Brethren Archive

God the Blesser

by Inglis Fleming


How do I stand with God? is a serious question—a serious question which every child of Adam should consider and consider well. It matters comparatively little how I stand with those around me, for it is not to them I have to give account. But “every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

In Psalm 32 David gives to us something of his experience as he judged himself in the sight of God and came into the blessed knowledge of the forgiveness of his sins and of acceptance, in other words of how he stood with God.

Leaving the opening statements for the moment we find verses 3 and 4 telling of what he passed through under the hand of God, before the blessing was known. His proud spirit had no rest, his unbroken will and crooked ways were becoming manifest to himself. He was learning what he was as a sinner guilty and undone before his Maker. But as yet he would not bow and own his need. At length he could keep silence no longer, he was brought to the

CONFESSION

of his condition.

“I acknowledged my sin unto Thee and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.”

Broken in spirit and contrite of heart he owns what he is and what he has done. His “sin,” his “iniquity,” his “transgressions,” his evil in every form is brought into the light. Then at once we find the Lord’s answer to this, “Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” “I acknowledged. . . Thou forgavest.” These things God has joined, Confession and Forgiveness. The sinner confesses to God and God forgives the sinner. Again and again this holy union is seen in the Scriptures. The sinner says, “I have sinned against the Lord,” and the immediate answer is, “The Lord also hath put away thy sin” (2 Sam. 12:13). Or again, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Confession is followed at once by

CLEARANCE.

The storm is hushed, the conscience is relieved, the spirit is free. It is this which leads to the exclamations of verses 1 and 2:

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”

“Blessed,” or happy, as it might be translated, thrice blessed and happy is the sinner in such a case. The clearance is complete indeed. Transgressions forgiven, sin covered, iniquity not reckoned. The sinner is now in the presence of God as having nothing against him. God himself has cleared him from every charge and stands between the sinner and his sins.

It was in view of the sacrifice of Calvary that God could righteously clear David. It is in view of the sacrifice of Calvary that God can righteously clear the sinner today. The atoning death of the Son of God is the alone ground on which sins were forgiven in past centuries and is the alone ground on which sins are forgiven now.

The transgressions being freely pardoned, the sinful condition being fully covered, the knowledge that iniquity will not be imputed at all to the sinner again, result in the heart and conscience being left free before God. There is no guile in his spirit now. He has nothing to cloak, nothing to hide. Every character of evil has been dragged from its lurking place and condemned and confessed. All is known to God, and He Himself with His own hands has removed the load. One thus blessed may say, “He is my Friend and not my Enemy as I had thought Him to be. He knows me as a sinner and I know Him as a SAVIOUR-GOD. Instead of banishing me He has blessed me and I can now find delight in His presence, which once I shunned. I fear no disclosure. Every fresh discovery of my sinfulness will only discover to me more of the greatness of the grace that has provided for all.

“What though th’ Accuser roar,

Of ills that I have done;

I know them all and thousands more,

Jehovah findeth none.”

Balaam was forced unwillingly to proclaim this blessing of Israel by Jehovah when he said, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel” (Num. 23:21). The iniquity and perverseness were there and they were conscious of it among themselves, but Jehovah had covered everything and did not and would not impute aught to them.

We who believe in this gospel day of light and favour can say, “He hath imputed all my sins and evil to Christ and has judged it unsparingly at Golgotha and now He does not and will not impute them to me.”

Thus being set free and without guilt on my conscience I can be without guile in my spirit. I have nothing to cover, for God has covered all, cleared all, cleansed all and calls me to joy in Him who has blessed me and is Himself THE BLESSER.

But there is more than this. If the matter of my sins is settled perfectly, there are my circumstances to be considered. I am still in a world of care and sorrow, of trouble and difficulty. I need

COMFORT

and comfort I find in God Himself.

“THOU art my HIDING-PLACE; THOU shalt preserve me from trouble; THOU shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.”

Adam when fallen was found skulking away in fear, seeking—vain search indeed—to hide from God. David is found here hiding in God. What a world of difference exists between the two. God is now known as a refuge. The soul tempest-tossed and storm-driven and in a world of contrariety knows the secret place of the Most High and hides under the shadow of the Almighty. He is hidden, preserved and compassed about by God Himself. And He who is great enough for my sins is great enough for my sorrows. I may pillow my aching head on the bosom of infinite love and find relief for my weary heart in His infinite wisdom and power.

“The storm may roar without me,

My heart may low be laid;

But God is round about me,

And can I be dismayed?”

Such is His love and care for me that somehow—in ways I know not—He will work all for my good and all the ins and outs of my pathway, all the ups and downs of my journeying will yet bear witness to the intimacy of His interest in my well-being.

A piece of perforated cardboard was shown by a preacher to his audience. There were threads of silk of various colours crossing and recrossing one another. All seemed hopelessly confused and to indicate no design whatever. It was, however, the wrong side of a piece of work at which they were looking. The card was reversed, and then in clearness and beauty of design and execution the words were displayed “GOD IS LOVE.” So we look at “the wrong side” now. We cannot see the import of this and that thread, of this and that stitch. The ways of God with us are “past finding out.” But the day is soon to dawn when the whole design and purpose of God in all His dealings with us will be disclosed. Then shall we see how every thread was helping to spell “God is love” on our earthly sojourning. Then shall we praise Him for all the way that He has taken with us and cry “He hath done all things well.”

But, as we well realize, the journey is not yet completed, and many dangers and pitfalls may be before us. Blessed indeed is it to hear Him who is our justifier and our Hiding-place cheering us by His word, “I will be thy Guide. I will give thee

COUNSEL;

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”

Along the tortuous course which we nay have to follow, He will direct our every going. Every twist and turn is well known to Him and He will be with us at all times. His eye is ever on His own. His hand is ever outstretched for their succour. His heart is unchanging in its love, and we may without a misgiving depend upon Him for every footfall of the pathless desert until home is reached and rest is gained.

If we lack wisdom we may ask of Him, for He gives to all generously. Moreover He does not upbraid even when in our weakness or folly we may have sought to go alone. There are no difficulties with Him.“Is there anything too hard for Me?” is the inquiry of Him who is the Lord the God of all flesh (Jer. 32:17). And this God is our God.

We have to watch that we be “not as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding.” We have to judge ourselves constantly that no self-will on our part hinders our hearing His voice saying “This is the way, walk ye in it,” but still He has undertaken our case and will use bit and bridle if necessary for our welfare. In this too we may find comfort. Thus, in all, God becomes known to us in unfailing grace. As to our sins. As to our cares. As to our course. All He does for us and is to us tends to increase our

CONFIDENCE

in Himself, and with rejoicing hearts we praise His name and pass on our way saying as we continue our psalm of praise:

“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.”

Well, too, may we add,

“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.”

Thus it is we stand with God. Our past is blotted out, our present is provided for, our future is assured, God Himself is known and delighted in, and in the joy of it all we praise the Blesser.

I.Fleming

S.T. 1919






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