Psalm 68:10
Your flock settled therein; O God, from Your bounty You provided for the poor.
Sermons
God's Provision for the PoorH. Melvill, B. D.Psalm 68:10
God's Provision, for the PoorJ. Lorimer.Psalm 68:10
HarvestW. Jay.Psalm 68:10
The Ark and ChristW. Forsyth Psalm 68:1-35
The Progress of HumanityHomilistPsalm 68:7-18
Psalm 68:9
Psalm 68:9. These words may be taken as symbolizing

God's love gifts to his people. What he did to Israel in the wilderness, he will do to his Church to the end of the world. He is the great Sender, the Giver of every good and perfect gift, and evermore the thought of his love awakens gratitude and praise. His gifts are characterized by -

I. SWEETNESS. They are sweet in themselves as the "rain," but they are sweeter still as sent from God. They have the impress of his hand. They are the tokens of his love (Acts 14:17; Deuteronomy 32:2).

II. COPIOUSNESS. Rain may be slight, partial, or temporary. Here it is "plentiful." It is like that which came on Carmel at the prophet's call - "abundance of rain" (1 Kings 18:41). It is a "rain of gifts" - large, generous, widespread, meeting the needs of all, reaching to the furthest part of the dry and parched land.

III. TIMELINESS. God does nothing in an arbitrary way. It is when his people are "weary" that he visits them with "times of refreshing." They are "weary" from toil, or conflict, or suffering, or long and anxious waiting; and their hearts are like the "parched ground" crying for "rain." God hears. When "rain" is most needed it is best appreciated. God promises "to pour water on the thirsty" (Isaiah 44:3).

IV. REFRESHMENT. "Confirm." This implies renewal of strength, invigoration of faith and hope and love. As the "rain" quickens and calls forth the life in the earth, so that the grass flourisheth and the corn ripens, so it is with God's people when he visits them with the outpouring of the Spirit. It is as if Pentecost were come again. Let us pray and wait. Let us turn new vigour to right use.

"As torrents in summer, half dried in their channels,
Suddenly rise though the sky is still cloudless,
For rain has been falling far off at their fountains;
So hearts that are fainting grow full to o'erflowing,
And they that behold, it marvel and know not
That God at their fountains far off has been raining."


(Longfellow.) W.F.







Thou, O God, hast prepared of Thy goodness for the poor.
We hold it as altogether one of the most forcible sayings of Holy Writ, that "the poor shall never cease out of the land." The words may be regarded in the nature of a prophecy; and we think their fulfilment has been every way most surprising. But our great business lies with the fact that poverty is the appointment of God. "The rich and the poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all." When we have fastened on the truth that God troth appointed poverty, we must set ourselves to show that God hath not overlooked the poor. The Gospel of Christ makes no distinction, whether preached in a palace or in a cottage — whether it addresses itself to ignorant men or to learned men. There is no variation in the message: it speaks to all as being born in sin and shapen in iniquity; and announces to all the same free and glorious tidings — namely, that "God hath made Him sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." But not only has God thus introduced a kind of natural counterpoise to the evil of poverty; in the appointment of the method of redemption He may be said to have especially provided for the meanest and the most destitute. There is nothing in the prescribed duties of religion which, in the smallest degree, requires that the man be a man of learning and leisure. The Gospel message is one of such exquisite simplicity — the sum and substance of truth may be gathered into such brief sentences — that all which is necessary to know may be told in a minute, and borne about by the labourer in the field, or the soldier on the battle-plain. Nay, we shall not overstep the boundaries of truth if we carry this statement further. We hold unreservedly that the Bible is even more the poor man's book than the rich man's. There is a vast deal of the Bible which seems to have been written for the very purpose of making good our text: "Thou, O God, preparest," etc. But there is yet another point on which we think it well to turn your attention; for it is one which is not a little misunderstood. We know that what are termed the evidences o! Christianity are of a costly and intricate description, scarcely accessible except to the studious. It is hard to suppose that the unlettered man can be master of the arguments which go to the proof of the Divine origin of our faith. We think assuredly that, if you take the experience of the generality of Christians, you will find that they do not believe without proof, and that, therefore, they are not unfurnished with weapons with which to repel infidelity. They do not believe without proof; but the proof lies, as Horsley says, in the surprising manner in which the Bible commends itself to their souls — in the inexhaustible stores which they find in Jesus — in the agreement of the doctrines and precepts of religion — in that exemplar of good, and in that fear, which a devout heart carries about with itself. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself." And we think there can he nothing far-fetched in the assertion that there is no evidence of the divinity of the Scripture half so strong as that which a man knocks out for himself with the simple apparatus of a Bible and a conscience. So that we think that God hath so ordered His Word that it carries its own witness to the poor man's intellect and to his heart.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

The reference is to God's care of Israel in the wilderness. But God still cares for men.

I. THE NATURE OF HIS GOODNESS. It is seen in the produce of the ground. The brute creation as wall as man share in this, but the corn is especially for man. Judea was famous for its corn. By a bold metaphor, Moses speaks of "the kidneys of the wheat." And as there, so here "the barns shall be full of wheat." We are hindered in seeing the goodness of God herein by its constant repetition and by the moans — second causes — which He employs. But if some things hinder our seeing, others may help. Think how easily he could have destroyed all our hopes; and how dreadful if He had; and yet how righteously, for our sins, He might have done this.

II. THE SUBJECTS OF HIS GOODNESS — "the poor." It is not for them exclusively, but they are spoken of as being the mass of mankind: they would be most affected by deficiency: God would encourage them to trust in Him; and He would have the rich care for the poor, for He does.

(W. Jay.)

What is God's provision for the poor?

1. He has provided them with a very honourable name. That name has been tarnished and sullied in the course of years. But the name as originally found in the Hebrew contained no idea of shame, guilt, or disgrace. To the poor and weak, not to the rich and self-helping, God's richest promises are made.

2. God has provided the poor with necessary succour. There is ample provision in the world for the entire human family. The provision is God's part, the just distribution is the duty of man. If we could only properly distribute the things which we have at our command every one would be provided for. If any man does not get his share it is the fault of his fellow-man; not God's omission. In one department of individual economics especially there is a special call for the work of the Christian Church. And that is in the region of those numberless casual changes which fall to the lot of man, and, for the time, make him poor. Here is the opportunity for the Christian to go to him and to give him the personal word of cheer. Then again, the Christian, in his dealings with his fellow-man, must adapt the Jewish law concerning not shaking the olive-tree twice, or too nicely gleaning the cornfield. He is ever in his business transactions to set an example of high-souled generosity. He should take a personal interest in those who are dependent upon him. When we turn to the New Testament we naturally expect to find evidence that God has made provision for the poor. Nor are we disappointed. From the time of the founding of the Church the greatest care of the poor was enjoined. An experiment of the Communist system was tried. It early passed, either because there was not sufficient religion to sustain it, or because it was not the method of God's idea. Its place has been taken by the law of Fraternity. Every one is responsible for the welfare of his fellow-believer.

(J. Lorimer.)

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