As we saw Sunday, this address of Solomon to his son is aimed at encouraging him to develop a Gospel Centered Mind. Why do we say Gospel centered all the way back in Proverbs? Because verses 3-6 camp on letting steadfast love and faithfulness dominate his thinking, while at the same time exhorting him to trust the Lord with his whole heart. The connection can’t be missed. It is the Lord we are to trust this absolutely – letting HIS steadfast love and faithfulness rule our entire thought process.
Only the one who has seen their sin and guilt before God, and His amazing provision for human sin in the person and work of Christ – especially at Calvary – can have such a deep, life encompassing assurance. We cannot over emphasize the need for this in the Believer’s life. Apart from it, life will overshadow Christ. In it, the Cross overshadows all of life. It is a “pre-echo” if you will of Jude 21 “keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”
So allow me to exhort you as well in this vital matter again today. Christian, Believer, Child of God – Never let the wonder, the mystery, and glory, the reality of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness toward you ever escape your consciousness.
When we imagine His love to be vacillating or indistinct – or when we doubt the absolute certainty of His commitment to see all of His promises to come to pass – faith suffers its most devastating blows. We must see our God as constitutionally incapable of the any of the defects of human love. In the darkest of hours, He cannot love you any more, nor can He love you any less. See Him as ontologically unable to fail to keep His word, or to break His promises. He does not merely carry out His promises faithfully, He IS faithful. This is the One with whom we have to do. This is our God. Loving and faithful beyond anything the human mind can imagine. This is the One in whom we place our trust.
Know this for yourself, and remind yourself often, of the steadfast love of the Lord, and of His faithfulness. That He cannot fail. And in that, become one of steadfast love and faithfulness yourself. And when that seems to wane, do everything in your power to restore it. Call out for it in prayer. Seek for it like buried treasure in His Word. Sing about it in your Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Talk about it with your fellow Believers. Find books rehearing and explicating it. Saturate your heart and mind with the wonder of His grace – with His inviolably steadfast love, and His absolute faithfulness. Above all – keep looking to the Cross, and see it carried out there and sealed in the very blood of the Savior. What more absolute guarantee can He grant?
As the 18th century hymn writer put it:
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
Pingback: Deep waters | St Margaret's Scottish Episcopal Church, Rosyth