RPM, Volume 19, Number 41 October 8 to October 14, 2017

The Providence of God: The Night Watches

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

By John MacDuff

"His kingdom rules over all." Psalm 103:19

Believer, try to see God in everything, and every thing in God! Lose your own will in His. Enter on no pursuit, engage in no plan, without Paul's prayer and condition, "The will of the Lord be done." How it would hallow prosperity, and sweeten adversity, thus, in all things, to follow, like Israel, the Guiding Pillar- at His bidding to pitch our tents; at His bidding to depart. Each providence has a voice, if we would only hear it. It is a fingerpost in the journey, pointing us to "the right way," that we may go to "the city of habitation."

Often what a mysterious volume Providence is! Its every page full of dark hieroglyphics, to which earth can furnish no key. But faith falls back on the assurance that "the Judge of all the earth must do right." The Father of all His people cannot do wrong. To the common observer, the stars in the nightly heavens are all confused masses, pursuing devious and erratic courses. But to the astronomer, each has its allotted and prescribed pathway, and all are preserving inviolately, one universal law of harmony and order. It is faith's loftiest prerogative, patiently to wait until 'that day of disclosures', when page by page of the mysterious book will be unraveled, and when the believer himself will endorse every page with, "It is well!"

Providences may even seem to be getting darker- merging like declining day into the shadows of twilight. But, contrary to nature, and to the Christian's expectations, "At evening time it shall be light!" The gathering cloud will then be seen to be fraught only with blessings, which will burst on the believer's head. My soul, be still, and know that He is God! "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him." The mysterious "why" you have so long been waiting for, will soon be revealed. The long night-watch will soon terminate in the looked-for, longed-for morning.

My God! my Father! while I stray
Far from my home on life's rough way,
Oh teach me from my heart to say,
Your will be done!
Then when on earth I breathe no more
The prayer often mixed with tears before.
I'll sing, when on a happier shore,
Your will be done!

Blessed Lord! my pilgrimage path is studded thick with Ebenezers testifying to Your faithfulness and mercy. I love to think of Your manifold gracious interpositions in the past-God sustaining me in trial- God supporting me in perplexity-God rescuing me when in temptation- God helping me when "vain was the help of man!" "When my foot slipped, Your mercy, O Lord, held me up!" And shall I not take all Your goodness previously manifested, as a pledge of faithfulness in the future? In full confidence that You are a "rich Provider," I shall take no anxious thought for the morrow, but repose in this covenant assurance of a covenant-keeping God— "I will never fail you nor forsake you." "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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