When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver and honor him.
I. WHAT THIS RESPONSE IS.
1. That God will answer prayer. But on this, note:
(1) That it is not the prayer of every man, but only of those who have set their love upon God, and who dwell in the secret place of the Most High.
(2) That to them prayer is answered, but often in ways other than they have expected. God will always give to them what is best; but that may be far different from what they have thought.
2. He will be with them in trouble. God is always with us; but in our trouble he is more especially with us. This is shown sometimes by his providential help, or by his grace sustaining us.
3. He will deliver and honour. See this in such histories as that of Joseph.
II. WHAT FOLLOWS FROM IT. That to the man of God the following things are impossible:
1. Disappointment; because God will answer.
2. Loneliness; for God is ever with him, and especially in trouble.
3. Disgrace; for how can that be to those whom he honours?
4. Defeat; for God will deliver. - S.C.
I. A DECLARATION. God has said in positive terms, "He shall call upon Me." It therefore does not rest with the creature, whether he will call upon Him or not; it is not a matter poised in the balances of the creature, whether he shall pray or not. God has not left it to man, whether he shall take up prayer or lay aside prayer, but He has made it a part of His own sovereign appointments, of His own eternal decrees, which can no more be frustrated than salvation itself. Therefore this soul, that "dwells in the secret place of the Most High" — "he shall call upon God." "He shall call upon Me." When shall he call? Why, when. the Lord pours out "the Spirit of grace and of supplications"; when the Lord lays wants upon his heart; when the Lord brings conviction into his conscience; when the Lord brings trouble into his soul. Then to call upon the Lord is no point of duty, which is to be attended to as a duty; it is no point of legal constraint, which must be done because the Word of God speaks of it; but it is a feeling, an experience, an inward work, which springs from the Lord's hand, and which flows in the Lord's own Divine channel.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him.2 Peter 1:4). The promises of the text are among this number.
I. HE WILL ANSWER THEIR PRAYERS. He answers —
4. More abundantly than we ask.
II. HE WILL BE WITH THEM IS TROUBLE. We cannot escape trouble in this world (Job 5:7). In trouble many persons are forsaken of their friends. But God is the companion and friend who is nearest to us when we need Him most. In poverty, persecution, sickness and death He will be with us.
III. HE WILL DELIVER THEM.
2. By unexpected means.
IV. HE WILL HONOUR THEM. It is not wrong to seek honour, but we should seek the best (Romans 2:7; John 5:4, 44). God honoured Moses, Joshua, David, Ruth. These promises belong only to the people of God.
II. A PROMISE. "I will answer him." What will He answer? Why, He will answer those prayers, which He Himself has indited. He will answer those wants, which He Himself has created. He will answer those hungerings, which He Himself has produced. But the answer that God gives, He gives in His own time. And I believe many of the children of God have had to cry to Him for days and weeks and months and years. But sometimes the Lord is pleased to answer our prayers more immediately; He brings us into those straits and troubles from which we cannot extricate ourselves, and then will answer our prayers and fulfil the promise. But perhaps it is in such a way as we least expect; and yet in such a way as most glorifies Him. We say, "Lord, make me rich." He says, "I will; but thou must first be made poor." We say, "Lord, let me have a precious view of Christ." "I will; but you must first have a wretched view of self." "Let me know the riches of Christ's blood." "I will; but you must first know the depth of your guilt."
(J. C. Philpot.)
(A. Maclaren, D.D.)
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