Journal July 26, 2020
1 Samuel 18:1-2
1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
2 And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.
DOXOLOGY (PART 6)
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
The apostle Paul lays down as a general principle that all things come from God—they are of Him as their source; they are through Him as their means; they are to Him as their end. They are of Him in the plan, through Him in the working, and to Him in the glory they produce. Taking this general principle, you will find it applies to all things, and it is ours to mark those things in which it is most manifestly the case. May the Lord by His Holy Spirit, open His treasures to us and may we be enriched in spiritual knowledge and understanding.
Consider upon the whole range of God’s works in creation and providence. There was a period when God dwelt alone and there were no creatures. In that period before time had been created, when there was no day but, The Ancient of Days—when matter and created mind were alike unborn, and even space was not yet created—God, the great I Am, was as perfect, glorious, and blessed as He is now! There was no sun, and yet Jehovah dwelt in light inexpressible; there was no earth, and yet His throne stood fast and firm; there were no heavens, and yet His glory was unbounded. God inhabited eternity in the infinite majesty and happiness of His self-contained greatness! If the Lord, thus abiding in quite peace should choose to create anything, the first thought and idea must come from Him, for there was no other to think or suggest. All things must be of Him in design. With whom can He take counsel? Who shall instruct Him? There existed not another to come to the council chamber, even if such an assistance could be supposed with the Most High. In the beginning of His way before His works of old, eternal wisdom brought forth from its own mind the perfect plan of future creations, and every line and mark therein must clearly have been of the Lord alone. He ordained the pathway of every planet, and the place of every fixed star; He poured forth the blessed candles of the night with His hands. He appointed the bounds of the sea and settled the course of the winds. As to the earth, the Lord alone planed its foundations, and stretched His line upon it; He formed in His own mind the character of all His creatures and found for them a dwelling and a service. He appointed the degree of strength with which He would endow each creature, settled its months of life, its hour of death, its coming and its going. Divine wisdom mapped this earth—its flowing rivers and foaming seas—the towering mountains, and the laughing valleys; the divine architect fixed the gates of the morning, and the doors of the shadow of death. Nothing could be suggested by any other, for there was no other to suggest. It was in His power to have made a universe very different from this if He had so pleased; and that He has made it what it is; must have been merely because in His wisdom and prudence, He saw fit to do so. There cannot be any reason why He should not have created a world free from sin and that He allowed sin to enter into His creation must again belong to His own infinite sovereignty. If He had not known that He would be the master over sin, and out of evil bring forth the noblest display of His own glory, He would not have permitted sin to enter into the world—but, in sketching the whole history of the universe which He was about to create, He permitted even that black spot to defile His work—because He foreknew what songs of everlasting triumph would rise to Himself when, in streams of His own blood, incarnate deity should washout the stain! It cannot be doubted that whatever may be the whole drama of history in creation and providence, there is a high and mysterious sense in which it is all of God. The sin is not God’s, but the temporary permission of its existence formed part of the foreknown scheme, and to our faith the intervention of moral evil, and the purity of the divine character, do not diminish the force of our belief that the whole scope of history is of God in the fullest sense.
When the plan was all made, and the Almighty had ordered His purpose, this was not enough—mere arrangement would not create. Through Him as well as of Him, must all things be. There was no raw material ready to the Creators hand; He must create the universe out of nothing. He does not call for aid, besides there is none to help Him. There is no rough matter which He may fashion between His palms; and throw out as stars; He didn’t need a mine of unquarried matter which He might melt and purify in the furnace of His power, and hammer out upon the anvil of His skill—so, there was nothing to begin with in that day of Jehovah’s work—from the womb of omnipotence all things must be born. He speaks, and the heavens leap into existence! He speaks again, and the worlds are brought forth with all the varied forms of life so equipped with divine wisdom and matchless skill. God spoke, let there be light, light came into being. Through Him were all things—from the high archangel singing His praises in heavenly notes—down to that chirping cricket in the grass. The same finger paints the rainbow, and the wings of the butterfly. He who dyes the garments of evening with all the colors of heaven has covered the marsh marigold with gold and lit up glowworm lamps. From yonder ponderous mountain, piercing the clouds, down to that minute grain of dust on the summer’s eve—all things are through Him. If God were to withdraw His divine power, everything would melt away, as the foam of the sea melts into the wave that bore it! Nothing could stand an instant if the divine foundation were removed. If He should shake the pillars of the world, the whole temple of creation falls to ruin, and its very dust is blown away. A dreary waste, a silent emptiness, a voiceless wilderness is all which remains if God withdraws His power.
