—PSALM 121:5.—SEPTEMBER 24.—
AS THE LAST lesson of the quarter this is a review. We can profitably look back over the lessons of this quarter and note that the key to every one of them has been the keeping power of God. In the first lesson we had the period of the kingdom under Hezekiah at the time of Sennacherib's invasion, and how the Lord graciously heard the prayer of his people and delivered them from so mighty a foe, before whom they trembled. The second lesson of the quarter showed God's power to keep the individual who trusts in him—that he is not only a God of nations, but is willing to exert his power on behalf of a solitary individual who reverences him and who looks to him in prayer. Hezekiah's deliverance from death and the prolongation of his life for fifteen years point this lesson, and while we may not similarly pray for continuation of the earthly life—having exchanged it, its interests and its concerns for the heavenly—we may pray for the still higher, the spiritual life, its protection, its prolongation everlastingly.
The third lesson on the keeping power of God related to Christ's sacrifice and Isaiah's visions of Messiah's sufferings. Here again the keeping power of God, his salvation for his people, for all who have trusted and who, having heard of his fame, by and by shall trust him, are brought prominently forward. Nor was it, as we saw, a desertion of his son in the time of trial, but even his sufferings were overruled and caused to work out his subsequent blessing and glorious exaltation to the Kingdom glory. Surely he was kept by the great Jehovah and surely the interests of mankind were preserved by him.
The fourth lesson was respecting the outcome of God's keeping, the blessings which he has kept in store, [R3632 : page 283] in reservation, which are not yet revealed except to the eye of faith through the promises—the Millennial blessings which may be enjoyed in proportion as we are able to exercise faith in God, the great Covenant Keeper who has promised and who will not fail in his promises—yea, who delights to be gracious—and the knowledge of whose glory and goodness shall soon fill the whole earth.
In lesson five we had a further demonstration of God's mercy and power to keep as manifested toward Manasseh on the occasion of his repentance and prayer for help. In lesson six we have an illustration of God's power to keep those who are seeking to do his will. Josiah, the good king, was blessed and kept. In lesson seven we have a demonstration of God's power to keep his Word, the finding of the book of the Law. And in this connection also we perceive the power of the Law of God reflexly to keep those who hold it faithfully in harmony with himself.
Lesson eight gives us a suggestion on the opposite side, of the loss which is sustained by those who scorn the Lord's Word—Jehoiakim's loss of judgment, the loss of his kingdom through scorning the divine messages sent him through Jeremiah.
In lesson nine we again have illustrated God's power to keep, for he kept Jeremiah even when cast into the dungeon and caused his release, and thus we have again illustrated the fact that he is as able to keep today and is as willing to protect and more willing even to assist those who are of Spiritual Israel.
In lesson ten we again have an illustration of a loss through disobedience to the Lord—Zedekiah's loss of the kingdom, a loss which appertained to the whole nation of Israel. And yet on the other hand we see God's faithfulness as represented in his gracious promise that after the kingdom of Israel had been overturned, overturned until the due time, it shall ultimately be given, as originally promised, to the great Messiah, the Root and Offspring of David.
Lesson eleven is another illustration of the keeping power of Jehovah. The water of life which is by and by to issue forth is all the provision of divine love and mercy through Christ. God has been keeping some of the richest of his blessings; the world has yet known little of the love of God. The only revelations that have yet been made of God's love are in connection with the death of Christ, which the worldly see not in the true light and appreciate not, but by and by they shall see indeed that God has graciously kept the best of his blessings for a future manifestation.
In lesson twelve we have again the keeping power of Jehovah as manifested in his care over Daniel and his associates—those who were faithful to him, loyal to him. And surely as Spiritual Israelites, in view of all these lessons of the past, we may have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hopes set before us in the Gospel. We who have fled for refuge to Jesus, and whose hope is anchored in him beyond the vail, surely we shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.