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But he cannot regard God, in his revealed character, without loving and rererencing Him. God has made himself known to us, as at once almighty and all-merciful. His power is impressed in living characters upon creation. Every thing that exists, joins in celebrating the wondrous might of Him who called the universe out of nothing, and who still keeps the creatures in existence by the potent exercise of his will. “He alone doeth great wonders,” “ Power belongeth unto God,” and his mercy endureth for ever. He is a God in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. He is good, and ready to forgive. He is long-suffering, full of compassion, slow to anger; and has made so rich a provision for the wants of sinful man in the Gospel, that it affords an inexhaustible subject for our admiration and love. It is to set the Lord always before us, to engage in frequent contemplation on his infinite perfections.
If we think habitually of God, we acknowledge his right to our obedience, and our dependence on his support--we regard him as our Governor. We cannot think of him but in this character. He has created us; we have been made to glorify him. We have, above all, been bought with a price—the atoning blood of the Saviour—and are therefore bound to glorify him. To acknowledge these obligations, to feel ourselves constrained to devote ourselves to his service, is to “set the Lord always before us,” for it is to live to him.
II. But what does the Psalmist tell us is the benefit of this state of mind ? “Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” To “set the Lord always before us,” is to bring him to our right hand, to support, and to assist us. God is with his servants in a sense much higher than he is said to be with others. He is with them to protect them, to sustain them, and to help them. He is with them to strengthen them in temptation, to defend them in danger, to deliver them in distress. His presence at their right hand is a pledge of every needful blessing.
“ Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” If we are really the servants of God, God is engaged to protect
He has repeatedly promised to watch over and to guard those who devote themselves to his service. The history of his dealings with his people in other times, recorded on the pages of inspiration, shews us how he observes his promise. Abraham obeys the call of God, and leaves the land of his fathers, to receive an inheritance in an unknown and distant country. He sojourned among powerful nations; he was exposed to hostile violence and wasting famine. The God, whose servant he had declared himself, was ever at hand to counsel and protect him. Success attended his enterprises, prosperity crowned his life; and great as were the dangers to which he was exposed, he never was moved. The life of David himself exemplifies, in a very remarkable degree, the constant protection which God extends to his people. Never was a man more tried by affliction. From his first entrance upon the business of life, he incurred the suspicion of the malignant Saul. Popular favour tried him; then persecution tried him ; in mature years, the toils of government tried him; and after he had also given the enemies of the Lord occasion to blaspheme, he was tried by domestic afflictions, yet he was never moved; save on that melancholy occasion, when he departed from God, and when he was so far from setting the Lord before him, that he seems to have said with the fool in heart, “ There is no God.” The Lord was with him in all his trials. Trust in God strengthened him ; hope of a future deliverance cheered him; and what God had promised, he performed.
As God never has failed his people, we may be quite sure that he never will leave them, or forsake them. With Him “at their right hand, they will never be moved.” While they trust in Him, He will uphold them. While they look to Him as their reconciled Father in Christ, He will bless them; the world will not seduce them; their own evil natures will not triumph over them; Satan will not get the advantage over them.
The grace of Christ is sufficient for them, in all the situations in which they will be placed. Their Father in heaven “will not suffer them to be tempted above what they are able to bear, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that they may be able to bear it.” All who “set the Lord always before them, will have the Lord at their right hand, and will not be moved.”
This is the general truth. The words assert the happy condition of those who make God their portion, and walk as in his presence. But they seem to assert more, and to mark the connexion which exists in the very nature of things between the particular habit which the Psalmist calls “setting the Lord always before us,” and the consequence of this habit, which he tells us is, that “we shall not be moved.” Now, it is quite easy to trace the operation of the principle which seems to be here alluded to, in the common feelings of men. Are we in difficulty? how much confidence do we derive from the presence of a powerful friend! If the