Here are three very precious promises made to the people of God, which, though they are designed to secure the welfare of the church in general, may be applied by particular believers to themselves, as other promises of this nature may. Here is,
I. The character of God’s people, to whom these promises belong. Many call themselves God’s people who have no part nor lot in this matter. But those shall have the benefit of them and may take the comfort of them, (1.) Who are righteous (Ps. 125:3), righteous before God, righteous to God, and righteous to all men, for his sake justified and sanctified. (2.) Who trust in the Lord, who depend upon his care and devote themselves to his honour. All that deal with God must deal upon trust, and he will give comfort to those only that give credit to him, and make it to appear they do so by quitting other confidences, and venturing to the utmost for God. The closer our expectations are confined to God the higher our expectations may be raised from him.
II. The promises themselves.
1. That their hearts shall be established by faith: those minds shall be truly stayed that are stayed on God: They shall be as Mount Zion. The church in general is called Mount Zion (Heb. 12:22), and it shall in this respect be like Mount Zion, it shall be built upon a rock, and its interests shall be so well secured that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The stability of the church is the satisfaction of all its well-wishers. Particular persons, who trust in God, shall be established (Ps. 112:7); their faith shall be their fixation, Isa. 7:9. They shall be as Mount Zion, which is firm as it is a mountain supported by providence, much more as a holy mountain supported by promise. (1.) They cannot be removed by the prince of the power of the air, nor by all his subtlety and strength. They cannot be removed from their integrity nor from their confidence in God. (2.) They abide for ever in that grace which is the earnest of their everlasting continuance in glory.
2. That, committing themselves to God, they shall be safe, under his protection, from all the insults of their enemies, as Jerusalem had a natural fastness and fortification in the mountains that were round about it, Ps. 125:2. Those mountains not only sheltered it from winds and tempests, and broke the force of them, but made it also very difficult of access for an enemy; such a defence is God’s providence to his people. Observe, (1.) The compass of it: The Lord is round about his people on every side. There is no gap in the hedge of protection which he makes round about his people, at which the enemy, who goes about them, seeking to do them a mischief, can find entrance, Job 1:10. (2.) The continuance of it—henceforth even for ever. Mountains may moulder and come to nought, and rocks be removed out of their place (Job 14:18), but God’s covenant with his people cannot be broken (Isa. 54:10) nor his care of them cease. Their being said to stand fast for ever (Ps. 125:1), and here to have God round about them for ever, intimates that the promises of the stability and security of God’s people will have their full accomplishment in their everlasting state. In heaven they shall stand fast for ever, shall be as pillars in the temple of our God and go no more out (Rev. 3:12), and there God himself, with his glory and favour, will be round about them for ever.
3. That their troubles shall last no longer than their strength will serve to bear them up under them, Ps. 125:3. (1.) It is supposed that the rod of the wicked may come, may fall, upon the lot of the righteous. The rod of their power may oppress them; the rod of their anger may vex and torment them. It may fall upon their persons, their estates, their liberties, their families, their names, any thing that falls to their lot, only it cannot reach their souls. (2.) It is promised that, though it may come upon their lot, it shall not rest there; it shall not continue so long as the enemies design, and as the people of God fear, but God will cut the work short in righteousness, so short that even with the temptation he will make a way for them to escape. (3.) It is considered as a reason of this promise that if the trouble should continue over-long the righteous themselves would be in temptation to put forth their hands to iniquity, to join with wicked people in their wicked practices, to say as they say and do as they do. There is danger lest, being long persecuted for their religion, at length they grow weary of it and willing to give it up, lest, being kept long in expectation of promised mercies, they begin to distrust the promise, and to think of casting God off, upon suspicion of his having cast them off. See Ps. 73:13, 14. Note, God considers the frame of his people, and will proportion their trials to their strength by the care of his providence, as well as their strength to their trials by the power of his grace. Oppression makes a wise man mad, especially if it continue long; therefore for the elect’s sake the days shall be shortened, that, whatever becomes of their lot in this world, they may not lose their lot among the chosen.
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