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Bible Commentaries

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

Psalms 115

 

 

Verses 9-13

DISCOURSE: 688

TRUST IN GOD RECOMMENDED

Psalms 115:9-13. O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield. Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield. The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us: he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great.

GREAT as is the stupidity of fallen man, one would not have imagined that it should ever enter into his mind to worship the works of his own hands. To come before those which cannot see; and address ourselves to those that cannot answer; and offer sacrifices to those who can smell no sweet savour from them; and to rely on those which have no operative or locomotive powers; all this seems to be a degree of infatuation beyond what one would conceive a creature possessed of reason should labour under. But so it is. There are millions of such persons, who are, in fact, as senseless as the objects they worship. But there is one who is able either to save or to destroy, even Jehovah, “who dwelleth in the heavens, and doth whatsoever pleaseth him [Note: ver. 3–8.].” And to him I will now call your most devout attention, in the words of my text: “O Israel,” &c. &c.

In these words we behold,

I. Our duty—

This is specified again and again: “Trust in the Lord.” Now this is,

1. A comprehensive duty—

[Our necessities are numberless: our trust in Him, therefore, for the supply of them must extend to our every want, temporal, spiritual, eternal.

We must trust in his word; which, as it is in reality the only proper ground of confidence, must also be the measure of it. We have no authority to trust in God for any thing which he has not promised: and we are bound to trust in him for every thing that he has promised. To do the former is presumption: to decline the latter is unbelief.

We must trust, also, in his Providence: for every thing is ordered by him, even to “the falling of a sparrow upon the ground: “and we are incapable of ordering any thing for ourselves; “it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps [Note: Jeremiah 10:23.].”

We must trust also in his grace: for “we cannot do any good thing without him [Note: John 15:5.].” It is from him that we must obtain “power either to do, or even to will,” what is acceptable in his sight [Note: Philippians 2:13.]: and in every stage of our existence must we depend on him for “more grace [Note: James 4:6.],” and receive from him “the grace that shall be sufficient for us [Note: 2 Corinthians 12:9.].”

Thus must we look up to him as the source of all good [Note: James 1:17.], whether for the body or the soul, for time or for eternity.]

2. An universal duty—

[Every person, in every condition, is equally dependent on God, and must equally look to him for a supply of his necessities.

“O Israel, trust thou in the Lord!” Though thou hast been admitted into covenant with God, and art numbered by him amongst his peculiar people, thou hast not on that account any more sufficiency in thyself than others. Thou art still, and wilt be to thy dying hour, as helpless as a little child, and must be borne by him as an infant in its mother’s arms.

“O House of Aaron, trust thou in the Lord!” Thou, who art exercising the office of the priesthood, hast peculiar need of help from above, in order to discharge it to the satisfaction of thy God. Thy difficulties are great; thy duties arduous: and thou hast no more strength in thyself than other men. Even the Apostle Paul exclaimed, “Who is sufficient for these things [Note: 2 Corinthians 2:16.]?” Thou hast to give an account of the souls of others, as well as of thine own: and methinks, a double portion of help from above is necessary for thee, in order that thou mayest prevail at last to “save thyself and them that hear thee.”

“Ye also that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!” As there were proselytes amongst the Jews who were not considered on the high footing of native Israelites, so are there many at this time who are not publicly known and recognised as God’s peculiar people, who yet do truly “fear him:” and shall these be overlooked? No: ye are privileged to trust in the Lord, as much as others; and may expect from him all needful blessings, as much as others: for “God is no respecter of persons; but, in every nation, he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness shall be accepted of him [Note: Acts 10:34-35.].”]

