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I. The God of Jacob tells us, by the very name, that He is a God who is not deterred by a great transgression, or by great proneness to transgression, from constituting Himself the Guide to our pilgrim life.
II. The God of Jacob must be a God who can bear to inflict very stern chastisement on His children, and to train His pilgrims in a very hard, sharp school of discipline, without forfeiting the name of their merciful and loving God. This thought has two suggestions. (1) It expounds the thoroughness of the Divine method. (2) Let the name of the God of Jacob assure you that there is no extremity in which you have a right to cry, "The Lord hath forsaken me; my God has forgotten me."
III. The God of Jacob is the God who will bring the pilgrims home.
J. Baldwin Brown, The Sunday Afternoon, p. 45 (see also p. 35).
References: Psalms 20:1 J. Irons, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. vii., p. 1; J. M. Neale, Sermons on Passages from the Psalms, p. 9. Psalms 20:1 , Psalms 20:2 . Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 414.Psalms 20:2 . W. M. Taylor, Old Testament Outlines, p. 102.Psalms 20:5 . Homiletic Magazine, vol. vi., p. 16; D. Burns, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xiii., p. 81.
The Psalmist remembers the name of the Lord his God, not any one property or attribute of God, but the whole combination of Divine perfections. And he remembers this name, the expression implying, not a transient thought, but meditation, consideration; and yet the result of the recollection is gladness and confidence.
I. When the mind gives itself to the contemplation of the Divine perfections, it launches on an ocean unfathomable and without a shore. But we may certify ourselves of truths which we cannot fathom or scan. And the Divine perfections, while we readily confess that they transcend all our powers, may be objects of our faith, of our study, of our adoration. Wheresoever there is the simple desire and the earnest endeavour to obey the Divine precepts, the properties of our Maker have only to be made the subject of careful remembrance, and they must furnish the materials of comfort.
II. We go on to admit that there are properties or attributes of God which, because they seem arrayed against sinful beings, can hardly be supposed to be the subjects of encouraging remembrance. The name of the Lord our God includes justice and holiness; and these are qualities from which we seem instinctively to shrink, as though we felt that they must necessarily be opposed to rebellious and polluted creatures. But the attributes of Deity meet and harmonise in the plan of our redemption. It is the Christian alone who can view God in every character and yet view Him without dread. The Christian, when he would remember the name of the Lord, may place himself beneath the shadow of the tree on which the Lord Jesus died.
III. The Psalmist's reference would seem to be specially to seasons of fear and anxiety. In times of sorrow Christians call to remembrance their grief rather than God, the blow rather than the hand whence it comes; but let them call to mind the Divine attributes, the evidences which they have already had of God's love, and the reasons which they have for being persuaded that all things are ordered by Him so as to work together for good, and come trouble, come death, they may still exclaim, "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but enough for us that we can remember the name of the Lord our God."
H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 1593.
References: Psalms 20:7 . G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 177. Psalms 20:0 A. Maclaren, Life of David, p. 203; I. Williams, The Psalms Interpreted of Christ, p. 371.Psalms 21:1 . J. Irons, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. vii., p. 409. Psalms 21:2 . Homiletic Magazine, vol. vi., p. 17; M. G. Pearse, Sunday Magazine, 1884, p. 605.
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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 20". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18