Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
By the name of God is meant the various properties and attributes of God. Now, whilst some trusted in earthly power, the Psalmist confides in "the name of the Lord our God." It would seem to an ordinary observer, if he were ignorant of the Gospel, that the name of the Lord would excite terror rather than confidence. If there be good in the moral government of God, how much of suffering, evil and sorrow there are, notwithstanding. How then can confidence arise from remembering the Divine name? We distinctly admit that there are attributes of God which, because they seem arrayed against sinful beings, can hardly be supposed to be subjects of encouraging remembrance. "The name of the Lord our God" includes justice and holiness; and these are qualities from which we seem instinctively to shrink, as though we felt that they must necessarily be opposed to rebellious and polluted creatures. And so they must be. If there be certain Divine properties, the remembering of which might be comforting even to the disciple of natural religion, undoubtedly there are others which can furnish nothing but cause of disquietude, unless there be full acquaintance with the scheme of redemption. It is in respects such as these that natural theology, if it would keep its disciples at peace, must forbid their recollecting the name of the Lord their God. These are points which must be slurred over, for to examine them deeply would be to destroy all foundation of hope. But it is not so with the disciple of revealed religion." Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, there is no property involved in the Divine name from which we need shrink, none which is not actually ranged on our side, if we believe on Him who gave His life a ransom for the world. Did you ever consider what emphasis there is in St. Paul's answer to his own question, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of Gods elect?" His answer is, "it is God that justifieth." What is there in the fact that "it is God that justifieth," which proves that earth, and sea, and air might be ransacked for an accuser, but that none could be found who could make good any charge against "God's elect?" Is it not because God is the justifying agent; not this property, not that attribute of God, but God Himself — God the combination of all possible perfections? If it be God that justifieth, the justification must be that in the effecting which holiness and justice concur. And therefore is it that all accusation is silenced; for if the satisfaction made to God on our behalf hath met every attribute of God, it is not possible that there should remain place for any charge. Justice as well as love demands our acceptance. Who can condemn when the Divine Judge Himself acquits, nay, pronounces approval? You should not fail to observe that our text furnishes a great criterion, and that we ought to test by it our spiritual condition. Is it, or is it not, our habit to "remember the name of the Lord our God," whilst others, either neglectful of religion or adopting false systems, turn bewildered to "chariots and horses"? It is, if with David we have "entered into covenant with God," through the Mediator: it cannot be, if we are still virtually aliens, living in the darkness and rebellion of nature. Oh, we too well know that there must be some amongst you whose only happiness is in keeping God out of their thoughts, and who are glad of any excuse for not considering His nature and attributes. Any "chariot," any "horse," which may bear them away from the contemplation of their Maker! What a state! To be afraid of meditating on that Being before whom they must inevitably appear, and who "has power to destroy both body and soul in hell"! If the banishing Him from your thoughts could finally keep you from contact with Him in His awfulness; if there were a "chariot," if there were a "horse," which would bear you away from His "everlasting wrath," we might not wonder at your perseverance in forgetting Him to, the utmost of your power. Try for one hour to "remember God's name" — "God's name" as traced by natural theology, and yet more vividly by revealed. I know that you will be disturbed and appalled, I know that as one property after another of the Divine nature passes before you, you will shrink back, and be tempted to exclaim — Oh! for the "chariot," oh! for the "horse," to bear us away from this terrible God! But this is what we wish. We wish you to see in God "a consuming fire," — a Being of terrors, and those terrors all armed to strike down and to crush you. But we do not wish you to be left in dismay; neither will you be. When "remembering the name of the Lord" has made you feel yourselves lost, you will hear with unspeakable gratitude how God laid your iniquities on His own well-beloved Son. If God out of Christ appeared to you "a consuming fire," God in Christ should appear to you as a "reconciled Father."
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.