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Where A Sinner Trusted In God

by Robert H. Boll

100 Years Ago   WORDS IN SEASON   from October, 2016, Word and Work Magazine

[caption id="attachment_3201" align="alignleft" width="207"]Robert H. Boll (1875-1956) Robert H. Boll (1875-1956)[/caption]

The Twenty-fifth Psalm is a psalm of humble trust in God; and not the sort of trust that comes of conscious integrity and a blameless record, but a sinner’s trust in the unfailing mercies of the Lord. It is for that reason bound to be precious to the many who know only too well how they have sinned and failed. The trust in God’s mercy and goodness which pervades this psalm is not unfounded or presumptuous; for was it not the very Spirit of God Himself that put those sentiments upon David’s tongue? David himself said, ‘The Spirit of Jehovah spake by me, and His word was upon my tongue.” ’ (2 Sam. 2 3 :2) And the Lord Jesus Christ endorsed and corroborated the truth of David’s claim. ( Matt. 2 2 :4 3 ).

So the good words and the comfort of this psalm are not unwarranted; nor are those sentiments unworthy of the child of God today. SINFUL, BUT WAITING The keynote of this psalm is, “Wait for Jehovah.” “None that wait for thee shall be put to shame,” he says; and, “For thee do I wait all the day;” and again, “Mine eyes are ever toward Jehovah. .. .for I wait for thee.” The man who speaks is in trouble. He is surrounded by enemies who would rejoice and exult if he slipped, (vs. 1, 19). His feet are caught, as it were, in a net (v. 15). He is desolate and afflicted, and the troubles of his heart are enlarged, (vs. 16, 17). But it is not the suffering of the righteous for righteousness’ sake, which carries its own sweet comfort with it. This man’s affliction is embittered by the consciousness of guilt. The sins of his youth rise up before him; his iniquity seems mountain-high, and as a heavy burden it has become too much for him. (vs. 7, 11). Nevertheless— nay, for this very cause— he looks unto Jehovah. There are those who under the realization of their sin lose all hope and courage, and face away from God to flee unto a darkness which shall prove eternal. But not this sinner. He turns his eyes to the only source of help and light, to the one Refuge of the sinful soul: God, For God he waits. “I wait for Jehovah, my soul doth wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord, more than watchmen wait for the morning. 0 Israel, hope in Jehovah; for with Jehovah there is lovingkindness, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” (Ps. 130:5-8.) Now “lovingkindness” is the Old Testament word for Grace.

Throughout his prayer David appeals to that free and abounding grace of God which covers all our transgression. FACING TO THE LIGHT. The one and the only thing David can urge in his favor (and in it is no merit) is that he has trusted in God for mercy and help, in the confidence that none that wait for Him shall be put to shame. He knows God well enough, however, to understand that God and sin can never dwell together. He does not ask to be saved in his sins, but out of them. He does not expect to be washed from his guilt while yet walking in the paths of iniquity. He wants nothing so much in fact as to be delivered from the evil way that his feet had entered. “Show me thy ways, O Jehovah; teach me thy paths; guide me in thy truth and teach me; for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee do I wait all the day.” He feels keenly enough that he is asking here for something which in all justice he has forfeited. The man who has sinned against light and truth has nothing coming to him but a sentence of darkness and blindness. To the light and truth which he has despised he has no longer any rightful claim. ' David knows that

His petition is not for what is due; but he appeals to the grace of God— that undeserved lovingkindness which to us has come so richly in Christ Jesus: “According to thy lovingkindness remember thou me, for thy goodness’ sake, 0 Jehovah.” Would God do so great a thing for the unworthy? But if He would not, why did God’s Spirit encourage David to ask for such a thing—yea and even put the very words of the petition upon his lips? BUILDING UPON GOD’S CHARACTER. One fact is notable in regard to the prayers of the Old Testament saints: they based their prayers upon their knowledge of God. When they found out, as did Jacob for example, that God was faithful to His word and promise they were sure to harp upon that fact when they cried to Him in the time of need. Or if, like Moses, they had learned that He was merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in Loving-kindness and truth, showing mercy to thousands, forgiving transgression and iniquity and sin—they did not fail to make that the ground of their appeal, whether for themselves or others. Now David had discovered that God was good. “For thou Lord art good and ready to forgive, and abundant in Loving-kindness unto all them that call upon him.” (Ps. 8 6 :5 ). The quality of “goodness” reaches far beyond that of bare rectitude. Righteous and just our God indeed is; but He is more than that: He is good. Among men, Paul argues, who would so love his fellow-man for his righteousness’ sake as to be willing to die for him? But for a good man some would even dare to die. (Rom. 5 :7 ). For goodness is above righteousness. A righteous man deals squarely and honestly; but the good man exceeds the measure of requirement: with him is sympathy and compassion, and kindness even to the unthankful and evil.

Now this is the attribute of God. And in this twenty-fifth psalm David banks upon it. “Good and upright is Jehovah: therefore will he instruct sinners in the way.” Those of them who are “meek”— humble, submissive, teachable—“ will He guide in justice; and the meek will He teach His way.” For this David hopes, and this he confidently asks 432 WORD AND WORK. and expects at the hands of his God— which is also an evidence on David’s side of his sincere desire to walk in that precious light henceforth. “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me for 1 wait for thee.” “YEA, WAIT THOU FOR JEHOVAH.” “But as for me— I will look unto Jehovah: I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, 0 mine enemy: when I fall I shall arise; when I sit in darkness Jehovah will be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of Jehovah because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause and execute judgment for me: He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteousness. . . . Who is a God like unto thee that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth over the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in lovingkindness. He will again have compassion upon us; He will tread our iniquities under foot, and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Mic. 7 :7-9, 18, 19).

“My soul wait thou in silence for God only; for my expectation is from Him. He only is my Rock and my Salvation. He is my high tower; I shall not be moved. With God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, ye people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Rest in Jehovah and wait patiently for Him. Be strong and let thy heart take courage: yea, wait thou for Jehovah.” (Ps. 62:5-8; 3 7 :7 ; 27:14).

-Bro. R H Boll was Editor of Word and Work (1916-1956)

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