Exceeding Great and Precious Promises / Egpp1 - Old Testament

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"Fear not Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." Gen. 15:1

God was his shield -- to protect him, to guard him from the anger and power of all the kings of earth and their armies, and able and willing to make all things work together for his good. What a comfort was in this thought. How it reminds us that God is our shield also; our protector from every evil thing and power. The thought is beautifully expressed in one of our hymns: -- "Shield of my soul, though tempests rage, And 'gainst me hosts of foes engage, My refuge and my fortress thou; Before Thee every foe must bow." R2853:c2,p3

The consolation here offered to Abraham is that offered to all who are of the faith of Abraham, and its parallel in the New Testament is that precious statement of our Lord (Jno. 14:21,23) -- "He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him, . . . and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." So in the midst of all the temptations and trials that beset us in our earthly pilgrimage, while we walk by faith toward the blessed inheritance reserved for the overcoming saints, we also may recognize the voice of our God, saying, "Fear not: I am thy shield, and thine exceeding great reward." R.1906:c1,p1

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Gen. 18:14

The spirit of God is powerful in whatever way it is applied. As an illustration of its power, the Apostle points us to our Lord Jesus and His literal death, and how God's holy spirit raised Jesus from the dead in His resurrection. The thought is that this power of God thus exercised on behalf of the Lord Jesus, and which He promises so to exercise in the close of this age on behalf of all the faithful members of the body of Christ, indicates a power of God by which, if we avail ourselves of it, the new nature will find strength to conquer, to keep the flesh under, and, more than this, to make it active, energetic in the service of righteousness. R3203:c1,p4

"Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest." Gen. 28:15

From the further end of the ladder Jacob heard the Lord's voice saying, "I am the Lord, the God of Abraham thy father and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest to thee will I give it and to thy seed. . . . And behold I am with thee and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest." . . . Here was the very comfort and encouragement that Jacob needed. . . . He was content with the loss of all things else since he still had the Divine favor and was thus acknowledged of God as being the heir of this wonderful promise, the full import of which he could but faintly appreciate. And so it is with all who have heard the Father's voice and been drawn or attracted by His promises, and who have surrendered all other ambitions in life that they might attain to the Divine favor and chief blessing as heirs of God. R3965:c1,p1,2

"I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." Exo. 4:12

To the humble ones now, as to Moses of old, God declares: "I will be with thee; I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt say." As one lesson is to have no confidence in ourselves or in our own judgments or strength, another important lesson is that we should have every confidence, absolute confidence, in God. Not until this lesson is learned will any be really fit to be God's mouth-pieces. . . . Everything in the Scriptures points us to the fact that humility is a quality most essential to all of the Lord's people who would be used of the Lord in any important or special work for Him. If the followers of the Lord could continually keep this in memory, and would persistently shape their course accordingly, how much they would be used, we may be sure. R5262:c2,p1,3

"My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." Exo. 33:14

The Lord is ever present with His people. He is always thinking of us, looking out for our interests, guarding us in danger, providing for us in temporal and spiritual things, reading our hearts, marking every impulse of loving devotion to Him, shaping the influences around us for our discipline and refining, and hearkening to our faintest call for aid or sympathy or fellowship with Him. R3251:c2,p2

When God speaks of His presence with His servants we are not to think of His being with them in His bodily presence, but by His spirit and through His angelic messengers, sustaining, blessing and guiding them. He protects them from whatever will harm them. He watches over their every interest and tenderly cares for them. R5547:c2,p4

"The Lord shall open unto thee His good treasure." Deut. 28:12

And now the day of the Lord has come: we are now living in the day of the presence of the Son of Man -- "the Lord of Harvest," "having on His head a golden crown (Divine authority) and in His hand (power) a sharp sickle" -- the sickle of "present truth," the clear unfolding of the "Word of God (which) is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword . . . and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." And He is sending forth such "laborers," "angels" or "messengers" into the harvest as He sent forth into the harvest of the Jewish age, viz., His consecrated and faithful disciples, bearing the Harvest Message -- the now fully revealed Plan of God and its appointed times and seasons. R1362:c1,p3

"The Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." Deut. 31:6

It may yet be true of the Lord's people that things will look very dark; but they are not in despair, and will not be in despair whatever may come; for the Lord has said that He will never leave us nor forsake us. This gracious promise should give us a hope sure and steadfast. Our anchor of hope should hold. Our position, therefore, is very different from that of the world, who have no particular hope. The world have no solid anchor, no precious promises to hold them fast. We know that if the worst comes to the worst, if we should even die of starvation, our hope lies beyond the veil, beyond death. Therefore God's saints of today look upon death as the gateway by which to enter . . . into a realization of all our hopes and joys. R5671:c1,p3

"And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed." Deut. 31:8

The providence of God over these, His sons, is a very particular providence: All their steps are ordered of the Lord; and the very hairs of their head are all numbered. (Lu. 12:7) His eyes are ever upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers. All the angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to these heirs of salvation. All things are made to work together for good to these, who love God and are called according to His purpose. How wonderful and particular is this care; and they have the promise of it to the end of their trial state. God is indeed a Father to all that put their trust in Him; but there is a wide difference between those who are His sons, and those who remain aliens, and even enemies. R1561:c1,p4

"The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between His shoulders." Deut. 33:12

But it is only the faithful who are thus kept. We are not to understand that the Lord keeps any who do not themselves make the proper effort to know the will of God that they may do it; it is those who are following in the footsteps of Jesus, doing all in their power to please the Lord as they are able to discern the way wherein He would have them walk. These are today causing the voice of His praise to be heard, and grace sufficient is their portion. If the trials of faith, submission and trust shall be greater in the near future than they have yet been, these faithful ones will not fall. . . . These will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, even though they be required for a time to follow where they cannot see. R5501:c2,p2

"Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Josh. 1:9

To battle with the world, the flesh and the devil requires more strength than we possess; we need the courage coming to us from this Divine assurance given to Joshua. (Above) R3080:c2,middle

"Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you." Josh. 23:14

In the smallest and in the greatest affairs of our lives, He has ever watched for our interests. Every cloud has had a golden lining! What, then, shall we render unto the Lord? R5538:c1,last p; c2,top

"He will keep the feet of His saints." 1 Sam. 2:9

Nothing shall touch them as New Creatures in Christ. R5862:c2,p3

Our Times in God's Hands.

We do not know whether we who are here today shall meet again in the flesh or not. What matters it? We are fully content, either to live or to die -- whatever His providence may direct in respect to us. "My times are in Thy hands; my God, I wish them there" -- that expresses it beautifully, does it not? We wish to have the Lord's will done in respect to the time of our change, and in respect to all we enjoy together daily -- it is all committed to Him. Our wills are entirely dead. His will is to rule in your body and in mine, and in all of us. R5728:c2,p5

"For the Lord will not forsake His people for His great name's sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you His people." 1 Sam. 12:22

Applying this verse to spiritual Israel, we may take great comfort from it, too. If it was a favor to natural Israel to be adopted as the Lord's peculiar people, as the house of servants, how much greater is the blessing to spiritual Israel, adopted of the Lord as the house of sons under the chief Son, Jesus; "whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end!" (Heb. 3:6) It is well that the Lord's people be called upon to fear, to reverence the Lord; but if the Scriptures were entirely made up of commands and reproofs, the Lord's people would all surely have been discouraged long ago. On the contrary, with the reproofs and corrections, the Lord gives us very precious testimonies respecting His love and mercy, His goodness and long-suffering kindness, to encourage us. R3223:c2,p3

"The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer." 2 Sam. 22:2

This is a blessed assurance applicable to all the Lord's people, and it is amply verified to all those who delight themselves in the Lord, who meditate upon His goodness and render to Him the praise that is due His holy name. -- "The Lord is my rock (upon which I may safely build my hopes), and my fortress (in which I may safely hide), and my deliverer (in every time of trouble)." R2032:c2,p1

