Psalm 103:9
This psalm is full of the recital of things to be thankful for, and of expectation that we be thankful. Amongst these things, this fact declared in our text is one. And -

I. WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL THAT IT IS ONLY CHIDING, not something worse. God is speaking to his own children, not to the world of the ungodly. These latter he is angry with every day, and sternly punishes, and if they repent not he will destroy them. But though God chide his children, there is not the severity, nor the lack of alleviation, nor the endlessness and hopelessness, which characterize his dealings with hardened and ungodly men.

II. THAT THERE IS SUCH CHIDING. "For what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" (Hebrews 12:7). If God did not make sin full of smart and pain, we should be sure to go back to it again. But when the world sees that there is no partiality with God, that his own children have to suffer even as, and often far more than, others when they do wrong, this tends to beget a holy fear. Yes; blessed be God for our chiding!

III. THAT EVEN THIS WILL HAVE AN END. When we repent of our sin, when God's purpose is fulfilled, when we enter heaven. "Therefore humble yourselves," etc. - S.C.







He will not always chide: neither will He keep his anger for ever.
Text refers only, as does the whole psalm, to the children of God. They only can sing it. But though we are forgiven as rebels, He, when needful, chides and chastens us as children.

I. HE WILL CHIDE. lie will be angry, though not for ever.

1. Why will He chide His dear children?(1) Because if He did not do so, it would seem like winking at sin. See Eli and his sons.(2) Others of the family would follow their evil example. If I knew a man living in sin and yet enjoying the light of God's countenance, should I not conclude that I may do as he does, and fare well as he does?(3) And what would the world say if God did not chide His sinful children? Shall it be said that the great Father of spirits does not enforce discipline in His own house?(4) If He did not, the evil would lie festering in us, breeding I know not what of deadly mischief. And we should never humble ourselves at the Cross of Christ, as His rebukes lead us to do.

2. How does He chide?(1) Often by means of the sin itself. They who sow it have to reap its harvest. See Lot's history.(2) Often by His providence. See Rebekah by loving Jacob.(3) By the withdrawal of privileges. Assurance departs. The means of grace have no blessing in them. There is no joy in private prayer, no communion with God. Your prayers have lost their prevailing power. Influence over others. See David, and Shimei cursing him. Success in service all gone; no conversions, no edification. His Holy Spirit chides us, through the ministry of the Word. By the discipline of the Church; not the formal discipline so much as that which God Himself exercises. See Church at Corinth. Many cases which I shall never relate are written down in the tablet of memory with this verdict, "Removed by the discipline of God." I have seen others blighted in fortune, chastened in body, and especially depressed in spirit as the result of grieving the Spirit of God in the Church. Church sins are surely visited with strifes.

3. When does God chide? Not for every sin. His Word does, but He does not actually chasten in the sense here intended. That is reserved for sins of which we will not repent. Anything like deliberate sin is sure to bring down the Father's anger. See Nathan's parable about David. Thus we have gazed at the black cloud, now see the silver lining.

II. HE WILL NOT ALWAYS CHIDE.

1. This means that tie will not chide for every fault; nor will He chide long; He does not hold any grudge. Many men say, "I forgive you," but it is only because they have not now the opportunity to pay you out. They will do so as soon as they can. Not so God. And there is no eternal wrath for a child of God. The Lord will soon leave off chiding, He will when we begin repenting: when we come to tears, then He will cease rebukes. When we put an end to sin, there shall be an end to chastening. But often not till the results of the sin as well as the sin itself shall have been removed. So was it with David.

2. Why does He thus leave off chiding? He would not have His children treated as slaves. Our spirits would fail altogether if He always chided. He will not crush our spirits. To chide too much might lead to other sins. Some parents, in driving out one devil, drive ten in. Not so our God.

3. Though God chide, He loves us as much as when He caresses them. He never loves to chide. Be comforted, therefore.

III. INFERENCES FROM THE WHOLE SUBJECT.

1. Consolation for Israel.

2. Ministers in their preaching must not always chide.

3. Nor parents with their children.

4. Nor masters with their servants.

5. Go, tell God's love to His troubled ones.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

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