Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God of our salvation. Selah
I. HERE IS A SWEET PICTURE OF GOD. It is sometimes said that the God of the Old Testament is a God stem and implacable, more to be feared than to be loved. This is to err. The picture here is very different. It is tender and winning. We see the Lord here stooping down in love, to help the weak, to relieve the weary, to bring deliverance to the oppressed. This is in accordance with his character. Thus he has dealt with his people, with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and countless others, in the time of their need. The thought of what God is and has done excites endless gratitude. Daily mercy calls forth daily praise. "Blessed be the Lord."
II. HERE IS A BRIGHT FOREGLEAM OF THE GLORY OF CHRIST. It may be said that we have the gospel preached here in a figure. Take this word as a test, and Christ's life is the comment. See how he came down to us. See how he bore the burden of our sins and weaknesses. See how gently he dealt with his first disciples, and so gave token of the way he would deal with his disciples to the end of the world. His love never faileth. From day to day, with unwearied patience and mercy, he hears our burden. Hear his voice ringing sweetly through the ages, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." What Christ does for us we should endeavour to do, so far as lieth in us, for others. We should help one another (Galatians 6:1, 2).
III. HERE IS A BEAUTIFUL REPRESENTATION OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. What we cannot do for ourselves, Christ will do for us. We are not alone, Christ is with us. We are not called to face the trials and to bear the burdens of life in our own strength; Christ is our Burden bearer. Our sins, which would have crushed us clown to hell, he has already borne, and the lesser burdens, also too heavy for us, he will bear for us. He may not take them off us, but if not, he will enable us to carry them. He will make his grace sufficient for us. Every day brings to us its burden, and every day we need anew the help of Christ. Though we can do nothing without him, we can do all things through his strength. Thus our path is onward. We go from strength to strength. Nearer and nearer comes the time when we shall lay our burdens down forever, and enter into the rest of God. - W.F.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.
Homilist.I. A LIBERAL DISPENSER OF DAILY BLESSINGS (ver. 19). "Daily beareth our burden" (R.V.). Amongst the many ways in which He helps men to bear their burdens is by kindling within them and keeping burning the lamp of hope. The soul-vessel that is most heavily freighted, and most severely tossed by the tempest is buoyed up by hope. "Day by day." When the day comes that God ceases to impart His strength, the man falls under his weight, and is crushed.
II. AS THE EXCLUSIVE POSSESSOR OF MEANS FOR ESCAPING DEATH (ver. 20).
1. God alone has ways by which physical death can be escaped. Enoch; Elijah.
2. God alone has ways by which spiritual death can be escaped. Spiritual death is a thousand times the worst death, it is not the extinction of existence, but the extinction of all that makes existence worth having, and renders it an intolerable curse.
III. AS THE EFFECTUAL SUBDUER OF PERSISTENT ENEMIES (ver. 21). He could annihilate His universe by a volition. But the destruction of their enmity is a far more glorious work — a work that requires more time, and that, through Christ, He is prosecuting every day amongst men. Here He literally strikes at "the head of His enemies," the spirit of antagonism to Himself. The ruling spirit of a man is the head of his being. It is at this that God strikes in the Gospel. Of the seed of the woman — viz. Christ — it was said, "He shall bruise thy head." Christianity aims at the head of the evil, which is the governing disposition.
IV. AS THE WILLING REPEATER OF .NEEDED INTERPOSITIONS (vers. 22, 28). Truly, it is an encouraging thought that the great things that God has done for His people He is willing to do again, should they require it. He will take them through seas of trial and sorrow that threaten to swallow them up, put to flight the armies of their enemies, and make the land red with their blood.
I. THE REMARKABLE AND ELOQUENT BLENDING OF MAJESTY AND CONDESCENSION. What a thought that is — a God that carries men's loads! People talk much rubbish about the "stern Old Testament Deity": is there anything sweeter, greater, more heart-compelling and heart-softening, than such a thought as this? How all the majesty bows itself and declares itself to be enlisted on our side when we think that "He that sitteth on the circle of the heavens, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers," is the God that "daily beareth our burdens"!
II. THE DEEP INSIGHT INTO THE HEART AND WAYS OF GOD HERE. "He daily beareth our burdens." If there is any meaning in this word at all, it means that He so knits Himself with us as that all which touches us touches Him, that He takes a share in all our pressing duties, and feels the reflection from all our sorrows and pains. We have no impassive God in the heavens, careless of mankind, nor is His settled and changeless and unshaded blessedness of such a sort as that there cannot pass across it — if I may not say a shadow, I may at least say — a ripple from men's pangs and troubles and cares. God, in all our afflictions, is afflicted; and, in simple though profound verity, has that which is most truly represented to men, by calling it a fellow feeling with our infirmities and our sorrows.