"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him." 2 Chron. 16:9

These "eyes" referred to are the Lord's influence, His power of knowing, whatever the means. . . . God has means, no doubt, far superior to any of ours. . . . He tells us that angels are His minsters, and that these have a charge over His people. . . . But the angels of the Lord, . . . have a charge more particularly over us of the Gospel Church than over any other of the Lord's people at any previous time in the world's history. The Lord is especially interested in Spiritual Israel. These angels, then, care for us, supervise our affairs, and are God's agencies or channels of communication to us as to His will; that is, communication in the sense of providences for us, causing this providence or the other providence. R5634:c1,p3,4; 5635:c1,p2

"The joy of the Lord is your strength." Neh. 8:10

Our capacity for joy now is not what it will be by and by, but it is possible now to have our little earthen vessels as full as they can hold of the joy of the Lord. . . . (Turn to Jno. 14:23) -- In such company as this can any Christian fail utterly to realize some measure of joy in the Lord? No, if his faith grasps the promise and holds it, the realization of joy in the Lord is sure to follow, and the more firmly his faith lays hold upon the promise the more will he realize its fulfillment, and the more fully will his joys abound; for in the presence of the Lord is fullness of joy, no matter what may be the conditions and circumstances. R1949:c1,p2,3

"He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea in seven there shall no evil touch thee." Job 5:19

If we abide in Christ and His Word abides in us, He will be our deliverer in six troubles, and in the seventh He will not forsake us -- because we have been called of God, because we have responded to the call, because we are seeking to glorify Him in our bodies. Hence we need not fear what any man can do unto us. R5539:c1,8

Some of these promises have been summed up by the poet . . . "When through the deep waters I call thee to go, The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow; For I will be with thee thy troubles to bless, And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress." R4784:c2,top

"I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." Psa. 16:8

"At my right hand" -- nearest in my affections. A92
Instead of self-confidence, wisdom dictates a distrustfulness of self, remembering its weaknesses and imperfections, and correspondingly the greater reverence for God and reliance upon Him, which more than anything else will strengthen us and enable us to depart from the evil of our fallen estate. . . . It is when we are thus humble and faithful that the Lord makes us His chosen vessels to bear his name to others. R5186:c1,p1; c2,p2

"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore." Psa. 16:11

These have learned to estimate the things of this present life according to their true values; they see that all of its joys are both transient and unsatisfactory and that the only real value in it is in the opportunities it affords for experience and discipline and education in the things of God and for hearing the call of God and making our calling and election sure. In thus making the proper use of the present life -- walking in the path of life which God shows us through His Word -- we have the present joys and hope and faith in the things unseen, but sure and eternal; knowing also that by and by in the immediate presence of God we shall have fullness of joy, and pleasures for evermore at His right hand -- the chief place of favor. R1949:c1,p1

Our joy is largely dependent upon our study of the Word and our knowledge of the precious promises contained therein. R5460:c1,top

"The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." Psa. 18:2

"The Lord is a buckler (a defense) to all those who trust in Him; for who is God (is mighty) save the Lord? or who is a rock (a safe anchorage to our souls) save our God?" There is no other one to whom we may anchor our faith and hope; but securely anchored to Him we may trust and not be afraid, and may sweetly rest under the shadow of His wing. "The Lord liveth; and blessed be our rock; and let the Lord of our salvation be exalted." Psa. 18:46. R3337:c2,p4

"It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall." Psa. 18:32,29

If any man attempts to do this in his own strength, he must surely fail; for the fiery trial that is to try every one will prove too much for the mind of the flesh; but God who worketh in the consecrated to will and to do His good pleasure, will so fortify and equip those who depend upon His grace, that, with the Psalmist, they can say, (the above text); and with Paul, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me." R2154:c1,p4

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." Psa. 23:1

Proper sheep will submit their wills to the Shepherd's will and trust wholly to His guidance, and so doing are relieved of that anxious craving so common to the children of the world. R3269:c1,p3

They may not have much learning, and, humanly speaking, would not be able to grapple with all the sophistries of error. But, being so well acquainted with the Master's voice, they quickly perceive that such voices are the voices of strangers, and they will not follow them; for they are loyal and obedient to the Shepherd only. In such an attitude of mind and heart is our only safety in the midst of all the difficulties and confusion of this evil day. And all such may confidently sing with the Psalmist -- the 23rd Psalm. R3116:c1,p4,5

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters." Psa. 23:2

Which of the Lord's sheep has not found such green pasturage of spiritual refreshment in his private devotions and studies of Divine things . . . and in assembling with others for study of the Word, for prayer, for testimonies of the Lord's goodness and mercy? All these opportunities and privileges . . . are provisions made for the sheep by the great Shepherd. . . . The streams of truth and grace are living, but comparatively quiet waters. . . . These are not to be found by the sheep alone; to find them requires the leading of the spirit. . . . Let us discriminate, discern His voice, with its truthful accent, so different from the voice of error. Strangers true sheep will not follow, for they know not the voice of strangers. They do not like its money ring, or its worldly ambition ring, or its priestcraft tone, or its contradiction of the spirit of the Divine message and method. R3269:c1,p5; c2,p1

"He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." Psa. 23:3

He restoreth my soul (reclaims it from death); He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake (because I am His child and bear His honored name). R3116:c2,middle

The application . . . to the Christian experience would make these experiences, called restoring of soul or being, to correspond with our justification to life . . . that we may sacrifice and . . . walk in the footsteps of the great Shepherd who lay down His life for the sheep. Thus are the true sheep led in the right paths, . . . advantageous to their spiritual development. . . . This favor and blessing and opportunity comes to them not for their own sakes or worthiness, but through the Lord's grace -- "for His name's sake." R3269:c2,p2

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." Psa. 23:4

The sheep of the little flock fear no evil because of the Lord's favor, because He is with them, on their side, and has shown His favor in the redemption price already paid. He is with them, too, in His Word of promise -- His assurance that death shall not mean extinction. . . . What wonder that these can walk through the valley of the shadow of death singing and making melody in their hearts. . . . As the Shepherd's crook was used to assist the sheep out of difficulties, to defend it from its too powerful enemies and to chasten it when inattentive, and as all of these uses of the rod were for the sheep's interest and welfare, so with the Lord's little flock and their Shepherd and His rod of help. . . . The true sheep learn to love the providences of the Shepherd and are comforted by them. R3269:c2,p3,4

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." Psa. 23:5

What a variety of these tables there are and how different are the viands, doctrinally. The food on most of them seems to have been spoiled in the preparation. Some of it is sad, some of it is sour, and much of it is musty. For the most part of it originated in the "dark ages," and the dear friends who sit at these tables find that they have little appetite for such food. . . . We would attract their attention to the generous, bountiful supply of Divine truth which the Lord Himself is dispensing to the household of faith, "things new and old" but all of them pure, sweet, delicious, grand. This table is open to all those who love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength -- better than they love houses or lands, parents or children, husband or wife, lodge or society or sectarian system or self. R3270:c1,p2

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psa. 23:6

Saint Paul speaks of the full assurance of hope and of full assurance of faith as being the proper conditions for the Lord's people. And this is the thought expressed by the Prophet, in the above text -- full confidence that He who has begun a good work in us is both able and willing to complete it. (Phil. 1:6) But how few Christians, comparatively, have this full assurance of faith; how few can say, Surely, undoubtedly, goodness and mercy shall follow me . . . and by God's grace I ultimately shall gain the Heavenly Kingdom! . . . The few who can enter fully into sympathy with the Apostle and Prophet in these expressions have therein a great joy, a great blessing, a great rest of heart which others do not possess. R2642:c1,p4

"The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way." Psa. 25:9

Meekness = patient submission to the Divine will. R2586:c1
While God permits wilful men to fall into erroneous views and to prosper in spreading them, He does, on the other hand, guide the meek in judgment and teach them His way, and He raises up a standard for them by which they are enabled to see the truth and to distinguish it from error. And though, in this "evil day" a thousand shall fall under those errors, they shall not overthrow the meek ones whom the Lord is pledged to guide and to keep from falling. R1268:c1,p3
He who learns this lesson (of meekness) is getting the most important preparation for Divine service. R5261:c1,p5

