“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
If God so willed it we could live without bread, even as Jesus did for forty days; but we could not live without His Word. By that Word we were created, and by it alone can we be kept in being, for he sustaineth all things by the Word of His power. Bread is a second cause; the LORD Himself is the first source of our sustenance. He can work without the second cause as well as with it; and we must not tie Him down to one mode of operation. Let us not be too eager after the visible, but let us look to the invisible God. We have heard believers say that in deep poverty, when bread ran short, their appetites became short, too; and to others, when common supplies failed, the LORD has sent in unexpected help.
But we must have the Word of the LORD. With this alone we can withstand the devil. Take this from us, and our enemy will have us in his power, for we shall soon faint. Our souls need food, and there is none for them outside of the Word of the LORD. All the books and all the preachers in the world cannot furnish us a single meal: it is only the Word from the mouth of God that can fill the mouth of a believer. LORD, evermore give us this bread. We prize it above royal dainties.
“He will be my guide even unto death” (Psalm 48:14).
We need a guide. Sometimes we would give all that we have to be told exactly what to do and where to turn. We are willing to do right, but we do not know which one of two roads we are to follow. Oh, for a guide!
The LORD our God condescends to serve us as guide. He knows the way and will pilot us along it till we reach our journey’s end in peace. Surely we do not desire more infallible direction. Let us place ourselves absolutely under His guidance, and we shall never miss our way. Let us make Him our God, and we shall find Him our guide. If we follow His law we shall not miss the right road of life, provided we first learn to lean upon Him in every step that we take.
Our comfort is that as He is our God forever and ever, He will never cease to be with us as our guide. “Even unto death” will He lead us, and then we shall dwell with Him eternally and go no more out forever. This promise of divine guidance involves lifelong security: salvation at once, guidance unto our last hour, and then endless blessedness. Should not each one seek this in youth, rejoice in it in middle life, and repose in it in old age? This day let us look up for guidance before we trust ourselves out-of-doors.
“So He giveth His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2).
Ours is not a life of anxious care but of happy faith. Our heavenly Father will supply the wants of His own children, and He knoweth what we have need of before we ask Him. We may therefore go to our beds at the proper hour and not wear ourselves out by sitting up late to plot, and plan, and contrive. If we have learned to rely upon our God, we shall not lie awake with fear gnawing at our hearts; but we shall leave our care with the LORD, our meditation of Him shall be sweet, and He will give us refreshing sleep.
To be the LORD’s beloved is the highest possible honor, and he who has it may feel that ambition itself could desire no more, and therefore every selfish wish may go to sleep. What more is there even in heaven than the love of God? Rest, then, O soul, for thou hast all things. Yet we toss to and fro unless the LORD Himself gives us not only the reasons for rest but rest itself. Yea, He doth this. Jesus Himself is our peace, our rest, our all, On His bosom we sleep in perfect security, both in life and in death.
Sprinkled afresh with pardoning blood,
I lay me down to rest
As in the embraces of my God,
Or on my Saviour’s breast.
“God shall be with you”(Genesis 48:21).
Good old Jacob could no more be with Joseph, for his hour had come to die: but he left his son without anxiety, for he said with confidence, “God shall be with you.” When our dearest relations or our most helpful friends are called home by death, we must console ourselves with the reflection that the LORD is not departed from us but lives for us and abides with us forever.
If God be with us, we are in ennobling company, even though we are poor and despised. If God be with us, we have all-sufficient strength, for nothing can be too hard for the LORD. If God be with us, we are always safe, for none can harm those who walk under His shadow. Oh, what a joy we have here! Not only is God with us, but He will be with us. With us as individuals; with us as families; with us as churches. Is not the very name of Jesus, Immanuel — God with us? Is not this the best of all, that God is with us? Let us be bravely diligent and joyously hopeful. Our cause must prosper, the truth must win, for the LORD is with those who are with Him. All this day may this sweet word be enjoyed by every believer who turns to “faith’s checkbook.” No greater happiness is possible.