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ENCOURAGEMENT IN GOD
1 Samuel 30:6. But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
IN seasons of prosperity the superior happiness of a Christian is not visible to all, but in adverse circumstances he has a manifest advantage over others. The ungodly, when the cisterns from whence they draw their water are broken or emptied, have no comfort left: but when every stream is dried up, the godly have still access to the Fountain itself. This was experienced by the Church of old [Note: Habakkuk 3:17-18.], and it is beautifully exemplified in the history before us. David was in great trouble, being suspected by the Philistines, plundered by the Amalekites, and threatened by his own soldiers: but in the midst of all he encouraged himself in God.
We shall shew,
What reason he had to do so—
Though reduced to the greatest extremities, David derived encouragement,
From the perfections of God as revealed in the word—
[He was no stranger to the character of God as it was revealed to Moses [Note: Exodus 34:6-7.], or to the unnumbered illustrations of it which the history of his nation afforded him: consequently he knew that there was nothing too hard for God to effect, or too great for him to give.]
From the experience which he himself had had of God—
[The lion, the bear, the Philistine giant, and the murderous rage of Saul, had given him abundant proofs of God’s superintending providence [Note: 1 Samuel 17:37; 1 Samuel 18:11; 1 Samuel 19:10-11.]: these he called to mind in this season of trial and distress [Note: Psalms 42:6; Psalms 77:10-11.], and wisely judged, that, with such a Friend on his side, he had no cause for fear [Note: 2 Corinthians 1:10.].]
From the covenant which God had made with him—
[God had covenanted with him to give him the throne of Israel; hence he was assured that his life should be spared till this promise was accomplished. It was in this view that he was enabled to call God IIIS God; and the thought of this relation to God added ten-fold confidence to his soul.]
While we admire the conduct of David in this particular, let us consider,
What reason we have to do likewise—
Certainly the grounds of David’s encouragement are equally calculated for our support—
[God is still the same almighty and gracious Being as ever: his arm is not shortened, nor is his ear heavy with respect to us. We may also see much of his goodness in our own experience. Wonderful have been the ways in which he has dealt with us for the awakening, preserving, and sanctifying of our souls. He has also covenanted with us that “he will never leave us nor forsake us [Note: Hebrews 13:5.],” nor shall one jot or tittle of his word ever fail. Are not these then grounds of encouragement to us as well as to David?]
But we have far greater reason to encourage ourselves in God than David had.
We have seen more stupendous displays of God’s power—
[David had read of the wonders wrought in Egypt and the wilderness: but what were these wonders when compared with the victories gained over all the passions and prejudices of the world by the preaching of a few poor fishermen?]
We have beheld more astonishing exercises of his love—
[The history of the Jews records many instances of God’s love towards them: but what were these when compared with the gift of his dear Son to die for us, and of his Holy Spirit to renew us? These things are as much beyond any thing that David had ever seen, as the substance is beyond the shadow.]
We have experienced more abundant proofs of his faithfulness—
[How many promises, made to the Church at large, have been accomplished by the mission of Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit! And all the members of the Church, from its first establishment to the present moment, have found the promises of the Gospel fulfilled to them in their season! In proportion therefore as God’s faithfulness has been tried and ascertained, our confidence in him must be increased.]
Let us endeavour to secure God as our God—
[Unless God be ours, we can have but little reason to encourage ourselves in him. Let us then look to Christ, that through him we may find acceptance with God; so shall God be our Friend, our Father, and our “eternal great Reward [Note: Genesis 15:1; John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 6:18.].”]
Let us encourage ourselves in God—
[We must expect to meet with many difficulties and troubles: nor can we find any grounds of encouragement in ourselves, but in God there is all that we can either need or desire. Are we then discouraged by outward difficulties or inward corruptions? let us direct our eyes to him, as our compassionate, almighty, and ever faithful Friend. Let us, like David, chide our unbelief [Note: Psalms 43:5.]; and henceforth say with him, “In the day of my trouble I will call upon God [Note: Psalms 86:7.].”]
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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 30". Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany