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things are possible with God. At His command, the sea opens a path before His people, and returns with overwhelming vengeance upon their enemies. God is nearer to thee, O believer, than the nearest danger. The wisest councillors may be called together by our bitterest enemy. Their experience and their subtlety may be equalled only by their malevolent determination to destroy us. God can frustrate their counsels, and turn all their wisdom into foolishness. Bloodthirsty enemies may have banded together against us. They may have sworn with an oath that they will not eat nor drink till they have removed us from the earth. The whole train of their iniquity may be laid in secret, and carried out to its completion. The very day may have arrived, which is to crown its execution with the desired success. The Lord, however, is still nearer to His people than the nearest dangers. Deliverance shall break forth suddenly, like the sun from behind a threatening cloud. The enemies of the Lord shall be discomfited, and all their wicked devices shall be recompensed upon their own heads. * God is nearer to thee, O believer, than the nearest danger. Satan may assault, man may rage, and dangers may threaten. God can overrule them all. Be still. Rely upon Jehovah. Leave thyself to His disposal. Fear none of the things that thou mayest suffer. The very hairs of thy head are all numbered, and not one of them can fall without thy Father's knowledge. The very hands of murderers may be upon thee, still God is with thee. They shall not effect their purpose, if it be His purpose to deliver thee. God was near to Joseph when his brothers seized him. Contrary to their own purpose of immediate death, they cast him into a pit, to perish. God was near to Joseph still, and overruled their malice by their covetousness: “What profit is it if we slay our brother ? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites,” Gen. xxxvii. 26. Again, therefore, was their purpose changed. Joseph perished not in the pit, but the Ishmaelites carried him into Egypt. Still, however, we are told that “the Lord was with Joseph.” And though a lie cast him into prison, yet a dream brought him out of it, for the Lord was with him, (ch. xxxix. 20, 21.) God’s power can bring His people into the greatest tribulations, and lead them out of them again, by the most unlikely means. A dream had been the source of all Joseph's troubles, and a dream was made the source of all his elevation. The destruction of Mordecai seemed inevitable, and near at hand. Let but a few hours pass, and with the morning light the gallows should be completed, which was even then preparing for his execution. But God was nearer to him than the impending destruction. That morning could not the king sleep, and that day was Mordecai exalted to the highest honors. The humbled Haman led him forth upon the king's horse, crowned with the king's crown, and, in a few hours more, was himself hanged upon the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai. Dangers may be near, but the Lord is still nearer to His people. Taniel was cast into the den, but God was nearer to him than the lions. The three children walked in the midst of the burning fiery furnace, but the Lord was nearer to them than its devouring flames. A venomous reptile fastened upon the hand of Paul, but God was nearer to him than its poisonous fings. The waves were heaving under Peter's feet, but Jesus was nearer to him than were the troubled billows. “Whatsoever the Lord pleases, that doeth He in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places.” Psa. cxxxv. 6. Nothing can resist His will, either to preserve or to destroy. “There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy. To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord : He is our help and our shield.” Psa. xxxiii. 16—20. The conquering Israelites got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them; “but Thy right hand, and Thine arm, and the light of Thy countenance, because Thou hadst a favor unto them.” Psa. xliv. 3. Leave thyself, O believer, unto thy God. “He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psa. xlvi. 1. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them. O taste then and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” Psa. xxxiv. 7, 8. The angels can neither deliver of their own will, nor by their own power, but at the command and by the power of God. These sons of light themselves are never safe but in His protection. Trust, therefore, in the Almighty God continually. “The Lord alone is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from evil. He shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, from this time forth, and even forevermore.” Psa. cxxi. 5––8. Rise, then, on the wings of love and gratitude. Soar ever upward to thy God and Saviour. To His redemption thou owest every present deliverance, every temporal blessing, every spiritual and eternal benefit. Let thy spared life, therefore, become thy living sacrifice. The breath God gives in mercy, give back to Him in praise, and say, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, who redeemeth thy
Who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies. —Verse 4. .
HAVING enumerated three special mercies, the soul of the Psalmist rises with the strongest emotions of gratitude. His whole life appears in the review, so far as God was concerned, to be a rich accumulation of blessings. And so bright, so varied, and so multiplied, are the benefits which crowd upon his remembrance, that he now stays not to particularize one of them more than another. He beholds them all glittering together like jewels clustered in a golden diadem, and by a most appropriate, elegant, and expressive metaphor, he rouses his spirit to the highest gratitude and praise, saying, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies.”
To “crown” may denote the conferring either of the highest honor, or of the utmost perfection. A king is crowned, and thereby raised to the most exalted position. A building is said to be crowned when the top stone is laid upon it. That crowning stone is the finish and perfection