"What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose." Psa. 25:12

Beloved, our advice to you in these perilous times, when error is taking on its most baneful and deceitful forms, and when it is finding its most active agents amongst false brethren and sisters in your very midst, and when fidelity to truth, therefore, occasions the severing of some of the tenderest social ties you have ever known, even among those with whom you once held sweet converse as you walked together to the house of God -- yes, in these times let us again urge the counsel of Paul -- "Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them"; for it is written (Jno. 6:45), "They shall be all taught of God." R1320:c2,p6

"The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant." Psa. 25:14

This is stated as though it were a very important matter to see or clearly understand God's Covenant: and it is an important matter, for God's Covenant is really the key to the entire Divine Plan. What God promised to Abraham in the Covenant, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," included directly and indirectly all the riches of Divine grace. . . . With our eyes anointed, and our hearts fully consecrated to the Lord and fully desirous to know just what is His will and His way, we look at the great Covenant, and behold, it opens gloriously before us into three parts: (1) All the families of the earth -- every member of the human family is to receive a blessing. (2) The Seed of Abraham is to be the channel of these Divine blessings to every creature. (3) This Seed in its primary sense we find meant our Lord Jesus Christ; but in its secondary sense it includes the "Bride the Lamb's Wife," His joint-heir in this Covenant and in all of the Divine mercies. R2209:c1,p5; c2,p1

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psa. 27:1

This text suggests the proper frame of mind for all the Lord's people who are now fighting the good fight of faith. Though the situation may look dark and dangerous, and though the foes may multiply and perplexities increase, it bids them fear not. R2016:c2,top

This consolation, variously expressed throughout the Scriptures, comes with all its blessed potency in our times of greatest need. . . . Courage, born of faith and strengthened by endurance, cries with humble boldness in the midst of the deepest darkness of the most perplexing difficulties, and in the midst of the wildest storms and most threatening dangers, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall we fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" R1915:c1,1; c2,p3

"In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock." Psa. 27:5

It is well, especially in this time of greatest need, that the Lord's people should consider the value of this portion of the Christian's armor (faith) and that the doors of their faith should thoroughly shut them into the secret place of the Most High. When reproaches fall thick and fast . . . when their names are cast out as evil . . . ah, then is the time for firmly grasping the shield of faith and for adopting the triumphant language of the Psalmist -- (as above). R1788:c1,p5.

"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." Psa. 27:10

To be numbered among the people of God is a very great privilege; but it means much more than many seem to understand -- much more both on their part, and on God's part. On their part, it signifies . . . that they have become sons and heirs of God through Christ, that they have fully consecrated themselves to God to follow in the footsteps of His dear Son. . . . On God's part it signifies the fulfillment of all His gracious promises to such through Christ, both for the life that now is, and for that which is to come. It signifies that in the present life we have His Fatherly love, care, discipline, counsel, teaching, protection and encouragement to the end, and that afterwards we shall be received into His glorious presence and everlasting rest and joy and peace. Oh, how blessed to be the people of God! even in the present life the reward of His favor is beyond computation. R1787:c2,p5; 1788:c1,p1

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." Psa. 27:14

We see that the Lord has declared that His people shall not be especially protected along earthly lines; and if in His wisdom it is best in any way to bruise us and put us to shame, as was done with our Master, we are to be of good courage, and He will strengthen our hearts, because we trust in Him, we have confidence in Him. We know that He is too wise to err, and that there must be a motive, a reason for the permission, whatever it may be. We know assuredly that the saintly ones are precious in the sight of the Lord -- are as the apple of His eye; and thus we know that all things are working together for good to us. R5330:c2,p7

"The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace." Psa. 29:11

In this text strength means, in large measure, courage. R4817:c1,p9

Let us be faithfully "His people," and let us earnestly desire and faithfully use the strength promised. Faithful is He that hath promised, who also will do it. So, then, if you lack the strength to use faithfully your talent, the fault is yours, not God's. You either have not His service close enough at heart or else do not make use of the strength He provides. "The Lord will give strength to His people" -- His trusting, faithful servants -- those who are using to His praise the talents consecrated to their Master, however many or few they may be. R3697:c1,p2

"Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues." Psa. 31:20

Oh, how precious is this hiding place! What rest and refreshment we find in the midst of the commotion that is even now bestirring the whole world, but especially the nations of Christendom -- rest from the pride and folly of men in their abortive efforts to readjust the present unsatisfactory social order; and rest from the strife of tongues in their equally vain attempt to evolve the clear principles of truth and righteousness from the present confusion of human traditions. (Psa 31:20) Here we find rest, peace, light and joy, which the world can neither give nor take away. R1788:c1,p3

"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." Psa. 31:24

Whenever we come in contact with worldly people we find, as it were, a wet blanket thrown on our simple trust, even though they say not a word to us. We need to have good courage and to hope in the Lord, as our text enjoins. . . . But a courage from right principles, based on faith in the Lord, is not one of braggadocio, but a courage that is noble and pleasing to God. It has its source in a realization that God has promised, and that God is watching, and desires us to be joint-heirs with His Son in His Kingdom. He is merely testing us to see whether we will prove faithful. And this courage with us must also be to do things in the right way. R5329:c2,p5; 5330:c1,p4

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." Psa. 32:8

An earthly parent rejoices most in the obedient and promptly submissive child, for whom the word or look of reproof is sufficient to prune away the evil; and so also our Father in Heaven declares His approval of those who "tremble at His Word." (Isa. 66:5) Such cooperate with God in the development of their own characters noting their own defects and seeking to correct them, -- hearkening for the Father's voice of direction, instruction or loving reproof, and ever seeking His approving smile. . . . To this class, obedient and watchful, the Lord says, "I will guide thee with Mine eye." . . . Those who can be guided only by continual scourging are not of the overcoming class. E233,234 top

"The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them." Psa. 34:7

Encampment -- a continued and abiding presence. R3441:c1,p2

During the Gospel Age it has been God's will that the Spiritual House of Israel should walk by faith and not by sight, and therefore it would be inappropriate after the Church was fully established to expect angels to appear, to manifest themselves outwardly. . . . The followers of Christ have the Bible and the invisible ministries of the holy angels to provide for their interests and to providentially guard and guide their affairs. This, to us, is very real and of great comfort. If we had the thought that God was doing all this personally, we would think that He had certainly forgotten us. But having the assurance of His Word that not a hair of our heads can fall to the ground without our Father's attention, our mind can rest in the fact that He accomplishes His purposes in Christ for His children through the ministrations of the holy angels. R5635:c1,p1; c2,p2

"O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him." Psa. 34:8

Those who have a mere curiosity interest to know what good things are found upon the table of the Lord can never know. Only those who come with sincere hearts to taste and see for themselves can ever know. Theirs is the "hidden manna." . . . Only those are invited to this table of the Lord -- this feast of spiritual blessings, of communion and fellowship with God, of a knowledge of the deep things of God, the exceeding great and precious promises, and of joy in co-operating with Him in His Plan of salvation -- who desire to forsake all other tables. . . . Only deeply appreciative ones are desired at this feast -- those who will gladly forsake all to enjoy the favor. R1957:c2,p4,6

"The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry." Psa. 34:15

May we not in all our trials and perplexities take them to the Lord in prayer? Yes, yes; truly we can. And no comfort will be greater to the perplexed or sorrowing than the privilege of telling all to the Lord. His ear is ever open to the cry of His "little ones"; and the very telling of them to Him and realization of His interest in all our affairs will refresh and cheer us. It will bring to remembrance His promises never to leave nor forsake us, and His wisdom and love. . . . Casting all our care upon Him . . . we may arise from our knees stronger, happier and more confident, as well as in much closer fellowship and communion with the Lord, than if we had attempted to order our own affairs. R1999:c2,p5

"The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." Psa. 34:18

Houses and lands and carefully hoarded belongings may disappear under the sheriff's hammer. Friends long trusted may suddenly grow cold and turn their backs upon you, and even become your enemies. The home you love must some time break up, the family be scattered or invaded by death. The love that glows upon the home altar may flicker and become dim or extinct. How many have found the high hopes of youth and early life turn to ashes in a few short years or months. To all of these the Word of the Lord should appeal with special force, when calling them to come to Him with their burdens and their broken hearts. (See above text.) His love and His precious promises come like the sweet balm of Gilead to those who, sad and disappointed in the struggle of life, come to Christ for rest and comfort, for life and healing. R5862:c1,p3,4

