Thus said the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD.…
I. WHAT IS A JUST CONFIDENCE IN GOD? This duty implies an humble dependence on Him for that protection and those blessings which His supreme perfections both enable and incline Him to bestow on His creatures; a full conviction of His goodness and mercy; and a steady hope, that that mercy will, on all occasions, in all our dangers and necessities, be extended to us, in such a manner as to His wisdom appears most conducive, if not to our tranquillity in this life, to our everlasting felicity in the next. This duty can hardly be so far misapprehended as to repress the efforts of industry, or be supposed to supersede the necessity of due care and application to the employment and duties of our respective stations. For we have no grounds to expect that God will provide for our interests, if we are improvident ourselves; or that he will, by a particular interposition, favour the idle and the negligent. Let the duty and business of today be our concern; the event of tomorrow we may trust to God.
II. WHEN OUR CONFIDENCE IN GOD IS WELL GROUNDED. Our confidence must rise or fall, according to the progress or defects of our obedience. Conscious of right intentions, and approved by our own heart, we may approach the throne of grace with superior assurance. If our heart in some degree condemn us, we may have our intervals of diffidence and apprehension; but, if, unreclaimed, we go on still in wickedness, and persist in determined disobedience; should we then trust in God, it were, in the most literal and criminal sense, to hope against hope. Till we repent, and return to duty, we can have no expectations of favour, no confidence in our Maker; nor can we lift up our eyes to heaven with any hopes of mercy and forgiveness there.
III. THE HAPPINESS RESULTING FROM A WELL-GROUNDED DEPENDENCE ON GOD. He whose conscience speaks consolation, and bids him confide in his God, confides in a wisdom which sees the remotest issues of all events, on a power which ordereth all things, and on a goodness which ever consults the well-being of His creatures. And though this gives him no absolute insurance against evils, no privilege of exemption from calamities and afflictions; yet he feels the weight of them much abated by internal consolations. He acquiesces in all the dispensations of heaven, submits with humble resignation to the severities of providence; assured that God alone can know what is best, what is most expedient in his present circumstances, and what most instrumental to his future felicity. In the darkest night of affliction, some light will spring up, some beam of joy dart upon his mind, from this consideration, that the God whom he serves is able to deliver, and in His own good time will deliver him out of all his troubles, or reward him with joys unspeakable in His own blissful presence.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.