Such being the duty enjoined on all, let us consider,

II. Our encouragement to perform it—

This is twofold, arising,

1. From what God has already done for us—

[“He has been mindful of us,” of all of us, without exception. To whom of those who ever trusted in him, has he not been both “a help and a shield?” Whom has he not protected from innumerable dangers, and assisted in times of difficulty? — — — Can any one doubt but that he would have long since perished from the assaults of sin and Satan, if God had not been with him, to preserve and uphold him? — — —

But it is not in time only that God has been mindful of us: from all eternity has his eye been fixed upon us, and his infinite wisdom been occupied in our behalf. Long before we were in existence, or the foundations of the earth were laid, did he make provision for our happiness. He foresaw that we should fall: and he entered into covenant with his own Son to redeem us. He engaged also his Holy Spirit, to execute within us all the purposes of his love — — —

Say, Is not this a sufficient ground for trusting in him? What greater encouragement can we have? — — —]

2. From what he is engaged to do for us—

[“He will bless us.” We need not fear it: for it is a work in which he greatly delights.

“He will bless the House of Israel.” They are “his peculiar people,” “his household,” “his sons and daughters [Note: 2 Corinthians 6:18.]:” Will he forget them? “They are graven upon the palms of his hands:” and sooner may “a mother forget her sucking child, than he forget” to minister to them whatsoever they may stand in need of [Note: Isaiah 49:15-16.]. His word is pledged to them: and “sooner shall heaven and earth pass away, than one jot or tittle of his word shall fail [Note: Isaiah 54:9-10.].”

“He will bless the House of Aaron” too, and give to them such communications of grace and peace as the world have no conception of, “clothing them with salvation, and making them to shout aloud for joy [Note: Psalms 132:16.].” The priest, when offering incense, may give us some idea of what the Lord imparts to his faithful servants, whilst occupied in his service. His incense no other person was privileged to smell unto, nor he himself on any other occasion than that: but then, whilst honouring God with it, he was richly regaled with its odours. Such is the privilege of all God’s faithful servants, in the midst of their laborious duties. Their face often shines with radiance from God upon the holy mount; though, by reason of the veil they wear, it is not discerned in their intercourse with the world.

“He will indeed bless all who fear the Lord, both small and great.” They may be overlooked by men; but they are known to God; and his eye is over them for good. It matters not whether they be great or small. The great are not so great, but that they need his blessing: nor are the small so insignificant, that they shall be deemed unworthy of his notice. If they be as beggars on a dunghill, even there will he visit them; and from thence will he take them, “to set them among the princes, and to make them inherit a throne of glory [Note: 1 Samuel 2:8.].”

To all of them, without exception, will he give occasion for that devout acknowledgment, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ!”]

Address—

1. Those who are ignorant of God—

[This is the state of all who are not living in the habitual performance of the duty here enjoined: for, “if they knew God’s name, they would put their trust in him [Note: Psalms 9:10.].” Let me then ask of you, Who will be your help, and your shield? Who in this world? and Who, when you shall be standing at the judgment-seat of Christ, and the sword of vengeance is lifted up for your destruction? — — — O seek to know God, especially as he is revealed to us in Christ Jesus! — — — And tremble now for fear of his judgments; and flee for refuge to the hope that is set before you. So shall you even yet escape his wrath, and receive at his hands all the blessings of salvation.]

2. Those who are putting their trust in him—

[Whom amongst you all has he ever disappointed of his hope? Are you not all witnesses for him, that he is faithful to his word, and that “of all the good things that he has promised you, not so much as one has ever failed [Note: Joshua 23:14.]?” He has been ever “mindful of you, and blessed you:” be ye, then, “mindful” of him, and “bless” him. Bear in remembrance your obligations to him: and go to him “in every time of need, both for mercy to pardon, and for grace to help [Note: Hebrews 4:16.].” And bless him from your inmost souls, as David, specifying your respective characters, exhorts you: “Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let them now, that fear the Lord, say, that his mercy endureth for ever [Note: Psalms 118:2-4.].” Let this song be begun by you on earth, and you shall sing it to all eternity in heaven.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Psalms 115:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/psalms-115.html. 1832.

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