You have planted them, yes, they have taken root: they grow, yes, they bring forth fruit: you are near in their mouth…
By God's nearness we understand not His omnipresence (that neither comes nor goes), nor His love to His people (that abides), but the sensible, sweet manifestations and outlets of it to their souls (Psalm 145:18). Note the limitation of this glorious privilege; it is the peculiar enjoyment of sincere and upright-hearted worshippers.
1. Sincere souls are sensible of God's accesses to them in their duties, they feel His approaches to their spirits (Lamentations 3:57). The heart fills apace, the empty thoughts swell with a fulness of spiritual things, which strive for vent.
2. They are sensible of God's withdrawment from their spirits; they feel how the ebb follows the flood, and how the waters abate (Song of Solomon 5:6).
3. The Lord's nearness to the hearts and reins of His people in their duties is evident to them from the effects that it leaves upon their spirits. For look, as it is with the earth and plants, with respect to the approach or remove of the sun in the spring and autumn, so it is here as Christ speaks (Luke 21:29).
(1) A real taste of the joy of the Lord is here given to men, the fulness whereof is in heaven; hence called (2 Corinthians 1:22), "The earnest of His Spirit." And in 1 Peter 1:8, glorified joy, or a short salvation.
(2) A mighty strength and power coming into their soul, and actuating all its faculties and graces. When God comes near, new powers enter the soul; the feeble is as David (Psalm 138:3).
(3) A remarkable transformation and change of spirit follows it. The sight of God, the felt presence of God, is as fire, which quickly assimilates what is put into it to its own likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18).
(4) A vigorous working of the heart heavenward; a mounting of the soul upward.Infer —
1. Then certainly there is a heaven and a state of glory for the saints.
2. But, oh! what is heaven? And what that state of glory reserved for the saints? Doth a glimpse of God's presence in a duty go down to the heart and reins? Oh, how unutterable, then, must that be which is seen and felt above, where God comes as near to man as can be! (Revelation 22:3, 4.)
3. See hence the necessity of casting these very bodies into a new mould by their resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:41).
4. Is God so near to His people above all others in the world? How good is it to be near to them that are so near to God:
5. If God be so near to the heart and reins of His people in their duties, oh, how assiduous should they be in their duties!
6. What steady Christians should all real Christians be! For lo, what a seal and witness hath religion in the breast of every sincere professor of it!
( John Flavel.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.