Through the energy of God, the sun rises every morning, and the moon walks in brightness at night, it is through Him. There are some that believe that God has wound up the world as though it were a clock and has gone away—leaving it to work for itself apart from His present hand—blaspheme! God is present everywhere—not merely present when we tremble because His thunder shakes the solid earth, and His lightning sets the heavens on fire—but just as much on a calm summer’s night when the air gently fans the flowers and gnats dance up and down in the last gleam of sunlight. Men attempt to forget about God, they call energy by strange names; they speak of the power of gravitation, but what is the power of gravitation? We know what it does, but what is it? Gravitation is God’s own power! They speak of the laws of electricity, we know the laws and let them wear names they have, but laws cannot operate without power. What is the force of nature? It is a constant issuing forth from the great fountain of power, the constant out-flowing of God Himself—the perpetual going forth of beams of light from Him who is the Great Father of Lights, with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. It would be wise to tread softly, for God is here just as truly as He is in heaven! For He is everywhere present, and everywhere you look, you are in God’s workshop where every wheel is turned by His hands! Everything is of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things.
This great principle is manifested in the work of divine grace. Here it is obvious everything is of God and to God. The great plan of human salvation was not drawn by human fingers. Grace first moved in the heart and mind of God and joined with divine sovereignty to develop and ordain a plan of salvation. This plan was the offspring of divine wisdom. No one but God could have developed a way of salvation such as the gospel presents—a way so just to God—so safe to man. The thought of divine substitution, and the sacrifice of God on man’s behalf, could never have been suggested by the most educated of all God’s creatures. God Himself suggests it, and the plan is of Him. As the plan is of Him all the details are of Him. God determined the time when the first promise should be made—who should receive that promise, and who should deliver it. He ordained the hour when the great promise keeper should come—when Jesus Christ should appear—of whom He should be born, by whom He should be betrayed, what death He should die, when He should rise from the dead, and in what manner He should ascend into heaven. He ordained those that would accept the Mediator to whom the gospel should be preached for their salvation. He remembered in His own mind, the names of all those He had chosen and what pangs of conviction should be felt and when the time of faith should come, how much of holy light and enjoyment should be given—all this was purposed from old times! He determined how long the chosen vessel should remain glazing in the fire, and when it should be taken up having been made perfect by heavenly workmanship to adorn the palace of God Most High. Because it is in God’s wisdom every stitch in the noble tapestry of salvation must surely come! Through His Spirit the holy men of old were looking for Messiah to be born; through Him the Virgin Mary gives birth to the Son of God; and sustained by that Spirit He lives 30 years of perfection. In the great redemption God alone is exaulted. Jesus sweats in Gethsemane, and becomes bloody under the cruel Roman whip, and is nailed painfully to a rough cross on Calvary’s Mountain. Deserted, except for His Mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, Mary Magdalene and John the apostle Jesus loved standing there watching in sorrow, they could give no aid as the spikes were driven through His hands and feet, and the cross raised and dropped into its socket. Now, with every bone out of joint He trod the winepress all alone, it was His arm that worked salvation, and His own arm that upheld Him. Redemption was the work of God alone; not one soul was ever redeemed by human suffering, but all is through the God/Man and as through Him the application of the atonement. By the power of the Spirit the gospel is preached upheld by the Spirit, pastors, teachers, and elders, still abide with the Church—still the energy of the Spirit goes forth with the Word to the hearts of the chosen. Still is Christ Crucified the power of God and the wisdom of God, because God is in the Word, and through Him men are called, converted, and saved.
Paul gives us the last clause of our verse, To whom be the glory forever. Amen. Christian may this be your goal as long as God fills your lungs with His air!
Catechism Question 32
Q: How are we made partakers of the redemption obtained by Christ?
A: We are made partakers of the redemption obtained by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by His Holy Spirit.
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.