The Present Blessings of the Pious
Psalm 128:4
Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that fears the LORD.

Dr. Binney, in his day, made some commotion by his book on 'Making the Best of Both Worlds.' And yet he did but write in the line of all Old Testament teaching; in accordance with the teaching of our Divine Lord, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you;" and after the firm declaration of St. Paul, "Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." We ought to have outlived all possibility of misapprehending such teaching; and yet there are still among us those who see in religion only a safety for the world to come, which permits indifference to the interests of the present. "Living on high" is too often confused with "living on yonder." And it is too readily forgotten that this world is just as truly, and just as much, God's world as any other world can be. The devil talked about giving the world to Jesus; but a good many people besides the devil have offered to give what never was and never will be theirs. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the round world, and they that dwell therein."

I. THE MORAL INFLUENCE OF DEFERRED BLESSING. It must be distinctly recognized that the immediate connection between happiness and piety is never guaranteed. The connection is, but the immediacy is not. If man was beyond the need of moral training, happiness and piety might have no break between them. But man has to learn to trust. It is a lesson that is only learned in the school of deferred hope.

II. THE MORAL INFLUENCE OF BESTOWED BLESSINGS. For, as a rule, the good man is happy in his goodness, and happy through his goodness. And that sign of Divine favor tends to nourish and culture humility and thankfulness. In true-minded persons to win may be a peril by nourishing pride; but to receive never is a peril, for it nourishes humility. The wonder of the grateful man is the blessing of which he is the recipient. So God works his work of grace by his benedictions.

III. THE MORAL INFLUENCE OF PROMISED BLESSINGS. If the present is bright, we look up rather than on. If the present is dark, we look on rather than up. We do not always want the future; it is sufficiently guaranteed by God's grace in the present. But there are times of bodily frailty and trying circumstance, when hope dies down in the soul. Then it is we need the cheer of visions of the city of everlasting good, and love, and life. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.

WEB: Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears Yahweh.

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