Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, you have ordained them for judgment; and…
Hope is the expectation of future good. The cherishing of this spirit, even as it respects the affairs of everyday life, yields strength and courage, whilst the centering this in the glorious realities God has revealed imparts joy and gladness to the heart. To the man of piety hope is the helmet, serving as a protection and defence in the day of conflict, and the anchor rendering his spirit Peaceful and secure amidst the storms of life.
I. CONSIDER THE PROPHET'S REASONING IN THIS VERSE IN ITS APPLICATION TO HIMSELF AND HIS NATION, AND NOTE HOW THE INSPIRATION OF HOPE FIRED HIS SOUL.
1. The seer directed his thoughts to the contemplation of the character of his God. Two aspects of this were vividly present to his mind.
(1) God's eternal duration. "Art thou not from everlasting?" etc. (ver. 12).
(2) His infinite purity. "Mine Holy One" (ver. 12).
2. Associated with these thoughts concerning God in the mind of the prophet we have the recognition of the relationship sustained by this Eternal and Holy One to himself and the nation whose interests lay near and pressed with such weight upon his heart. He and his people were the chosen of Heaven. God had entered into covenant relations with them. They had been the objects of his ever gracious care and providential working. He had not dealt thus with any other people. They could call him theirs. "O Lord my God, mine Holy One" (ver. 12).
3. And by associating together these thoughts of God and of his relationship to his people he gathered, in the troublous times upon which he had fallen, the inspiration of hope. One great difficulty with him arose from the threatened extinction of his nation. He had mourned over the national guilt, and had sought earnestly in prayer the Divine interposition. The response, however, to his impassioned cry unto God was different from what he had expected. The revelation made to him of the approaching Chaldean invasion of his country seemed to carry with it the complete annihilation of the national anticipations, and the utter desolation and extinction of those who had been specially favoured of God. Surely, thought he, this cannot be. God is eternal; his purposes must be fulfilled. Then "we shall not die" (ver. 12). God is holy. Then evil cannot ultimately be victorious. It could only be for chastisement and correction that the threatened trials should come. "O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction" (ver. 12). And by such reasoning hope became the balm of healing to his troubled heart, the bow of promise cast across his stormiest cloud, the bright star kindled in his darkest sky.
II. OBSERVE THAT THE PROPHETS REASONING ADMITS OF A MORE EXTENDED RANGE OF APPLICATION, AND HAS AN IMPORTANT BEARING UPON THE IMMORTALITY OF MAN. Jehovah is "from everlasting." He is "the eternal God;" hence, our immortal destiny: "We shall not die." Surely the Divine Father will not allow his children to fade away and be no more. Certainly, he whose tender love to his children the love of human parents so faintly images, will not dwell through the eternal ages and "leave himself childless when time shall such"
"Souls that of his own good life partake,
He loves as his own self; dear as his eye
They are to him; he'll never them forsake;
When they shall die, then God himself shall die;
They live, they live in blest eternity."
(Henry More.) It may be said that this reasoning, however concise and seemingly conclusive, is after all based upon probability. We grant it, and whilst refusing to undervalue its worth, we thankfully turn even from these beautiful words of the noble prophet, "Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die," and fix our thoughts upon the assurances, so authoritative and so certain, of the world's Redeemer. "Let not your heart be troubled," etc. (John 14:1-8); "I am the Resurrection," etc. (John 11:25, 26); "Because I live, ye shall live also" (John 14:19) - S.D.H.
Parallel VersesKJV: Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.