“The Way of The Righteous”
“For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Psalm 1:6)
“The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm.… His fury is poured out the fire.” (Nahum 1:3-6)
Now, not to enter into many things, in a word they are righteous who have the fear of God. The least child in grace can assent to possessing this fear. Yes, I fear Him indeed, in all directions; I fear His judgments, I fear to grieve His Holy Spirit. But when He draws nigh, His majesty seems very tremendous; we fear utter destruction and all sorts of evils, and we are brought to see none in the creation but God and ourselves, and to treble and fear greatly. But in this cast-down state of utter destitution, the Holy Spirit leaves us not alone; a thought arises that the LORD is good. Now here our spirits soften; and then we make another step – “a Stronghold in the day of trouble.” Whilst He was drawing nigh, we could see nothing but fury and vengeance in Him; but here we see the cause – our sin has done it. Then we take God’s side, and cleave to Him, and hope springs up directly, and we are filled with indignation against ourselves.
David says, “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then Thou knewest my path.” Nothing can more express perplexity and distress than this word – “overwhelmed”; and he adds “In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me” (Psalm 14:3). Now this way wherein we walk is our lawful calling; and the snare often is, to make us pursue it beyond what God calls us to do; and then spiritual death comes on, and we charge God with being the cause, whereas it is our over-application to our calling.
God has in many things where I have been blessed given me the testimony of His Spirit that He has wrought in me godly simplicity, so as to enable me to make my appeal to Him; and by thus turning to Him and making our appeal to Him, we escape the danger. David says, “I cried unto Thee, O Lord; I said, Thou art my Refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry… Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy name” (verse 5 – 7). Therefore do not rest in bondage, but see that you get this clear deliverance.
There is nothing more alarming than that coldness and indifference; it shows that we have snubbed and grieved the Spirit of God, so that He will no longer be a Reprover; and it fills me with terror. The best way I know of getting out of it is to tell the Lord Jesus of it and to pray for His Spirit. This is the way I have got out, and God is no respecter of persons. Be sure of this, that if you have not these visits from the LORD, you are walking in something that is not good. Therefore go and beg of God to search you, and He most assuredly will. We cannot do without a cross, to deny self. If things go on smoothly all round, we are as sure as possible of getting cold and dead. Nothing will do but the real possession of Christ with all His saving benefits. “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones…. Say ye to the darter of Zion, Behold thy Salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him” (Isaiah 62:10-11).
– James Bourne