he will dwell on the heights; his refuge will be the mountain fortress; his food will be provided and his water assured.
practical is the righteousness which God requires and approves. The good man walks uprightly, speaks worthy things, wants nothing that is his neighbor's, will neither be bought nor forced to do that which is wrong, refuses to listen to evil, and shuts his eyes that he may not see it. God is on the side of such a good man, and whatever may be the disabilities in which he is placed by his fellow-men, he may be quite sure of safety and provision. "God is a Refuge for him." "None of them that trust in him shall be desolate." "The Lord doth provide."
I. THE GOOD MAN MUST BE IN THE WORLD, BUT HE SHALL BE ABOVE IT. Our Lord prayed thus: "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." Put into Eastern figure, before earthly troubles the good man is as safe as a people hid behind the "munitions of rocks" when the invader is in the land. God makes no new lot, no fresh circumstances, for the good man. He does not promise any man that he will alter his earthly conditions, or altogether relieve him of his troubles. He lifts the good man up above his earth-scenes, by "strengthening him with strength in the soul," making his soul bigger than his circumstances. A man is not lost until he has lost heart. But if God supplies inward strength we never shall lose heart, and so we never shall be lost. Outwardly, a man may be tossed about, worn, wearied, wounded, almost broken, yet inwardly he may be kept in perfect peace, his mind stayed on God; he may be "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." He may "dwell on high," "out of the reach of present troubles, out of the hearing of the noise of them; he shall not be really harmed by them, nay, he shall not be greatly frightened at them." This is the portion of the good; God's witness to character.
II. THE GOOD MAN MAY HAVE LITTLE, BUT HE IS SECURE OF ENOUGH "Bread and water" represent his necessities, not his indulgences; a sufficiency, but not a luxury. So good Agur prays, "Feed me with food convenient for me." The figure here is taken from the limitations of a time of siege. The "necessary," as distinguished from the "luxurious," is so difficult to decide. What has become a necessity for one person another still looks upon as luxury. One great evil of our age is the development of fictitious wants. We are called back to simplicity by the promises of God. "No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." All that is needful is pledged to us, but for all the rest we are dependent on Divine grace; then what "monuments of grace" we must be! - R.T.
He shall dwell on high.I. A LIFE OF EXALTATION. "Shall dwell on high." Those who are kept safe, are kept rejoicing, and that constantly; it is not an intermittent experience. "He shall dwell." The same thought is given in Psalm 91:1, and in John 15:11. It is always constant because it does not depend on circumstances, but on God. The surrendered man has learned to live in God, and in His presence is fulness of joy.
II. A LIFE OF SAFETY. "His place shall be the munition of rocks." Because of the safety there is perfect peace.
III. A LIFE OF CONTINUAL SATISFACTION. "His bread shall be given him." There is no leanness in the surrendered life; it is fed with the very Bread of Life. One of the greatest blessings of this life is the deeper communion, the greater reality of spiritual things, as the soul learns to feed on Christ. "His waters shall be sure."
IV. A LIFE OF BEAUTY AND OF REFRESHMENT. Jeremiah speaks of the same life under the figure of a tree planted by the river, whose leaf is sways green. Continual freshness and perennial beauty. The "beauty of the Lord our God upon us," and the "fruit of the Spirit" manifest.
V. A LIFE OF VISION. The unmistakable sign of the fulness of the Holy Ghost is the power to look into the glorified face of Jesus Christ (John 17:24).
VI. A LIFE OF UNLIMITED OUTLOOK. "Shall behold the land of far distances." As we stand and look down the vistas of eternity we learn a little of what this life means.
(G. H. C. Macgregor, M. A.)
(J. G. Govan.)
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
(J. R. Miller, D. D.)
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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