You have granted me life and favor, and your visitation has preserved my spirit.
It is well sometimes to sit down, and take a grateful review of all that God has done for us, and with us, from our first day until now. We must not be like hogs under the oak, that eat the acorns, but never thank the tree, or the Lord who made it to grow. Here is poor Job, covered with sore boils, sitting on a dunghill, scraping himself with a bit of a broken pot, with his children dead, his property destroyed, and even his wife not giving him a word of comfort, and his friends acting in a most unfriendly manner. Now it is that he talks to his God, and says, "Thou hast granted me life and favour, and Thy visitation hath preserved my spirit." You are very ill; think of the time when you were well. You are poor; remember when you washed your feet in milk, and your steps with butter, and had more than heart could wish. Only begin to praise God, and you will find that he who praises God for mercy will never be long without a mercy for which to praise Him! The first blessing of this heavenly charter is LIFE: "Thou hast granted me life."
1. Well, I think that we ought to thank God that we have lived at all. I know the pessimist version of the psalm of life is that, "'Tis something better not to be." Perhaps it would have been something better if that gentleman had not been, better, I should think, for his wife and family if they had not had to live with such a miserable creature. But the most of us thank God for our being, as well as for our well-being. We count it something not to be stones, or plants, or "dumb, driven cattle." We are thankful to be intelligent beings, with powers of thought, and capable of mental and spiritual enjoyment.
2. But we also thank God that we have lived on in spite of many perils.
3. I am addressing some from whom our text asks for gratitude because they are alive notwithstanding constitutional weakness. Perhaps from a child you were always feeble.
4. Now think of the sin which might have provoked God to make an end of such a guilty life. "Thou hast granted me life." But if we can say this in a higher sense, "Thou hast granted me life," spiritual life, how much greater should our gratitude be! I could not even feel the guilt of sin, I was so dead; but Thou hast granted me life to repent.
II. The second blessing of this heavenly charter is DIVINE FAVOUR: "Thou hast granted me life and favour." Have you ever thought of the many favours that God has bestowed upon you, even upon some of you who as yet have never tasted of His grace?
1. What a favour it is to many to be sound in body!
2. I cannot help reminding you here of the great favour of God in the matter of soundness of mind.
3. I speak to many here to whom God has also given a comfortable lot in life.
4. Some here, too, some few, at any rate, have been favoured with much prosperity.
5. And I may say tonight that, in this congregation, God has given you the favour of hearing the Gospel; no mean favour, let me remind you.
6. Still, putting all these things together, they do not come up to this last point, that many of us have received the favours of saving grace: "Thou hast granted me life and favour."
III. The last blessing of the charter, upon which I shall be a little longer, is DIVINE VISITATION: "Thy visitation hath preserved my spirit." Does God ever come to man? Does He not? Yes; but it is a great wonder: "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? And the son of man that Thou visitest him?"
1. He visited you, first, with an arousement and conviction of sin.
2. After that first experience, there came visitations of enlightenment and conversion.
3. Perhaps since then you have had visitations of another kind. You have had chastisement, or you have had affliction in the house. God's visitations are sometimes very unwelcome.
4. But then, we hate had other visitations, visitations of revival and restoration. Do you not sometimes get very dull and dead?
5. The best of all is, when the Lord visits us, and never goes away; but stays with us always, so that we walk in the light of His countenance, and go from strength to strength, singing always, "Thy visitation never ended, daily continued, preserves my spirit."
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.