To forsake God is to forsake the fountain of living water, and to choose the broken cisterns of unfailing disappointment. Let us note (Jer. 13:16), “Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.”
Let us give glory to the Lord our God, before he causes darkness to come upon us. Let us confess our faults and humble ourself under the Lord’s mighty hand, before he bring upon us the night of affliction and sorrow.
light is the symbol of joy, and happy times are expressed by bright and pleasant days, as to the contrary, troubles and calamities are represented by the night and darkness. David said in (Ps 96:8), “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.”
In these verses there are many promises given to those who will return unto the Lord and obey His voice. This of course implies two unalterable condition by which the conversion of our soul and the consecration of our life to the Lord are received and enjoyed. (Deut 8:2) declares, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”
The Lord is always ready to deliver people from captivity, “Then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity” (v.3). He will loose thy bands of iniquity and recover thy soul out of the snare of the devil, (II.Tim. 2:26) tells us “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
He delivers from the power of darkness those who were sold under sin, ( Isa 55:7) tells us, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
Christ is ready to restore the wayward soul, “From thence will the Lord thy God gather thee” (v.4).
He not only delivers from the dominion of Satan, and the fascinations of sin and the world, but brings home to the bosom of His own great heart of love that we might have fellowship with Himself.
The prodigal in (Lk.15) was delivered when he left the far country, but he was not restored until he fell into the arms of his gracious father, (Lu 15:24), “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”
The love of Christ constrains us. (Rom.5:5) tells us “ And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
The Lord is ever ready to Supply all our needs, “The Lord thy God will bring thee into the land, and He will do thee good” (v.5).
These promises were of course given primarily to the children of Israel, but all Scripture, Spirit breathed, is profitable for the man of God (II.Tim.3:16,17) tells us “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
All who have been reconciled to God through the death of Jesus Christ are made heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom.8:17), (Ro. 8:18) declares, “ For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
What may be only a barren rock to the carnal eye will yield honey and oil to the believing heart. We are unable to view, are to see the Holy Ghost, but look at what it has to offer us, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Rom.14:17).
We can rest assure the Lord will Chastise his people for there sin, “The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart,”(v 6). A circumcised heart is one chastened and subdued, so that the whole affection of the soul is weaned from the world and self, and centered on the Lord.
Chastisement is the sorrowful sign of sonship according to (1.Pe 5:10) “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
Chastisement is also a positive necessity to fruit-bearing according to (Jh.15:2) “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
The stony heart must be taken away to make room for the heart of flesh that can feel the gentle touch of God’s hand, (Ezek.36:26) tell us “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
The Lord has defended us many times in our life.. “The Lord thy God will put curses upon thine enemies” (v.7). What a difference there is between chastisement and condemnation. Note (Ex.11:7) “But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.”
We are not to curse our enemies, but pray for them. Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord, note (Deut. 32:35) “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”
Let us hand all our enemies over to Him (Lk. 22:48) “But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
Take no thought for your life. This was how the early apostles acted, “Grant unto Thy servants that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word” (Acts 4:29). We must bare Fruitful in order to please the Lord, “The Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand” (v.9).
The trees of the Lord’s planting and watering are never fruitless. They flourish like the palm tree according to (.Ps 92:12.) “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”
Let us as God’s people take root downward and bear fruit upward, “and the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward” (II.Kings 19:30).
John tells, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone ” (Jh.12:24). The downward dying process of the self-life is the strengthening of the new Christ-life upward, (Mt. 23:12) states “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”
The best fruits are those ripened in the sunshine. Let us note (Lk. 24:32 ) “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
The disciples affections had been so spirited that their hearts seemed to burn with hope, joy, love, gratitude, and admiration, while he opened to them the scriptures, (Lk. 24:52 ) “And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:”
Jesus will rejoice over our faithfulness to him, “The Lord will rejoice over thee for good” (v.9). A wise son maketh a glad father. (Zep 3:17). “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
Surely happy are the people who are in such a case. See how the father rejoiced over his long lost son when he returned (Lk.15:24).
Oh, what a joy to know that we are a joy to Him, whose soul was exceedingly sorrowful for us, “These things have I spoken unto you, that myjoy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (Jh.15:11).