"Nevertheless I am continually with thee."
"Nevertheless,"--As if, notwithstanding all the foolishness and ignorance which David had just been confessing to God, not one atom the less was it true and certain that David was saved and accepted, and that the blessing of being constantly in God's presence was undoubtedly his. Fully conscious of his own lost estate, and of the deceitfulness and vileness of his nature, yet, by a glorious outburst of faith, he sings "nevertheless I am continually with thee." Believer, you are forced to enter into Asaph's confession and acknowledgment, endeavour in like spirit to say "nevertheless, since I belong to Christ I am continually with God!" By this is meant continually upon his mind, he is always thinking of me for my good. Continually before his eye;--the eye of the Lord never sleepeth, but is perpetually watching over my welfare. Continually in his hand, so that none shall be able to pluck me thence. Continually on his heart, worn there as a memorial, even as the high priest bore the names of the twelve tribes upon his heart forever. Thou always thinkest of me, O God. The bowels of thy love continually yearn towards me. Thou art always making providence work for my good. Thou hast set me as a signet upon thine arm; thy love is strong as death, many waters cannot quench it; neither can the floods drown it. Surprising grace! Thou seest me in Christ, and though in myself abhorred, thou beholdest me as wearing Christ's garments, and washed in his blood, and thus I stand accepted in thy presence. I am thus continually in thy favour--"continually with thee." Here is comfort for the tried and afflicted soul; vexed with the tempest within--look at the calm without. "Nevertheless"--O say it in thy heart, and take the peace it gives. "Nevertheless I am continually with thee."
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me."
This declaration involves the doctrine of election: there are some whom the Father gave to Christ. It involves the doctrine of effectual calling: these who are given must and shall come; however stoutly they may set themselves against it, yet they shall be brought out of darkness into God's marvellous light. It teaches us the indispensable necessity of faith; for even those who are given to Christ are not saved except they come to Jesus. Even they must come, for there is no other way to heaven but by the door, Christ Jesus. All that the Father gives to our Redeemer must come to him, therefore none can come to heaven except they come to Christ.
Oh! the power and majesty which rest in the words "shall come." He does not say they have power to come, nor they may come if they will, but they "shall come." The Lord Jesus doth by his messengers, his word, and his Spirit, sweetly and graciously compel men to come in that they may eat of his marriage supper; and this he does, not by any violation of the free agency of man, but by the power of his grace. I may exercise power over another man's will, and yet that other man's will may be perfectly free, because the constraint is exercised in a manner accordant with the laws of the human mind. Jehovah Jesus knows how, by irresistible arguments addressed to the understanding, by mighty reasons appealing to the affections, and by the mysterious influence of his Holy Spirit operating upon all the powers and passions of the soul, so to subdue the whole man, that whereas he was once rebellious, he yields cheerfully to his government, subdued by sovereign love. But how shall those be known whom God hath chosen? By this result: that they do willingly and joyfully accept Christ, and come to him with simple and unfeigned faith, resting upon him as all their salvation and all their desire. Reader, have you thus come to Jesus?
Today's reading: Psalm 49-50, Romans 1 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 49-50
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
1 Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who live in this world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor alike:
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb;
with the harp I will expound my riddle:
when wicked deceivers surround me--
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their great riches?
Today's New Testament reading: Romans 1
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-- 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name's sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ....
[Ē'sôu] - hairy. The eldest son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob by Rebekah. His name is associated with his appearance at birth (Gen. 25:25).
The Man Who Bartered His Birthright
This cunning hunter and man of the field (Gen. 25:27 ) supplies us with one of the tragic biographies among the men of the Bible. He is prominent in God's portrait gallery as the man rejected of God because he had sold his birthright. Let us briefly sketch what Scripture records of "Esau, who is Edom." Had he retained his birthright we might have read "Esau, who is Israel." The wrong act, however, left a black mark upon his future history.
He was a profane person. What a terrible epitome! It is like a label fastened to Esau as he disappears from Bible history (Heb. 12:16 ). The work "profane" does not mean that he delighted in profanity, but that he was a man of the earth who lived for worldly things and nothing else. With many good qualities, Esau was of the earth, earthy.
He sold his birthright . As the elder son of his father, even although he came from the womb only a half-hour before his twin brother, Jacob, he was entitled by law and custom to receive twice as much as a younger son's portion, and to be regarded in due time as the head of the family. But we all know the story of how, for a mess of pottage, he bartered away his spiritual and temporal rights. The record says that Esau sold his birthright because he "despised" it. How easily some men part with the rich blessings they are heirs to!
His was a fruitless repentance . Esau lifted up his voice and cried, "Bless me, even me also, O my father!" But his repentant prayer was directed, not to God, but to Isaac. In the whole of Genesis Esau does not mention the name of God. Had Esau's repentance been Godward, what a different story we would have had! Esau only repented of his bargain, not ofhis sin. Such a bargain turned out to be a bad one, and he was sorry for it. Further, all Esau sought was restitution, not pardon. He had lost one blessing, and sought another.
Under grace the penitent sinner who has wasted his substance has a Saviour to turn to, and repenting of his sin, finds mercy. Esau, even with his tears, found no mercy. God was not in his thoughts, and he had therefore to abide by the consequences of what he had brought upon himself. Yet he learned his lesson, for Esau called his firstborn Eliphaz, "strength of God," and his second son Reuel, "joy of God."