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." Psa. 34:19

The daily experiences of life have a most important mission to us, and the manner in which we receive them should be a matter of deepest concern; for according to the use we make of them, each day's prosperity or its adversity and trial bear to us a blessing or a curse. . . . Sorrow and griefs may, and perhaps often will, come in like a flood, but the Lord will be our Stay and Strength in every experience which He permits. The soul that has never known the discipline of sorrow and trouble has never yet learned the joy and preciousness of the Lord's love and helpfulness. It is in seasons of overwhelming sorrow and grief, when we draw near to the Lord, that He draws especially near to us. R5802:c1,p4,6

"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." Psa. 37:4,5

It is when continued trust in the Lord and His many responsive providences in our lives have ripened into precious personal acquaintance and intimacy that we learn to delight in Him. . . . Then, however dark may be our way, . . . the thought of Divine protection is ever with us. . . . To them He is the One altogether lovely. His law is their delight. His friendship and love are their very life. When the heart has become thus centered in God, it is the most natural impulse to commit its way unto Him. . . . Surely these have the desires of their heart, and no good thing shall be withheld from them. R5803:c2,p2,3,5

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in His way." Psa. 37:23

It is the source of weakness in many of the Lord's people that they do not properly grasp by faith this and similar promises; for only in proportion as they have this faith and grasp these promises can they be buoyed up by this, and be encouraged to press along the line for the mark. R3157:c1,p1

They can delight in this way, be it ever so thorny and narrow and rugged, because of their confidence in God's love and wisdom, and that He who began a good work in them is thus completing it and blessing them with experiences which Divine wisdom sees will be to their profit eventually. R2762:c2,p4

"Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand." Psa. 37:24

We must not overlook . . . the assurance that though the child of God may stumble at times in the way, these will never mean to him an utter fall, because his hand is still held by the Lord! What a comforting thought is here! How well calculated it is to deliver the Lord's people from utter despondency in respect to themselves and each other! The all-important thoughts to be kept in mind are, Am I still the Lord's? Am I still trusting in the precious blood? Am I still consecrated to the Lord and His righteous way? If these can be answered in the affirmative we can still realize that we are God's children, and that our hands are still in His; that the spirit of begetting . . . has not perished; and that it is God's will that we should recover ourselves as quickly as possible from any stumbling, and looking well at the difficulties and trials which led us into it, we should fortify our characters against those difficulties as respects the future, and thus go on really stronger. R3157:c2,p1

"I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." Psa. 37:25

"Trust in the Lord and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed." . . . These promises are sure, and while doing good and trusting we may also rejoice. This does not imply that you will have no business trials and vexations and disappointments and discouragements. Such experiences may be just what you need to develop your Christian character -- in meekness, patience, brotherly-kindness, -- Love. Your meal and oil may run low, as did those of the widow of Zerephath; but God knoweth it and will provide, with spiritual blessings accompanying, if you will but trust Him and do what you can do. The Lord may provide the things needful through our own industry, or through the generosity of friends, or by public provision. While the former is to be desired and sought, the latter are not to be despised or rejected. None of these methods are begging. Accepting proffered help is not begging. R2021:c2,p2

"Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty: for He is thy Lord; and worship thou Him." Psa. 45:10,11

Was ever a proposal of marriage couched in more delicate and beautiful phrase? With astonishment I read it again and again. Surely it can mean nothing less than this: I am invited by the King of Kings to become the bride of His royal Son -- His only begotten Son and heir of all things. And since clothed with the imputed robe of His righteousness, which hides all the unrighteousness of my own robes, I am really considered beautiful in the eyes of the King, I am told, so that He desires to make me His bride -- if I am willing for His dear sake to forget my own people and my father's (Adam's) house -- the world in general, with all its hopes, aims and ambitions. R1494:c2,p5

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea." Psa. 46:1,2

This text should be borne in mind as a comforting and sustaining power to the Lord's faithful. It is in full harmony with the words of the Apostle in the New Testament, who declares that "all things are working together for good to them who love God, who are the called according to His purpose." R3232:c2,p2

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psa. 55:22

There are works of grace to be wrought out in us which only the hard experiences of life can accomplish. For instance, we would be inclined to lean too much to our own understanding, if we were not at times brought face to face with problems that baffle our skill. It is when we are "afraid to touch things that involve so much," that in our perplexity we come to Him who has kindly said, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain thee," and ask Him to undertake for us. Or we might be inclined to trust too much in the arm of flesh, if the arm of flesh had never failed us, and the disappointment driven us to the Lord to seek the shelter of His wing. Or we might learn to trust in uncertain riches, if moth and rust had never corrupted nor thieves stolen the little or much of our earthly possessions. Or we might have been satisfied with earthly friendships and loves had not their loss sometimes left us alone with God to prove the sweetness of His consolation. R2130:c1,p2

"I will sing of Thy power; yea I will sing aloud of Thy mercy in the morning: for Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble." Psa. 59:16

This nearness to God, into which His "very elect" will be gathered, will be the source of their protection. And the dangers to others will be in proportion to their distance to this great citadel of strength, this fortress, this refuge or tower. . . . Oh, that we could get this thought rightly settled in our minds! . . . that our Lord is at the helm superintending all of earth's affairs at the present time in a much more practical sense than ever in the past. And have we not seen His graciousness towards the church in the thirty-four years of the harvest period that are already past? And can we doubt His continued supervision of the affairs of His betrothed to the grand consummation? "He who hath begun the good work in us is able to complete it." . . . "Who led thee first will lead thee still; Be calm and sink into his will." R4379:c2,p2,4

"Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee." Psa. 63:3

Those who love the present life close their lips and refrain from speaking of His loving kindness; but those faithful to their covenant, and appreciative of the Lord's favor as "better than life," will show forth His praise at any and every cost of an earthly kind. R2853:c1,top

We must appreciate the loving favor of God as better than earthly life, else we are not worthy of Him and not of the kind He is seeking. . . . When we begin to weigh and contrast fellowship with God and the eternal hopes, . . . in contrast with earthly loves and family ties and earthly ambitions and pleasures, the latter all seem quite insignificant in comparison, dross as compared to pure gold. And from this standpoint we gladly renounce all, giving up life itself for the favor of God. R2852:c1,top

"Thou wilt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." Psa. 73:24

How wonderfully the Lord has guided His people! His children have ever been His constant care. No good thing will He withhold from them, and all things have been made to work together for their good if they obeyed Him. Who that has trusted the Lord through many years, through sunshine and shadow, through smiles and tears, by still waters and through storm and tempest, has not proved the verity of His precious promises and His abiding faithfulness! R5538:c1,p8

We appreciate the necessity for a Counselor, and a very wise one. We find that even the best of earthly counsel is of value only as it has been directed by the Divine counsel. . . . Moreover, there is . . . assurance that this counsel shall be sufficient for us, so that ultimately, by giving heed thereto, we shall reach the everlasting prize at the end of the race course. R2240:c1,p5

"My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever." Psa. 73:26

In seasons of heavy trial the darkness may indeed so deepen upon the soul, as in our dear Lord's case, as almost to shut out the stars of hope; yet if, like the Lord, we hold on to the omnipotent arm of Jehovah and meekly say, "Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done," His grace will always be sufficient; and with the Psalmist we can say, "Though my flesh and my heart fail, yet God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever"; and with the Lord, our hearts will respond -- "The cup which My Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" R1802:c2,top

"The Lord God is a sun and shield." Psa. 84:11

Our text is a great encouragement to the David class, the beloved class, the anointed ones, the members of Christ. To these the Lord God is both a sun and shield; He not only enlightens these but He will not suffer them to be injured by the blessings which He bestows upon them. He will shield them from all enemies and everything that would tend to injure them in any manner; all things shall work together for good to those that love Him, to the called ones according to His purpose. With such blessed assurances, then, we may look forward into the future with rejoicing and with confidence, trusting to have a share in the glorious rewards God has promised to the faithful. R4219:c2,p4

