual parrying.
II. THE WEALTH OF SUCH A SOUL-EXPERIENCE OF GOD.
1. He is my refuge — from trouble, sorrow, despair.
2. He is my fortress. The forces arrayed against the soul are not merely powers which need to be coerced if they are to yield their best, but some of the forces are in antagonistic opposition to the soul. At such times as these, what a fortress was to the people of ancient days — a place of secure defence — so God was to the psalmist.
3. He is my God. This is an advance upon the other two utterances. It is a grand thing to be able to say of any one, "He is my refuge." It is a better thing to be able to say, "He is my fortress, my protector." But it is the acme of happy experience to say, "He is my friend, my companion, my confidant."
III. THE RESULT OF HIS SOUL-EXPERIENCE OF GOD. "In Him will I trust!" Trust, or faith in God, is the experiment of the soul in spiritual things, and the only way to a fuller knowledge and a more blessed experience. No longer need the scientist sneer at the faith, the experiment of the Christian, for the man who trusts God in all the circumstances of life is as rational, and proceeds from as rational a basis, as the scientist who, starting from the known, goes on by experiment to discover the unknown. Let your experience of God, of the Christ, of the Holy Spirit, never alter, except to be enlarged, purified, and intensified. This is the will of God concerning you. What are you to do in order to obtain that better experience? Why, this: you must experiment with God — "In Him will I trust" — along the lines He shall reveal.
(W. A. Todd.)
I. OF THESE TWO WORDS TOGETHER. Now, to get at them, let us think of some of the special occasions in which God's children have used them and have said, "My God."
1. This is the young convert's early confession. See Ruth's word to Naomi — "thy God, my God."
2. The statement of the Christian belief. There is one creed and confession of faith. See Thomas — "My Lord and my God."
3. They have often been used to declare the determination of the believer when he has been surrounded by opponents and persecutors. See old Micaiah when the false priests were around him. "As the Lord my God liveth."
4. They express the secret vow of the believer as he consecrates himself to the Most High. See Jacob at Bethel — "then shall the Lord be my God."
5. They have been the deepest possible comfort to children of God in times of terrible trouble. See our Lord upon the cross, when all the waves and billows of judgment were going over His soul — "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"
6. And in times of great deliverance. Hear Miriam's song — "He is my God and I will exalt Him." Daniel to Darius — "My God hath sent His angel," etc. May these words be the frequent language of our lips.
II. THE FIRST WORD, "MY." "My God." How can I call God mine? How can I call that mine which I cannot even conceive? If my thoughts cannot compass it, my heart shall possess it. Love possesses what reason cannot even look upon. But this daring appropriation means —
1. That I own God to be my God.
2. That I do personally recognize him. He is not a god in cloudland to us; He is intensely real and true.
3. That we have come into personal relations with Him, and —
4. That we have appropriated Him to ourselves.
III. THE LAST WORD, "GOD" — what does it mean? But that is more than I can answer. There is no defining the Incomprehensible One. Yet we can call Him "My God." But reflect upon His being near as to —
1. His nature, His person, His essence.
2. His attributes.
3. In what He has done I do not know, but I seem to myself to have talked away and to have missed my aim and object altogether, compared with what I have felt in meditating in private upon these dear and blessed words, "My God." It is a deep well, but the water is cool and sweet if you can draw it up. "My God" — there is more than satisfaction in the words. If you have no money, never mind; you are rich if you can say, "My God" If the husband is buried, if the children have Bone home to heaven, do not despair, thy Maker is thy husband, if you can cry, "My God." If your friends have forsaken you, if the unkindnesses of men drive you to say, "My God," you will be a gainer by them. Anything which weans from earth and leads to heaven is good. I saw yesterday a park in which they were felling all the trees, and yet there were the poor crows building on elms that were marked to be cut down. I thought to myself, "You foolish birds to be building your nests there, for the woodman's axe is ringing all around, and the tall elms are tumbling to the ground." We are all apt to build our nests in trees that will be cut down. We get to love the creature, and to say, "My this," and "My that," and from this weakness our sharpest sorrows arise. If you build nowhere but on the tree of life, which can never be felled, your happiness will be eternal. For this you must be able to say, "My God."
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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