III. THE REMARKABLE ANTICIPATION OF THE VERY HEART OF THE GOSPEL. Ah! it were of small avail to know a God that bore the burden of our sorrows and the load of our duties, if we did not know a God who bore the weight of our sins. For that is the real crushing weight that breaks men's hearts and bows them to the earth. So the New Testament, with its message of a Christ on whom is laid the whole pressure of the world's sin, is the deepest fulfilment of the great words of my text.
IV. WHAT WE SHOULD THEREFORE DO WITH OUR BURDENS. First, we should cast them on God, and let Him carry them. He cannot unless we do. One sometimes sees a petulant and self-confident little child staggering along with some heavy burden by the parent's side, but pushing away the hand that is put out to help it to carry its load. And that is what too many of us do when God says to us, "Here, My child, let Me help you, I will take the heavy end of it, and do you take the light one." And, last of all, let us see to it that we render Him praise.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.I. WHAT GOD IS: "The God of our salvation." Man is a sinner, and sin exposes him to danger; for "the wages of sin is death," and "the soul that sinneth it shall die." But there is deliverance from this danger; this is attributed to God.
1. The scheme of salvation originated in God (John 3:17).
2. The means of salvation are afforded us by God. God sends us His Gospel, containing good news of salvation; His ministers to declare the way of salvation; He affords us Christian sabbaths, religious ordinances, and various means of grace, in order to promote our salvation.
3. The work of salvation is accomplished in the human soul by God's immediate agency.
4. The sole glory of our final salvation will endlessly redound to God. In heaven we shall have clearer discoveries of the greatness, extent, and freeness of our salvation (Revelation 7:10).
II. WHAT GOD DOES FOR US: He "daily loadeth us with benefits."
1. The nature of God's gift. "Benefits," not deserts.
2. Their number. "Loadeth."
3. The frequency of their communication. "Daily." And these benefits flow to us freely, unsolicited, unimplored, unsought. Seasonably, exactly as we need them. Critics state that it should be read "who bears our burdens, or supports us, every day." In the wilderness God bare Israel as a man doth bear his son (Deuteronomy 1:31). Or as an eagle bears her young on her wings (Deuteronomy 32:11). The promise is (Isaiah 46:4). We have our cares, and burdens, and anxieties, but God invites us to cast them upon Him (Psalm 55:22).
III. WHAT WE SHOULD DO IN RETURN. "Blessed be the Lord." To bless signifies to extol, exalt, or speak well of a person; and to bless the Lord is to speak good of His name.
1. We should bless the Lord sincerely. Hypocrisy is hateful to God.
2. We should bless the Lord affectionately. Our gratitude should be the effusion of love.
3. We should bless the Lord constantly. "I will bless the Lord at all times."
4. We should bless the Lord practically. To say, "We praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the' Lord," while we practically violate His laws, must be abominable in His sight. Let us " praise Him not only with our lips but by our lives," etc.
(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)
Unto God the Lord belong the issues from death
I. THE SOVEREIGN PREROGATIVE OF GOD. "Unto God... the issues of death." Kings have been wont to keep the power of life and death in their own hands. The great King of kings does so. "He can create and He destroy." This prerogative of life and death is His in a wide sense. It is true of our natural life, and of our spiritual. For we are under the condemnation of the law. But God determines whether the sentence shall be carried out. And in those "deaths oft" with which Christian experience is familiar, those dyings down of the heart and spirit which are the result of our old nature which still cleaveth to the dust, God's Spirit can revive us again. And when we come actually to die, not to death but to God shall the issue belong. "I am the Resurrection and the Life," saith the Lord: "He that liveth and believeth in Me shall never die." And the resurrection day will make His words good.
2. He has the right to exercise this prerogative.
3. And He has exercised this prerogative in abundant instances.
4. Then let Him have all the glory of it.
II. THE CHARACTER OF THE SOVEREIGN IN WHOM IT IS VESTED. "He that is our God is the God of salvation." This name means —
1. That salvation is the most glorious of all His designs.
2. That His most delightful works have been works of salvation.
3. That we live at this moment under the dispensation of mercy. The sword is sheathed, the scales of justice put by.
4. That to those who can call Him "our God" He is especially and emphatically the God of salvation. We owe it all to Him. 'Twas He passed by and bid us "live."
III. THE SOLEMN WARNING OF THE SOVEREIGN LORD. A new God has lately been set up, all leniency, gentleness, mildness and indifference in the matter of sin. This God is made of honey or sugar of lead. Justice is not in him, nor the punishment of sin. But it is not so. Our text tells the awful truth to wicked men. God can smite, and ere long He will. The proud may vaunt themselves of their beauty and glory in their strength; their heavy scalp, like that of Absalom, may be their boast, but, as in his case, it may be their ruin. No man is out of the reach of God, and no nation either. Turn ye then, ye that know not God.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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