But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.…
"The salvation of the righteous "in the broadest sense of the word" is of the Lord"; and the more breadth of meaning we give to it, the more completely we shall see that it must be divine. At the same time, our life is made up of a series of salvations, and each of these is of the Lord. We are constantly being saved, saved from this and that form of danger and evil. As each daily trouble threatens to engulf us, we are saved from it. As each temptation, like a dragon, threatens to swallow us up, we are saved from it. Our God is the God of salvations.
I. THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF SOUND DOCTRINE. The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord, even of the Triune Jehovah, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in —
1. The planning.
2. The providing.
3. The beginning.
4. The carrying on.
5. The completion.
II. THIS IS A NECESSARY FACT. The saints recognize it; for —
1. Their inward conflicts make them know that God alone must work salvation. They are too fickle and feeble to save themselves.
2. Their outward temptations drive them to the same conclusion. They are well kept whom God keeps, but none else.
3. The world's hate drives them away from all hope in that quarter. God is greater than a world in arms.
4. Their daily trials and afflictions would crush them if Omnipotence did not sustain them. Only God's grace can be all-sufficient.
5. The perishing of hypocrites is a sad proof of how little man can do. Temporary believers perish like blossoms which never knit to fruit, and therefore fail from the tree.
III. THIS IS A SWEET CONSOLATION. This truth, that unto God the Lord belongeth the salvation of His saints, acts graciously —
1. Leading them to solid trust.
2. Exciting them to believing prayer.
3. Urging them to look out of self.
4. Inspiring them with great thoughts of God, and —
5. Leading them to offer adoring praise unto their Redeemer.
IV. THIS IS A REASON FOR HUMILITY.
1. It strips the righteous of all pride in the fact of their being saved.
2. Of all exaltation of self because they continue in their integrity.
3. Of all undue censure of the fallen; for they, themselves, would have failed had not the Lord upheld them.
4. Of all self-confidence as to the future, since their weakness is inherent and abiding.
5. Of all self-glorying, even in heaven, since in all things they are debtors to sovereign grace.
V. THIS IS A FRUITFUL GROUND OF HOPE.
1. In reference to our own difficulties: God can give us deliverance.
2. In reference to our tried brethren: the Lord can sustain, sanctify, and deliver them.
3. In reference to seeking souls: we may leave their cases in the Saviour's hands. He is able to save to the uttermost.
4. In reference to sinners: they cannot be too degraded, obstinate, ignorant, or false; God can work salvation even in the worst.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.