Let this be written for the generation to come, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD.
I. A TRUE DESCRIPTION OF MAN'S SPIRITUAL CONDITION. He is destitute, not merely badly off; and he is without expectation, and without power of his own to better his condition.
II. A WISE COUNSEL THAT WE ALL SHOULD FOLLOW. That we should wait upon God in fervent prayer and earnest cry. There is nothing else that we can do. There is nothing better that we could do. There is nothing that has ever succeeded so well. There is no fear that, notwithstanding the Lord's greatness and majesty, he will disregard us.
III. A GLORIOUS ENCOURAGEMENT TO FOLLOW THIS COUNSEL. The text is a plain declaration of what the Lord will do, not merely of what we may desire he should do. Our Lord was surrounded by destitute people, who begged of him, and he never sent one away unblessed. And when he comes in his power he will do the same. Only let us remember that we must come as destitute. - S.C.
This shall he written for the generation to come.
1. That the Lord will have mercy upon Zion.
2. That the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord.
3. That He will build up Zion.
4. That He will regard the prayer of the destitute.These were the promises that were to be written for the generations to come. Why written? That they might be preserved and handed down. Tradition is uncertain, imperfect, often fails wholly, cannot command credence. The New Testament declares that these things were written for our instruction.
I. WHAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN?
1. Observe the nature of this knowledge of God which was written. It concerns God's faithfulness and ability in the performance of all He has promised. He who makes a promise comes under obligation. In this God differs from man. He was under no obligation to come under obligation. Having promised, He has come under obligation, and Christians everywhere bear testimony to His faithfulness and His ability to perform fully all He has freely promised.
2. What God has promised. The great thing is the reconciliation of Himself to man; the salvation worked out through atonement; the establishment of a Church — a family that bears the name of Jesus. Salvation can be wrought only through this atonement. It is loose thinking that makes men imagine that education, culture, political economy, philosophy can lift up the world. The fear of the Lord lifts up man.
II. OUR DUTY.
1. Let us be faithful to our own children. We want more men and women to tell to the generation coming of God's promises and faithfulness.
2. We want to take care of the children grown up into youth. The most critical period in the life of man is when he is breaking away from home. How many of the children at this age become vagrants among the Churches, wandering here and there, receiving but little benefit and giving none. The class most largely reached are the children of believing parents.
3. Then we have a great work to do among the children near us, those who are to be our fellow-citizens. A great work is there to be done. God knows there is enough of ignorance and criminality around us. These evils must be restrained by knowledge, by virtue. Ignorance and crime must be restrained, or social ruin is inevitable.
4. We must do all possible for the children of the entire country. If we would have the nation Christian, we must work and bear the burdens. We have the opportunity.
(John Hall, D.D.)
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