"My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." Psa. 89:34

While seeking to copy the Lord in every particular, and to be fully rounded out in character-likeness to Him, let us now have specially in mind as a part of the lesson of this text, God's faithfulness to His engagements; and let us, as His people, resolve that by His assistance and grace we will grow daily in this quality, in His likeness -- that we, also, may say of ourselves, concerning our covenants or agreements, as the Lord says of Himself, "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips." R3109:c2,p2

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Psa. 91:1

This secret place of the Most High, Beloved, is the place of intimate communion and fellowship with God, through the blessed privilege of prayer and through faith in His precious Word and His promised providential care. . . . Oh, how precious is this hiding place! What rest and refreshment we find in the midst of the commotion that is even now bestirring the whole world. . . . Here we find rest, peace, light and joy, which the world can neither give nor take away. R1788:c1,p2,3
"Abide under the shadow of the Almighty" -- as typed by the cloud covering the typical Tabernacle, which symbolized the Lord's presence and protection. R1913:c2,p1

"I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust." Psa. 91:2

We are to keep firm hold of our confidence; for this assures us that God is our Father. We all know something of the wireless telegraphy which is now being used in a marvelous manner on the sea and land. And this is only a feeble illustration of the wireless communication that maintains between the true Christian and the Heavenly Lord. In every circumstance this confidence, leaning on the Lord, will look to Him. There will be the wireless communication between Father and child. R5595:c1,p6

"Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence." Psa. 91:3

The pestilence of infidelity will stalk abroad. R844:c1,p6

Every error held obscures and hinders some truth; and we have now come to the time when every child of God needs all the panoply of truth -- the Armor of God. He who has not on the "whole Armor of God" is sure to fall into error in this "evil day," this "Hour of Temptation." . . . And "judgment must begin at the house of God." Who shall be able to stand? None except those who are "building themselves up in the most holy faith" with the precious promises and vital doctrines of the Word of God. R5801:c2,p4

"He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler." Psa. 91:4

Our Heavenly Father's love and care and protection are His wings and His feathers, shielding us from all harm, keeping us warm and safe. R5438:c2,p1

Yes, His Truth -- that grand system of truth comprised in the Divine Plan of the Ages -- is an ample shield and buckler to all who in simplicity of heart receive it and prove faithful to it. It is the armor of God. R3332:c1,top

The Harvest message in its various features, bearing on every phase of Truth now due and every phase of error now being brought forward, is God's keeping power by which, according to His guarantee, we know that nothing shall by any means hurt the "feet" members of the true "body of Christ." R3441:c2,p1

"Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday." Psa. 91:5,6

Remember the Prophet David's explanation of our day with its arrows, pestilences, stumbling blocks, etc., and the declaration that a thousand would fall at our side. Let us not forget either our Lord's positive assurances, that He would keep His very own, His elect -- those making their calling and election sure. . . . The shielded ones will be those who live very near to the Lord -- not only outwardly, but in their heart experience. These very elect have the assurance that God will give His messengers charge concerning them, so that the feet shall not be dashed against the stumbling stone, but be borne up, lifted higher by the Divinely appointed agencies of Jehovah. (Psa. 91) R4438:c2,p5

"A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee." Psa. 91:7

We must remember that this promise is limited to the class specified, to those who have made the Lord, even the Most High, their refuge and habitation. R4167:c2,bottom

We are not to think of those who will be injured and who will fall . . . as of the world, but rather as being friends of the Church; closely associated with the Church. The world could not fall from Divine favor, for it has not been in Divine favor. . . . This verse seems to apply to those who were actually begotten of the Holy Spirit or who have assumed a position such as those begotten of the Holy Spirit; as, for instance, the tares which affect to be wheat. . . . There is a distinction between the thousand falling at the side and the ten thousand at the right hand. We might infer that the one thousand may fall into total unbelief, and the ten thousand, the "great company," into the great time of trouble to wash their robes white and to purify themselves. They will be partakers with Babylon in her sins and have part in her great fall. . . . Only the sanctified in Christ Jesus, copies of God's dear Son, will be able to stand complete in Him. R4926:c1,p5; c2,p1

"Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation." Psa. 91:9

This gives us a clue to the security of the saints. Their strength will lie in great part in that they are taking heed to the warnings of the Apostle respecting the present time, and hence know how to beware of the wiles of the Adversary. The "very elect" will be so in harmony with the Lord and so filled with the spirit of His Word, and so blessed by the exercise of their privileges as under-reapers in this harvest, and so disposed to lay down their lives for the truth, and in its service, that none of these snares and delusions of the Adversary . . . will be special attractions for them. R2770:c2,p4

"There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." Psa 91:10

No evil befall thee -- the new creature. See R4767:c1,p3

We are to recognize that there are two classes of spirit begotten ones, and that our text has reference to only one class of these. . . . They have kept nothing back of their love and devotion; things may happen disastrous to their fleshy interests; but they remember that they are "not in the flesh but in the spirit," and realize that no outside influence can mar their real interests as New Creatures, nor hinder them, if faithful, from attaining to the glories of the Kingdom. . . . It is to this class, and to all the things that may befall them, that the assurance is given -- "there shall no evil befall thee." As for the other of the two classes -- the "Great Company" -- some evils do befall them. They will be put into great tribulation. R4767:c2,p4,5

"For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." Psa. 91:11

The harvest message is God's keeping power. R3441:c2,p1

We believe that the Lord has raised up messengers, agencies, which have been very helpful to all the "feet" class. These agencies have been various. The printed page with its message of present truth has gone . . . to all parts of the earth, to seek out and sustain the members of the "feet" of Christ. . . . He will continue to use these agencies, and there will be the strengthening of His people to the end of the way. If there are any who will not be thus led, it must be because there is something wrong in themselves. We should each see to it that we are of the "thee" class. "No evil shall come nigh thee." That will mean Divine protection to the very end of our course. R5817:c2,top and p1

"They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone." Psa. 91:12

According to this Psalm we see that now is the time when the "feet" members are in special danger of stumbling, and hence require special assistance. . . . Our Lord's presence and His work were neither understood or appreciated in the Jewish harvest; and so here. . . . The events of today are manifestations of His presence. These things and the vital truths of Scripture, now more clear and luminous than ever, are stumbling stones to the world, but are blessings to the faithful, watching ones. The true people of God, mounting on this stepping-stone, are lifted up to a higher view-point and kept from stumbling. The doctrine of the Ransom and the evidences of the Master's second presence at this time are unspeakable advantages to the saints of the Lord. R5816:c2,p7; 5817:c1,p1

"Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name." Psa. 91:14

Because he hath set his love upon Me (saith Jehovah), therefore will I deliver him (from the pestilence, etc.,): I will set him on high (exalt him to joint-heirship with Christ, make him a member of the "Royal Priesthood," and a "partaker of the Divine nature"), because he hath known (appreciated) My name. R3332:c2,p4

"He shall call upon Me and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him." Psa. 91:15

Praise the Lord for such assurances of His loving care! "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!" R3332:c2,p6

The intimation here is that the Lord will not, necessarily, prevent our getting into trouble. . . . The trouble might prove very beneficial to us. The Lord has already told us in His Word that we are to rejoice even under tribulation. . . . So while the Lord does not promise us that we shall escape trouble, He does promise that with the trouble He will give His children consolation of heart, sustaining grace, that will enable them to rejoice in the midst of their tribulation. R5758:c1,p3; c2,p1

"Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart." Psa. 97:11

All of the "brethren" will be awakened in season to put on the "whole armor of God." . . . Whoever shall be left asleep and in darkness and thus not be prepared to "stand" in this evil day, will thereby make it evident, whatever his professions, that God who readeth the heart did not find him worthy of the light of present truth. "Light (truth) is sown for the righteous and gladness (the gladness which comes from a realization of the truth) for the upright in heart." R2453:c1,p4; R3648:c1,p3

"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust." Psa. 103:13,14

He invites us to confide in Him as children . . . in full assurance of His loving interest, even in our smallest affairs. R3161:c2,p1

A further word from the mouth of God assures us that He knoweth our frame, He remembereth that we are dust -- weak, imperfect, dying; and that it is not His purpose that we shall continue always to be in conflict with ourselves -- perfect will against imperfect body; but that He has provided that, in the resurrection, we shall have new, perfect bodies, in full accord with our new minds. R4897:c2,p6

"But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children's children; to such as keep His covenant, and to those that remember His commandments to do them." Psa. 103:17,18

One of the narrowing features of this way is that at the present time no one is accepted of God unless he makes a definite covenant with God. If he does not choose to make that covenant he may think he is a Christian, but he is not. In the world today four hundred million people are counted as Christians. . . . But the Bible very plainly states: "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." This self denial and cross bearing is the sacrifice necessary to discipleship in Christ at the present time. Many people are not Christians because they have not entered into a covenant with God. . . . After having entered this straight gate and narrow way, we should continue therein -- not necessarily without stumbling, not necessarily without making mistakes; if we can go on ever so falteringly, to the best of our ability and with hearts loyal to the Lord, we shall be granted to sit on His throne -- members of His Bride class. R5055:c1,p7,8; c2,p3

"And He led them forth by the right way." Psa. 107:7

With Spiritual Israel it is particularly true that the Lord leads in the right way, in the best way; and that therefore all truly His people should be careful to note His leadings and quick in following them. In the end we will surely see that He has led us in the right way, however different that way may be from the one we would have chosen for ourselves. The difficulty with many is that the way they take is not the one which the Lord led and hence not the best way, even though the Lord may overrule their waywardness so that it shall not work to them a real injury which otherwise might have been theirs. . . . Let us then, with full faith in Him who has led us hitherto, go forth through the coming days conquering . . . strong not in ourselves but in Him who has called us and led us hitherto. R4064:c2,p2

"He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still." Psa. 107:29

Like many other Scriptures this text has a special application to the Church of Christ. St. Paul tells us that these things were written beforehand for our admonition, instruction. (1 Cor. 10:11) We believe that nearly all the prophecies recognize the Lord and His body first. There have been many storms permitted by the Lord to come upon . . . His followers. Sometimes the whole journey of life has been a stormy one. We sometimes sing, "When the storms of life are raging." In his epistles, the Apostle intimates that those who do not have storms, trials and difficulties lack proof that they are God's children; for God would not be dealing with such as His children. (Heb. 12:7,8) If we are children of God, we need to have trials and testings, that these may make us "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." (Col. 1:12) In all these experiences, the tendency of the trial is to drive us nearer to the Lord, to make us feel that we need the Divine shelter and care. And so a blessing comes out of these storms. R5239:c1,p2,3

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Psa. 116:15

So may it be with all those consecrated to walk in the footsteps of their Redeemer. Covered with His robe of righteousness they are all precious to the Father, and their death under whatever circumstances will really not be accidental, but a kiss of Divine approval and seal of the coming blessing in the First Resurrection. R4054:c2,p1

Not even a hair of their heads can fall without His notice. F646

Death itself is powerless to touch us until God's time for us shall have come. R5546:c2,p3

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psa. 119:105

God wishes those who are awake to be learning more and more of His plan. These will grow in grace and in knowledge as they watch. They will not be like the world. The world will be in a stupor -- they will be unworthy of the day. Darkness covers the whole earth at the present time. But God's people are granted a special light. They love the light. "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." It is not a light like that of the moon, which reaches far out, but merely a little light at the feet of those who are watching for it. Those who are going to sleep will find their light going out. R5256:c2,p5

"Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them." Psa 119:165

Offend -- or stumble them. See R1356.

To love God's law, then, would be to appreciate the fact that God has a great purpose; to take delight in finding out what God's will is; and to have full confidence in His justice, wisdom, love and power. Great peace have all those who do so. They do not understand every dealing of Divine justice, but their faith holds to the fact that He is too wise to err. Thus they have peace in confiding their interests to Him. R4898:c1,p2

"My help cometh from the Lord, which made Heaven and earth." Psa. 121:2

A general lesson is taught by the fact that the Ark preceded and remained in the river-bed until all had passed over. This to them was the Lord's guarantee of the safety of their passage. . . . A lesson to all Spiritual Israelites should be, "In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:6); . . . "Without Me ye can do nothing"; . . . "My help cometh from the Lord"; . . . "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"; and . . . "All things are yours, for ye are Christ's and Christ is God's." . . . Let us in the strength of these Divine promises enter into the blessings of the Lord more and more day by day, and allow His leadings past and present to give us courage and fortitude for the future. "Who led us last will lead us still, Be calm and sink into His will." R4064:c1,p1,2

"He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber." Psa. 121:3

The God of Israel is indeed ever present with His true people. He never forgets us, but is constantly looking out for our interests, guarding us in every time of danger, providing for our every need, both temporal and spiritual, whatever is best for the interest of the New Creature. He reads every thought of our hearts; He marks every impulse of devotion and love to Him; He shapes all the influences surrounding our lives for our disciplining and refining, and hearkens to our every cry for aid and comfort and sympathy and fellowship with Him. He is never for even a moment forgetful or off guard. "He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps." R5548:c2,p7

"The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; He shall preserve thy soul." Psa. 121:7

The closer we live to the Lord, and the greater our faith, the more we shall realize the Divine direction, and the more we shall make use of the means He has provided for our strengthening and upholding. We may call upon Him in time of trouble; we may go to Him in prayer; and He never fails those who put their trust in Him and earnestly seek to walk in His appointed way. This being true, we may go forth upon our journey, in perfect trust and confidence. Having consecrated our all to the Lord, we are to seek for His guidance, for His presence is with us, in all the affairs of our life. R5548:c1,p6

"The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore." Psa. 121:8

It is our privilege to know the comforting fact that Jehovah's knowledge and wisdom are superior to all the exigencies of His universal empire; and that the wrath of man and of all the combined powers of darkness cannot in the slightest degree frustrate the Divine Plan. The same power that was able to transform the spiritual Son of God to the human nature was able also to protect Him against all opposers, from helpless infancy up to the appointed time of His sacrifice for the world's redemption. R1681:c1,p6

"They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever." Psa. 125:1

The great day now upon us is trying every man's character structure, of what sort it is, and but very few, even among professed Christians, will stand the test. The few who will pass safely through this crucial trial without loss are those only who have become established in the Truth of God, "rooted and grounded and built up into Christ." The difference between a strong and steadfast Christian and a bigot is that one is established in Truth, and the other is established in error. The "fire" of this day will continue to burn and to manifest the great difference between the two classes, until all have been tested and tried and found worthy or unworthy. R5558:c2,p4,5

"As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even forever." Psa. 125:2

We can well see that the City of Jerusalem, located as it is, in the top of the mountains, and flanked by them in every direction, would be a difficult one for an enemy to successfully attack. The mountain roads would be difficult of approach because easily defended. The suggestion of the prophet that the Lord is a fortress and protection to His people under every adverse influence, is a beautiful one which all can appreciate. R4623:c1,p4

"The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them." Psa 145:18,19

If the Master Himself needed strengthening, surely we also need it; and if He received it in response to supplications with strong cryings and tears, it is an intimation to us of the way in which God is pleased to bestow the full assurance of faith which is able to strengthen us as good soldiers to endure any and everything in His name and service. . . . But however the strength may come, it must be the assurance, not of men or of angels, but of God, that we are pleasing and acceptable to Him, -- and that we may claim and expect the exceeding great and precious things which He has in reservation for them that love Him. R2775:c1,p4

"The Lord preserveth all them that love Him." Psa. 145:20

In the midst of the "perilous times" of this "evil day," and the warning voices of the Holy Prophets and Apostles pointing out snares and pestilences and subtle dangers on every hand -- and in the midst, too, of a realizing sense of the actual existence of such evil besetments and perils -- how precious to the saints are the assurances of Divine protection and care and personal love! R5257:c1,p4

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Prov. 3:5,6

If at times we know not whether to turn to the right or to the left, know not wherein to walk, let us lift our hearts to the Lord, and wait before Him, remembering the Divine assurance, "Delight thyself in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." "In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths." Thus His dear voice brings comfort, strength, rest, in the midst of all the cares and perplexities of the way. "As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God!" (Gal. 6:16) R5807:c2,p3

"The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Prov. 4:18

The fact that the Great Teacher is present superintending the "harvest" work is, we believe, a further assurance along this line. We comfort ourselves with the thought that His eye, His rod and His staff are guiding His sheep from grace to grace and from knowledge to knowledge. Hence it is not astonishing that we find, as was predicted, that "the path of the just is as a shining light -- shining more and more unto the perfect day." Little details may, indeed should be, expected to grow clearer day by day, but all the fundamentals of our faith superstructure are unchangeable. R3856:c2,p1

"The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it." Prov. 10:22

Another kind of riches comes to the Royal Priesthood, faithful in performing their self-sacrifices. These are riches of the Holy Spirit. They find as they sacrifice the selfish interests, earthly aims, earthly projects, etc., in the service of the Lord and the Truth, that they grow more and more in likeness to their Heavenly Father and to their Lord, and that the fruits of the Holy Spirit abound in them more and more -- meekness, patience, gentleness, brotherly kindness, love. Furthermore, they find a peace and a joy to which formerly they were strangers. . . . This peace and joy come through a realization that having given their all to the Lord, all of His exceeding great and precious promises belong to them. Now their faith can firmly grasp these promises as their own. R2762:c2,p2,3

"The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe." Prov. 29:25

Whoever of a loyal, obedient heart can exercise faith has thus provided for himself strength and grace for every time of need, for every hour of trial, for every difficulty and perplexity and for all the affairs of life -- the ballast which will give equilibrium and enable us to profit by all of life's experiences, the bitter as well as the sweet." R3545:c1,top

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." Isa. 26:3

Stephen had this same rest and joy even while his enemies were stoning him to death; and thousands more of God's saints can testify to the same thing -- in the midst of poverty, sickness, affliction, temptation, and enemies on every hand, and even in the flames of violent persecution. Whence comes it? or how are rest and even joy compatible with such conditions? The answer is: it is a rest of mind -- "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee." None can know the blessedness of this rest until they have experienced it. And none can realize its great value until they have been put to the tests of affliction. R1961:c2,p6

"In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength." Isa. 30:15

The Lord gives the key to this rest in the words -- "Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly of heart." Truly, in a meek and quiet spirit is the secret of rest. To be meek is to cultivate the graces of patience; of loving submission to the will of God; of abiding confidence in His love and care and in the wisdom of His guiding counsel and overruling providences; and to perseveringly pursue this course through evil and through good report, or through favorable or unfavorable circumstances. Let the beloved children of God seek more and more to copy Christ's meek and quiet spirit, accepting the providences of God and obeying His precepts and leading as He did, armed with the strength which He alone can supply, and will, to all those who take His yoke upon them, and learn of Him. R1962:top

"Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure." Isa. 33:16

Let us ask for nothing beyond our actual needs, as God (not we) sees the necessity and expediency -- thankful always for the "bread and water" promised, as well as for every additional comfort. Realizing always God's superior wisdom and boundless love for us, we should fear to take our interests in any degree out of His hand. Thus we may always live rejoicing, realizing that, whatever may befall us, all is working out for good to us. We may need an acquaintance with pain, or to come into perplexity and almost to want, in order to have needful experience or testing or chastisement. And we should learn to search for and appreciate the lesson or chastisement quickly, and prove ourselves apt pupils in the school of Christ. R2009:c2,p5

"Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty." Isa. 33:17

Oh, what a vision of rest and peace, of glory and blessing, of joyful fellowship, of deathless love, of unsullied purity and unending bliss! Who, but those who have caught a glimpse of its glory, can estimate its power to inspire to holy zeal, to earnest endeavor, and to patient endurance of all the losses and crosses of the path of discipline that leads to it. It is no matter of surprise that not all who name the name of Christ are filled with the inspiration of this blessed vision; for but few, even of those who theoretically know these things, really behold the vision, and by faith realize that they have a place in it. . . . If thou art a faithful doer of the Word of God, and not a hearer only, then, even now "thine eyes" of faith shall catch the inspiration of the glory to be revealed, and thy steps shall be quickened in the paths of righteousness. R2087:c2,p3

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint." Isa 40:31

If any hope in themselves, and lean upon their own strength mainly, it will be to their advantage that the Lord shall allow them to come to the point of discouragement, that they may become more timid, may lose all self-assurance, may realize their utter helplessness and weakness and their need of leaning wholly upon the Lord, of looking constantly to Him for guidance and support. As the Lord's children thus learn to wait upon Him, to them is fulfilled the promise, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; . . . they shall walk and not faint." R5712:c2,p6

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isa. 41:10

Each member of the Body of Christ, the true Israel of God, is privileged to have the continual guidance of the Lord in every experience of our wilderness journey. Heavenly Manna is furnished for our daily sustenance. The water of life flows out to us for our daily refreshing, from the smitten Rock of Ages. Our Father's chastening rod restrains us when we are in danger, or when we wander into any forbidden path. How lovingly He brings us back into the right way, and heals our wounds, and graciously forgives our stumblings and weaknesses. Surely we may have implicit confidence in our Heavenly Guide. Thus me may rest in Him and be kept in perfect peace. R5548:c2,top

"For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear not; I will help thee." Isa. 41:13

What a blessing of peace, quietness of spirit, ability to endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ, and sustenance and strength in time of trial, lies behind these precious assurances . . . no tongue can express. It has in the past permitted His faithful ones to pass through many dark and trying experiences with a fortitude that has surprised the world, which has seen them in the fiery furnace, but has not seen that there is with them the form of the Son of God. (Dan. 3:25) They have endured as seeing Him who is invisible. (Heb. 11:27) R4784:c2,p4

"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." Isa. 43:2

As Israel in passing through Jordan had nothing to fear because the ark of the Lord, the symbol of the Divine presence stood in the midst of the threatening danger, so the Christian has nothing to fear so long as he realizes the Divine presence and approval. Through rivers and seas of trouble he may wade, and through fiery furnaces of affliction he may pass, but none of these things can harm him while the Lord is with him. The Lord's presence and love realized under such circumstances as they cannot be under ordinary conditions give such strength to faith and hope and love as could not otherwise be gained. And thus all things are made to work together for good to them that love God, to the called according to His purpose. R1857:middle

"My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure: . . . yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." Isa. 46:10,11

What was it that held them (the Lord and the Apostles) so firmly and gave them such rest of mind while they suffered? It was their faith -- their faith in the love, power and wisdom of God. They believed that what God had promised He was able also to perform, that His righteous and benevolent Plan could know no failure; for by the mouth of His prophets He had declared, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure. . . . Yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." "The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?" On the assurances of God they rested. In Him their faith was anchored, and it mattered not how fiercely the storms raged or how they were tossed by the tempests of life while their anchor still held fast to the throne of God. R1834:c2,p7

"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands." Isa. 49:15,16

As we read these assurances of tenderest love on the part of our Heavenly Father, and then consider our low estate, we can scarcely realize that we are indeed the objects of that love. Yet if we are humbly walking in the narrow way, these assurances are for our comfort and consolation. R957:c1,p1

"For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." Isa. 50:7

To the world it may seem that the course of the Christian is far from peaceful, for the Lord's saints often have a stormy voyage. But if our hearts continue to be stayed on Christ by faith, and we do not let go our anchor, we shall be kept through all the tempests of life, however severely we may be tossed, however fiercely the storms may rage. Faith can exclaim with the Prophet Isaiah (as above). On the assurances of the Lord we may rest, because our anchor holds fast to the throne of God. The language of our Master's heart was, "O righteous Father, the world hath no known Thee; but I have known Thee." He had been with the Father from the beginning and He knew His love and goodness; He had seen the manifestations of His power; He had marked His loving kindness. So we who have come into similar relationship to God have come to thus know and trust His love and faithfulness. R5432:c1,p2,3

"Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man . . . which shall be made as grass." Isa. 51:7,12

