How gracious is the Lord to hide and cover and protect His own from dangers seen and unseen. “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.” “A Man [the God-Man, our Lord Jesus Christ] shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Thus He hides us and protects us, and though “we are troubled on every side, yet [we are] not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” “For 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.” “Oh how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men! 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.” “I flee unto Thee to hide me.”
He hides His own from troubles, From dangers we do not know, From the onslaughts of Satan, All because He loves us so.
“Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” How easy it is to let “the fear of man” influence our life and actions. “Do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” We are called as believers to “speak, not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words … nor of men sought we glory.” “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” “Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man,” and “when the Lord shall stretch out His hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is helped shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.” “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” “Thus saith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm. … Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.”
Man’s strength cannot prevail for us; The Lord alone can aid; His help is for the trusting heart, Whose cry to Him is made.
How comforting to the Christian is the knowledge that our God is sovereign and “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will,” “saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.” For “there is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord,” “for the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” He says that “there is none that can deliver out of My hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” “Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.” With Jehoshaphat we can say, “Art not Thou God in heaven, and rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee?” “The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations.” And “this God is our God forever and ever.”
God’s ways are always perfect, And His Word, it shall stand; He guards His own in trouble, When Satan doth withstand.
These words, spoken about our blessed Lord when He was falsely accused on trial before Pilate, ought to speak volumes to us who have been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ.” Isaiah had written in prophecy of Him that “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth,” “leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.” So often we speak when we should be silent, to our own hurt and to the dishonor of our Lord, for “in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” “A fool’s voice is known by multitude of words,” “and should a man full of talk be justified?” “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” For “he that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.” “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.”
Silent when falsely accused, Leaving our defense to Him, He “is my Rock … my Fortress, My Deliverer” from men.
God’s Word to His redeemed ones, those “whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered,” is that “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.” For “the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” So “lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” “Show me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day.” “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” “Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” “The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.” “Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.” “If any man will do His will, he shall know.” “Neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.”
If we will do the will of God, He then will make it known; It is His joy to guide His saints; His love is with His own.
“As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” It is absolutely impossible for us to understand God’s Word by our human wisdom or ingenuity. It must be revealed and unfolded to us by the Holy Spirit, who indwells every true child of God, for He has “hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” For “where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” “But ye,” writes John “unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God,” “ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. … The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you … and … teacheth you of all things.” Our Lord promised that, upon His return to the Father, He would send the Spirit and that “when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth … and … He shall glorify Me,” for our Lord said that “the Scriptures … testify of Me.”
The Word of God is not revealed To those who are wise in this age; The truth comes to the humble heart, Who seeks Christ on the sacred page.
The believer who separates himself from all known evil, who heeds God’s admonition to “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God,” and who can truthfully say to the Lord that “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts,” that person will be a fruitful Christian, “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” For when we delight in and obey the Word of God, we are abiding in Christ, who said, “If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love,” and, “He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.” Our Lord further said, “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.”
Would you be fruitful for the Lord, And show Him forth each day? So that men might see and want Him, Who alone is the way?
“The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.” “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.” Our Lord said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.” “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” “And who is sufficient for these things?” “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.”
We are appointed to suffer, In a world that knows not our Lord; Still yet “all things are for your sakes,” We read in His own holy Word.
It is sad and regretful that some fundamental Christians have set up standards of separation that are neither Scriptural nor fair. We come dangerously near being like the Pharisee who “prayed thus with himself, God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are,” or the Jews of Isaiah’s day, who said, “Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.” To be sure, we ought to separate ourselves from all known evil, and the Word of God so instructs us. “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” But the same chapter tells us to “follow after righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” There are certain things about which even spiritual Christians do not agree, things that are not explicitly covered in Scripture. “One believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak [in faith] eateth herbs. … One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” This is the principle to apply to doubtful things: “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Let us not “make a man an offender for a word,” but “receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”
Your brother may not see like you, To know what is evil and good; Encourage him to grow stronger; Pray for him as you know you should.
“God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” All that we do for the Lord’s honor or glory, no matter how little or insignificant it may seem to men, will be rewarded by Him. And while we know that the greatest reward will be at the judgment seat of Christ, when He comes for us, yet even now our Lord has promised that “if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.” So “let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith,” not forgetting the Lord’s words that “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” So “let not your hands be slack,” for “he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.” “Ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”
The work seems hard and burdensome; We have no strength for the way, But we know that all done for Him Awaits His smile in that day.