‘Whereas the Lord was there.’ Ezekiel 35:10
Suggested Further Reading: Jeremiah 17:5–13
Old Adam has given you many a grip in the side, as though he would tear the heart out of you, but you have held on your way despite all that he could do. How is this? Why, God was in you, and if he had not been there, then indeed you would have been a prey unto your adversaries. I went last week into the lighthouse at Holyhead and marked the lights that warn the mariner crossing the sea, or guide him in time of storm into the haven. I noticed in the second storey of the lighthouse many large vats filled with oil laid up in store that the lamps might be constantly trimmed for months to come, and I compared that in my own mind to that gracious provision of divine grace which the Lord lays up in store for his people. The lamps would go out but Jehovah-shammah, the Lord is there—we have the all-sufficiency of God laying up a store of oil, that our lights may be always trimmed. A Christian is something like an express train. On some of our railroads you know there are express trains which do not stop to take water; the water lies in a trench in the middle between the rails, and as the train runs it sucks up its own supply of cold water, and so continues its course without a pause. Our God in grace has forestalled our needs; he prepares supplies for his own people, so that without their stopping to seek the streams of creature confidence, sometimes without the use of means, he is pleased to speed them on their pathway towards heaven, fed by a divine arrangement of grace. O it is blessed to think that if God be there, everything a Christian can want for his final persevering, for his eternal life, is ready at hand.
For meditation: The Lord was there with his people in the wilderness and sustained them for forty years (Nehemiah 9:19–21). He can still meet every need that his people face today (Philippians 4:19). Paul had proved that God’s grace and strength were sufficient for him (2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 4:13).
Sermon no. 536
25 October (1863)