By terrible things in righteousness will you answer us, O God of our salvation; who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth…
I. WHAT GOD IS TO US WHO ARE HIS PEOPLE — "God of our salvation." Salvation is of the Lord in every point. Not a bit of it is of us. All of Him from first to last, and all the points between the first and the last. Have any of you got a salvation that you have manufactured of yourselves? Then lay it down and run away from it. It will be of no use to you. The only salvation that can redeem from hell is the salvation that comes from heaven.
II. WHAT GOD WILL DO FOR US. He will answer us. This shows that we must all pray. There is not a believing man in the world but what must pray, and we shall never get into such a state of grace that we have not need to pray.
III. WHAT THE LORD IS TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH. He is the confidence of all the ends of the earth. I am going to spiritualize that — Who are the ends of the earth?
1. Well, the people that live in the frozen regions, or, taking the other end, the people that live in the equatorial regions, beneath the burning sun. All that live at the extremes of heat or cold, we may liken them to the ends of the earth. They are furthest off from us. Well, and God is worthy to be the confidence of those who are furthest off from His Church, from Himself, from the Gospel, from hope, from anything that is good.
2. The people least known. We know those round us, but not those far away.
3. Those least thought of.
4. Those most tried.
5. Those hardest to reach.
IV. WHAT GOD IS TO SEAFARING MEN. What should He be to them? He is "the confidence of all them that are afar off upon the sea." I have often likened the life of a seafaring man to what the life of a Christian should be. Hundreds of years ago, when man went to sea at all, the boats always kept within sight of shore. Your Tyrian or your Greek might be quite the master of his vessel, but he could not bear to lose sight of the headland. And it is a wonderful thing, common as it is now, that a ship should lose sight of land for a month together, seeing nothing that belongs to land. It is just like the life of a Christian, a life of faith. We ought not to see anything, we ought not to want to see anything. We walk by faith, not by sight. We take our bearings by the heavenly bodies. We are guided by the Word of God, which is our chart, by the movement of the blessed Spirit within, which is our compass. We have bidden farewell to things below', we seek a heaven that we have not seen, we are sailing across a life of which we know nothing. Trusting in Him, we shall come to our desired haven without fear of shipwreck. Sailors live on the sea — an unstable element, full of danger. Now, you and I are often brought into difficulties. We have not any strength left at all. We look up to God and cry, "I am lost." Oh, then, let God be your confidence. I exhort all believers here to have more confidence in God. The sailor is often brought where, if God does not keep him, he will be swallowed up. You and I ought not only to be brought there sometimes, but keep there, feeling that God is all, and we rest in Him without any other help.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea: