“Lord, how long wilt Thou look on…”
The Lord does look on all the affairs of men. In the judgments around us we see that He does look on. Many of us are hampered and tied in many ways. David prays: “Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink.”
Now in our troubles we shuffle about, and do not come to the point; but if we could come at once simply to the point and tell the Lord our case, and how we are oppressed, and say: “Lord, heal me,” we should doubtless find He would do it.
“How long?” Just as long as Joseph hid himself from his brethren when they told him their pitiful tale: “Then Joseph could not refrain himself before them…and Joseph said unto his brethren: I am Joseph…Come near unto me” (Genesis 45:1-4).
“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
But Satan is always trying to throw dust in our eyes, that this character of our Lord may be hidden. Therefore David prays: “Keep not Thou silence, O God.”
“Forsake me not, O, Lord: O my God, be not far from me.”
“Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.”
We want this in all our troubles, that the Lord would be our shield and buckler to defend us.
“Thou which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him.”
Now the stability of the covenant is confirmed in two ways.
First, by the promises laid down in all parts of the Scripture, to Abraham and others, that God will be with His people, and never leave them nor forsake them. This covenant contains not only eternal life, but all helps on the road, all things that we stand in need of in the various circumstances into which we are brought. There is no trouble or difficulty for which a remedy is not provided.
But, secondly, its stability is shown ten thousand times more by the various helps and comforts of the Spirit in our hearts, and His kind hand towards us which we have met, and do meet with. All these are part of the covenant, and every time He appears for us in any difficulty is a fresh confirmation of it.
No one good thing has failed of all the Lord has spoken.
To whom could you go with your complaints and burden?
Do you not go to the Lord, and does He not appear?
And so He will to the end. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
The death of our late friend fills me with awe; not on his account, as if I had any doubt of his happy end, but as to the manner of it. Now a death-bed is not a place for preaching; it is a place of much discomfort, and no help but in the Lord. But I have been praying the Lord that, if consistent with His will, I may leave a humble testimony that I have walked in His fear. This is what it is your privilege to do, to beg of God that He would appear for you not only in spiritual, but also in temporal matters; that you may not be unwise, but understanding what His will is concerning you; and that you may make Him your Friend. If you want a fuller testimony of His mind toward you, let your request be made known to Him.
By James Bourne