Rest in God alone, O my soul, for my hope comes from Him.
I. AN EXPRESSION OF PERSONAL CONFIDENCE IN GOD. Some trust in themselves; others in their fellow men; others, in the laws of nature. All this is so far good. It is well to be self-reliant. It is well to take advantage of the wisdom and help of others. It is well to act in the line of law, and in dependence upon the settled order of things with which we are connected. But there is something higher and better. The true way is to trust in God. Trust in God puts things in their right places; inspires courage and fortitude; ennobles and satisfies our whole being (vers. 5-7).
II. AN EARNEST EXHORTATION TO ALL MEN TO PUT THEIR TRUST IN GOD. (Vers. 8-12.) All men have their trials. There will come times when they are troubled and perplexed, when they must look out of themselves anxiously for help. They are tempted. They are in danger of putting their trust in objects that are vain and worthless. If disappointed, they are apt to get soured and hardened in sin. The remedy counselled is twofold.
1. Trust. God is the true and only Being worthy of supreme trust. There is everything in him to inspire confidence and hope. "At all times." In the darkness and in the light, in adversity as won as prosperity; when he hides his face as when he makes his countenance to shine upon us.
2. Prayer. We are always free to come to God. We may tell him all that is in our hearts. What a joy in this trust! What a comfort in this unbosoming of ourselves! God will not only hear, but have pity. He will not only answer, but magnify his "power" and his "mercy" in our deliverance. Who so fit to give this counsel - as to trust and prayer - as the man who is speaking from the depths of his own experience, and from the abiding convictions of his own heart (2 Corinthians 4:13; 1 John 1:1-3)! - W.F.
My soul, wait thou only upon God
I. CONSIDER WHAT IT IS TO WAIT UPON GOD. It is the act of the soul. Here, the soul means the whole man.
II. IT IS A WAITING LIKE THAT OF A SERVANT UPON HIS MASTER.
III. IT EXCLUDES ALL OTHER WAITING: "wait thou only upon God."
IV. IT IS AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE. No man waits upon God until he knows God.
V. OF CHILDLIKE TRUST.
VI. THE MOTIVE OF ALL THIS — "my expectation is from Him." It is a great expectation: of guidance now, of eternal life with Christ hereafter. And it is from God,. derived from, warranted by, established in God. And all on account of the redemption which is in Christ.
(J. H. Jowett, M. A.)
I. THE SOUL IS OUR CHIEF CONCERNMENT. The body of man has a value peculiarly its own, yet the soul is incomparably more precious. The body looks down and searches the ground for its delights; the soul looks up and culls treasures from the realms beyond the stars. Its home is on high; it is destined to soar.
1. The soul has kinship with God.
2. The soul has large capacities.
3. The soul has the possibility of endless life.
II. THE SOUL IS FULL OF NEED.
1. This is a patent fact. Can the tree flourish without its root? Can a house stand without a foundation? Can a babe prosper without its mother? Nor can man without God.
2. We need Divine instruction. The first cry of the soul is for light.
3. We need God's life within. Penitence is budding life; prayer is life; pardon is life; righteousness is life; sonship in God's household is life; hope of heaven is life. "He that hath the Son hath life."
III. THE SOURCE OF REAL GOOD — GOD. This is a vital discovery; for there is a sad tendency to trust in anything rather than in God. But here we have —
1. Great resources. He who created out of nothing this vast universe can as easily create more. Can we hold the Atlantic in the palm of our hand? Neither can we measure the resources of God.
2. Great promises, God's promises are the forthputtings of Himself. They are God's character transposed into words. What magnificent pledges have we from God! "I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people; My covenant with them will I not break; With that man will I dwell, who is of an humble and a contrite heart;... Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it."
3. Great provisions. Everything is laid under tribute to serve redeemed men, viz. nature, providence, human history, angels, suffering, death, the cross of Jesus Christ.
IV. THE CHANNEL OF BLESSING, viz. waiting upon God.
1. This implies faith. In every transaction of daily life we exercise faith. We put our faith in men, though they have often deceived us. We put our faith in the processes of nature — in the revolutions of the seasons, in the stability of this very unstable globe. Shall we not much more put our faith in the everlasting God?
2. Waiting implies submission. "To wait" means that I defer to the good pleasure of God. Though He tarry, I will wait for Him. My range of vision is very narrow. His eye sweeps the universe. My idea of what is best is very imperfect; His idea is perfect. God is my King — my gracious Master; therefore I will "wait."
3. Waiting means prayer. It is not essential that there should be words, though words are helpful to ourselves. The mightiest prayer is silent, — the outgoing of unconquerable desire.
(J. Dickerson Davies, M. A.)
Pulpit Treasury.I. EXHORTATION — "wait." It is easier for some to fret and fume. Waiting is a lesson taught in the school of experience. But we are often like children scratching in their gardens to see if the seeds sown yesterday are coming up.
II. DEFINITION — "upon God." To some, waiting is sitting with folded hands. This is not waiting upon God. In this, courage, resolution and other manly qualities are demanded — patient, prayerful use of moans.
III. LIMITATION — "only." Only? yes, only! This is a limitation indeed. .Is it not written, "It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in princes"? Also, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no salvation," and again, "Thus saith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man," etc.
IV. ILLUMINATION — "Expectation." If the picture has been grey or dark hero is illumination. This may appear mercenary. Mercenary? Listen, was Moses mercenary? "He had respect unto the recompense of reward — he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt." Remember Him also, who for "the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,"
V. APPLICATION — "my soul," "thou," "my": this application is personal. This is the only fitting application, "My soul, wait thou only upon God," etc.
My expectation is from Him
I. IT WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.
II. IT WILL NOT BE ALTOGETHER DEFINED.
III. IT WILL NOT INJURE DUTY. Secularists say it will and does. But what would the present life become were there no expectation of a future?
IV. IT WILL NOT DIE OUT. Man cannot else live. We have in Christ the earnest of it.
(W. M. Statham.)
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