I will rejoice over them to do them good. — Jer 32:41
How heart-cheering to the believer, is the delight which God has in His saints! We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us; we cannot take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened; conscious of our sinfulness, and deploring our unfaithfulness. And we fear that God’s people cannot take much delight in us, for they must perceive so much of our imperfections and our follies, that they may rather lament our infirmities, than admire our graces.
But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery—that as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride—so does the Lord rejoice over us. We do not read anywhere that God delights in the cloud-capped mountains, or the sparkling stars but we do read that He delights in the habitable parts of the earth, and that His delights are with the sons of men. We do not find it written that even angels give His soul delight; nor does He say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, “You shall be called Hephzibah, for the Lord delights in you”; but He does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves, debased and depraved by sin but saved, exalted, and glorified by His grace.
In what strong language He expresses His delight in His people! Who could have conceived of the eternal One as bursting forth into a song? Yet it is written, “He will rejoice over you with joy—He will rejoice over you with singing.” As He looked upon the world He had made, He said, “It is very good”; but when He beheld those who are the purchase of Jesus’ blood, His own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy. Should not we utter our grateful response to such a marvelous declaration of His love, and sing, “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!”
Gather not my soul with sinners. — Ps 26:9
Fear made David pray thus, for something whispered, “Perhaps, after all, you may be gathered with the wicked.” That fear, although marred by unbelief, springs, in the main, from holy concern, arising from the recollection of past sin. Even the pardoned man will enquire, “What if at the end, my sins should be remembered, and I should be left out of the catalogue of the saved?” He recollects his present unfruitfulness: so little grace, so little love, so little holiness; and looking forward to the future, he considers his weakness and the many temptations which beset him, and he fears that he may fall, and become a prey to the enemy. A sense of sin and present evil, and his prevailing corruptions, compel him to pray, in fear and trembling, “Gather not my soul with sinners!”
Reader, if you have prayed this prayer, and if your character is rightly described in the Psalm from which it is taken, you need not be afraid that you shall be gathered with sinners. Have you the two virtues which David had—the outward walking in integrity, and the inward trusting in the Lord? Are you resting upon Christ’s sacrifice, and can you compass the altar of God with humble hope? If so, rest assured, with the wicked you never shall be gathered, for that calamity is impossible. The gathering at the judgment is like to like. “Gather together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them but gather the wheat into my barn.” If, then, you are like God’s people, you shall be with God’s people. You cannot be gathered with the wicked, for you are too dearly bought. Redeemed by the blood of Christ, you are His forever, and where He is, there must His people be. You are loved too much to be cast away with reprobates. Shall one dear to Christ perish? Impossible! Hell cannot hold you! Heaven claims you! Trust in your Surety and fear not!
Morning and Evening - September 21
Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.