What condescension on the part of the Almighty to thus consider our weakness when the darts of the enemy wound our hearts, and to pour in the balm of His consolation. He would not have one of His children whom Christ has made free to come again under the bondage of "the fear of man which bringeth a snare." He would have every man in Christ realize his liberty from sin and superstition and his solemn accountability to God for all his thoughts, words and doings. -- "Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. R1788:c2,p2

"I have put My words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of Mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art My people." Isa. 51:16

It is to inspire faith . . . that the Lord has offered us, in addition to all His precious promises, so many encouragements to simple, childlike trust in Him, and that He has bidden us turn a deaf ear to the reproaches of men. . . . "Plant the heavens (establish the new heavens), and lay the foundations of the earth (the new earth), and say unto Zion (the people tried and proved by these afflictions to be worthy heirs of the new Kingdom -- the new heavens and earth), Thou art My people." R1788:c2,p1

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper." Isa. 54:17

Many tongues have arisen against the Lord's Zion as a whole and against each member individually -- tongues laden with the "poison of asps," tongues bitter with envy, malice, hatred and strife, -- tongues which hesitate not to slander and misrepresent, to say all manner of evil falsely. And to a large extent these weapons and tongues have succeeded, have wrought havoc with the sheep, as also with the Shepherd; and God permitted it -- He neither stopped the weapon nor stilled the tongue; and yet He assures us apparently to the contrary of this in our text. What is the true explanation? . . . The explanation is that "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit" . . . ye are "new creatures" in Christ Jesus. . . . (Rom. 8:9; 2 Cor. 5:17) The weapons and tongues merely do injury to the old creature -- to the flesh, which we have already consecrated to death anyway. R3050:c2,p8,9

"So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isa. 55:11

Those who claim that Jehovah has been trying for six thousand years to convert the world, and failing all the time must find it difficult to reconcile such views with the Bible assurance that all God's purposes shall be accomplished, and that His Word shall not return unto Him void, but shall prosper in the thing whereto it was sent. The fact that the world has not yet been converted, and that the knowledge of the Lord has not yet filled the earth, is a proof that it has not yet been sent on that mission. A95:p2

"And the Lord shall guide thee continually." Isa. 58:11

If, in the Father's providence, some of the circumstances connected with our earthly affairs turn in this or that direction, our hearts should look to the Lord for the lesson to be drawn therefrom, and thus be able to glorify God thereby. The Christian should never view any experience as being lucky or unlucky, but should remember that all things connected with him, if he be living close to the Lord, are ordered and directed by the Lord. R4628:c2,p3

"Thou shalt be called by a new name, . . . Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God." Isa. 62:2,3

So the church in the Hand of God is the church in the hand of Divine power. That power will use the church and she will be a crown of glory and a thing of beauty, gloriously reflecting to all eternity the workmanship of our God. How glorious it will be! How beautiful! The Lord Jehovah will have the setting of these precious jewels, one reflecting upon another in that crown of glory and diadem of beauty, with the Lord Jesus in the chief place, for the Father will not give to the church any glory, that He would not give to the Lord Himself. The church is to be displayed before men as "a thing of beauty and a joy forever" -- God's handiwork. R4914:c1,p2

"In all their affliction He was afflicted." Isa. 63:9

The Scriptures point out the fact that the Lord's consecrated people belong so completely to Him that in all their afflictions He is afflicted. When Saul of Tarsus was persecuting the early church, our Lord called out to him on the way to Damascus, and said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou ME? And he said, who art thou, Lord? and the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest." Saul was not persecuting the glorified Savior directly, but he was persecuting the followers of Jesus -- not the new creatures, but the flesh. R5173:c1,p7

"Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isa. 65:24

How many prayers are not heard or are hindered because the one who asks does not first purify himself of evil in his own heart? "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts;" i.e., you ask selfishly and without regard to the will of God. But to the chastened and sanctified comes the promise -- "Before they call (reading the desire of the heart even before it finds expression in words) I will answer (will begin so to shape events as to bring the answer soon or later); and while they are yet speaking I will hear." While this is in connection with a prophecy relating to the Lord's people in the Millennial Age, it nevertheless is true of all His faithful ones of this age. Praise the Lord for all His loving kindness to even the least of His lowly children! R1866:c2,p2

"As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you." Isa. 66:13

The Lord's people, having embraced the truth, find themselves beset on every hand with oppositions from the Evil One and his servants; and were it not that they have the comfort and consolation of the Scriptures, and the joy and peace which the world can neither give nor take away, theirs would be a sad lot indeed. But under conditions, as the Lord has arranged them, it is their privilege, even while suffering the loss of earthly things for righteousness' sake, to rejoice in tribulation, and in everything give thanks. What is the secret of this rejoicing in tribulation? Whence comes so great comfort as this? We answer, it comes through the comfort of the Scriptures, made luminous by the holy Spirit. R3436:c1,p3,4

"Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not." Jer. 33:3

To us it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, which many prophets and many righteous persons of the past were not privileged to see. Thank God for the light of present truth! Now we can see a plan of God -- a plan which covers every detail of history past, and of revelation future; a plan that is complete -- lacking and disjointed at no part; a plan that is in strictest conformity with Divine Justice, Wisdom, Power and Love, and with every text of the Divine Word; and which thus proves itself to be not only a reasonable plan, but the plan of God, in comparison with which all other theories and plans are defective and evidently erroneous, out of harmony with the Divine attributes and with the Divine Word. Those who have come to an understanding of the Plan of the Ages recognize it as of Divine and not of human origination. R1867:c1,p5,6

"His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness." Lam. 3:22,23

We have learned to know our God and to trust His faithful Word. We have proven His gracious promises in many a time of stress and danger, and we know that He will not fail us. . . . If we were to let go this hope, this anchor to our souls, we should be adrift upon a shoreless sea, whose mighty billows would sweep us down to eternal death. A great time of trouble is now about to break upon the whole world, and any of the Lord's people whose faith and hope are not firmly anchored to the Rock of Ages, any who are fearful to trust His promises, will be overwhelmed in the storm. Shall this be our experience? . . . Some of the Lord's real children will have their part in this great trouble-time; yet none who are faithful, who are obedient, will suffer thus. These will be kept in perfect safety to the end of their course, and will, we believe, be gathered "within the veil" before the great storm breaks in its fury. R5497:c2,p2,3,4

"It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." Lam. 3:26

The precious promises of God's Word, which are only for His people, those who are wholly His, give these every reason for hope; they have full authority to be strong and of a good courage. The children of God will have trials and experiences similar to those of the world, besides experiences and trials peculiar to them as followers of Christ. These come not to us in a haphazard way, however, as to the world, but are under the direct supervision of the Lord. . . . So these learn, as they are guided by the Word of the Lord, that they are to be of good courage as they pursue their onward way. There are many difficulties to be surmounted, and it requires courage to surmount difficulties. But the courage born of faith in God and in His "exceeding great and precious promises" strengthens them when otherwise they might be overwhelmed. It gives them a strength to which all others are strangers. R5712:c1,p4,7

"The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him." Nah. 1:7

They (the saints) will recognize the trouble as the preparation, according to God's Plan, for blessing the whole world, and they will be cheered and comforted through it all. . . . Thus comforted and blessed by the Divine assurance, the first duty of the saints is to let the world see that in the midst of all the prevailing trouble and discontent, and even while they share the trouble and suffer under it, they are hopeful, cheerful and always rejoicing in view of the glorious outcome foretold in God's Word. A338:p2,3

"And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." Mal. 3:17

The first of these jewels was our Lord Jesus. . . . He (Jehovah) has arranged that other jewels be cut and polished after the similitude of His son . . . as it is written, "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." These gems must all be found by God, who is making up these jewels. But having been found of Him, they are placed in the hands of the great Lapidarist, our Lord Jesus, that He may cut, polish and fit them for the glorious work of shining with Him in the Kingdom. . . . He has not spared this class in the sense of relieving them from all suffering, for if they were thus spared they could not share the glory to follow this trial time. He did not spare Jesus, the Head. . . . But He will not permit them to be tempted above what they are able to bear. He has an interest in them and a sympathy for them, and delivers them from those things which would prove too weighty for them. R5119:c1,p2,3,4