RPM, Volume 19, Number 39 September 24 to September 30, 2017

The Faithfulness of God: The Night Watches

Psa 63:6; 130:6; 42:8

By John MacDuff

"Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds." Psalm 36:5

It has been well said, that "the universe around is a parable of grace." "Just as the mountains surround and protect Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds and protects his people, both now and forever." But more stable than even these types of immutability in the kingdom of nature, is the word of a Covenant-keeping God in the kingdom of grace. These mountains (nature's best emblems of steadfastness) may depart, and the hills be removed, "but," says their almighty Maker, "my kindness shall not be taken from you!" We can look upwards to the stars of night, and see the "faithfulness" of God "established" in the material heavens — "They continue, to this day, according to your plans; for all are Your servants." But these are feeble types and symbols of brighter constellations in the spiritual firmament — the declarations of an unchanging God — "Your word is forever settled in heaven!"

What a gracious assurance amid our own unfaithfulness, "The Lord is faithful!" — that the unfaithfulness of the believer never alters, and can never alter — the faithfulness of God. My soul, anchor yourself on this rock of the Divine veracity. Take hold of that blessed parenthesis which has been, to many a tossed soul, as a polar star in its nights of darkness — "Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end." He loves them in life — loves them in death — loves them through death — loves them into glory!

Are you not at this hour a monument of God's faithfulness? Where would you have been, had not the magnet of His grace kept you, and drawn your fugitive affections towards Himself? From how many temptations has He rescued you — laying hold of you on the precipice, when about to plunge headlong down; employing, sometimes constraining grace, at other times, restraining grace — making this your brief history — "Kept by the power of God," and overruling all — ALL for His own glory, and your own good?

I love to think of Your faithfulness, O "Tried stone," "laid in Zion." You were tried by the Law — by Justice — by the fierce assaults and temptations of Satan — by the mockings and revilings and cruelties of wicked men; and yet You remain faithful! You have been tried in another sense by Prophets and Apostles; by Martyrs and Saints; by youthful sinners, and aged sinners, and dying sinners — and You have been found "faithful," by all and to all; and You are faithful still!

Reader, never suppose, amid the faithlessness of earth's trusted friends, that you are doomed to thread your way in loneliness and solitude. There is more than one 'Emmaus journey'. The "abiding" Friend is still here! He is always the same. "He faints not, neither is weary!" His faithfulness is a tried faithfulness. His word is a tried word. His friendship is a tried friendship. He is always better than His word. He pays 'with interest'!

Oh! who could bear life's stormy doom,
Did not Your word of love
Come brightly bearing through the gloom
A peace-branch from above!
Then sorrow touched by You, grows bright,
With more than rapture's ray,
As darkness shows us worlds of light
We never saw by day!

When I think that at this very moment the eye of that faithful Savior God is upon me — "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

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